Before electing to go to court to dispute your infringement notice, you may wish to consider requesting an internal review, if applicable.
About electing to go to court
If you receive an infringement notice, it means that you have been fined for breaking a law. The amount owing on the infringement notice is the penalty for the offence (this is called the infringement penalty). If you do not want your offence to be dealt with as an infringement notice, you can exercise your right to elect to take your infringement matter to the Magistrates' Court to be determined at a formal hearing.
You have the right to elect to take your infringement matter to the Magistrates' Court (or the Children's Court, if you are under 18 years of age) to be determined at a formal hearing anytime up until the Infringements Court issues an enforcement order.
If you elect to go to court to explain yourself in front of a Magistrate, the Magistrate will decide the case and any appropriate penalty which may include:
- record a conviction, if they find you guilty
- impose a fine that is more or less than the infringement penalty
- dismiss or discharge your case
- adjourn the matter
- make a community based order
If you elect to go to court, the matter will be listed at the Magistrates' Court and you will be notified of the court date. You will then need to appear before the court at the specified date and time to defend or plead guilty at a formal hearing. If you do not appear at court, the court can decide the matter in your absence.
Council can also refer the infringement matter to the Magistrates' Court at their discretion (rather than choosing to lodge the infringement matter at the Infringements Court).
How to elect to go to court
Should you wish to have your matter heard in court at a formal hearing, you will need to:
- Put your request in writing before the due date of your infringement
- Deliver the completed and signed application with any supporting documents to council via:
- You will receive a notification in the mail to let you know the outcome of your application. You (or a legal representative) will be required to appear in a Victorian Magistrates' Court.
- It is recommended that you seek legal assistance prior to attending court
- In court, the magistrate will decide the case and any appropriate penalty
- More information on the Magistrates' Court can be found on the Magistrates' Court website.