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If the sheriff cannot collect unpaid fines, a warrant can issue for the arrest of the accused.
The accused is taken to Court in custody and usually released on bail to attend back at the Court to explain how the fines are to be paid.
The Infringements Act 2006 (Vic) sets out the powers of the Court in section 160. The Court can order jail, however if the Court is satisfied
(1) That the infringement offender has a mental or intellectual impairment, disorder, disease, or illness, or
(2) Special circumstances apply,
(3) If the court is satisfied that, having regard to the infringer’s situation, imprisonment would be excessive, disproportionate and unduly harsh,
The Court may
(1) Discharge the outstanding fines in full, or
(2) Discharge up to two thirds of the outstanding fines, or
(3) Adjourn the matter for up to six months, or
(4) Impose a combination of reduced fines and jail, or
(5) Turn the fine into unpaid community work.
Section 3 of the Infringements Act 2006 (Vic) defines special circumstances as a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness where the disability, disorder, disease or illness results in a person being unable to understand that the conduct constitutes an offence, or to control conduct that constitutes an offence.
A serious addiction to drugs, alcohol etc can result in a person being unable to understand that conduct constitutes an offence or to control conduct which constitutes an offence. Homelessness can have the same effect.
What is needed for court
For issues to do with mental or intellectual problems, the court requires a report from a person who is qualified to make such findings, for example:
(1) Major Depressive Disorder
(2) Generalized Anxiety Disorder
(3) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Further, an attempt to make some payment is also very helpful. And copies of any income documents and expense documents is usually required.
If you have problems with unpaid toll fines, contact me for a free first consultation using the details below.
Level 4, 116 Hardware St, Melbourne 3000
ph. 9670 1987 / 0438 670 198