You can be given a fine, which is an order to pay a penalty which is an amount of money (usually payable to the government). This happens mainly in two situations:
If you do not pay your fine in time, Revenue NSW can take recovery action in many circumstances. Revenue NSW has a broad range of powers, for example:
You can be given a fine, which is an order to pay a penalty which is an amount of money (usually payable to the government), mainly in two situations:
If you think you are likely to be given a fine by a court but you have little or no money to pay a fine, it is important to tell your lawyer (or the court directly, if you are not represented by a lawyer) before the judge or magistrate makes their decision. The judge or magistrate might then reduce the amount of the fine or deal with you in another way such as by putting you on a good behaviour bond.
You cannot ‘work off’ a fine by going to prison.
If you have been given time to pay a fine by the Local Court (normally 28 days) and you cannot pay it on time, don’t just leave it and do nothing. If you have a reason why you can’t pay on time, you can ask for further time to pay. Click here for further information.
One of the most common reasons you may be fined is for disobeying traffic laws, for example, through:
* As of 1 December 2019, the NSW government has rolled out mobile phone detection cameras, at fixed and mobile locations, across NSW:
If you are given a fine, do not ignore it or the fine could become larger or attract more serious penalties. Here are some ways that you can deal with a fine:
One of the ways that you can show that you cannot afford to pay a fine is to see a financial counsellor. They can help you analyse your financial situation and write a letter of support that you are in ‘financial hardship’, if that is the case.
You can call 1800 007 007 to speak to a financial counsellor in your area.
You may be able to apply for what is called a ‘Work and Development Order‘ (WDO) to ‘work off’ the fine through agreeing to do voluntary work with a community organisation, attend training or education courses, or participate in a treatment program.
The WDO scheme provides a non-monetary way for people to reduce their debts caused by non-payment of fines. WDOs are open to people who:
A WDO may only be made if the application is supported by an approved organisation, or in the case of mental health or medical treatment, a health practitioner qualified to provide that treatment.
Corrections NSW is approved to administer WDOs to eligible inmates (which include inmates with a mental illness) with: an intellectual disability or cognitive impairment; a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance; or who are experiencing homelessness or acute financial hardship prior to coming in to custody may register with the scheme.
Inmates who meet one or more of these criteria can engage in programs to clear their fines registered with Revenue NSW. They can count as satisfactory participation in alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment, financial or other counselling and educational/vocational or life skills courses towards meeting their WDO requirements. This will be identified by the Education and Programs staff in the correctional centre.
Updated April 22, 2020