Dealing with infringement notices and penalty reminder notices
Infringement notices and penalty reminder notices
If no action is taken within 21 days of the infringement notice being issued (or longer as stated in the notice), a penalty reminder notice will be issued, which adds additional costs (1.74 fee units which equals $25.10 as at 1 July 2018) to the original penalty. If a client wants to nominate another driver, the nomination must be made before the penalty reminder notice expires.
If no action is taken within 21 days after a penalty reminder notice is issued (or longer as stated in the notice), the enforcement agency may register the infringement with Fines Victoria.
An infringement may only be lodged by the enforcement agency with Fines Victoria within six months of the date of the offence (see s 17 of the Fines Reform Act 2014. This time can be extended in certain circumstances, such as where the fine was the subject of a payment plan on which the person subsequently defaulted, or where the decision to issue the infringement notice has been the subject of internal review or if a work and development permit has been cancelled under s 10E of the FRA.
Once the fines is registered with Fines Victoria, they will then proceed to enforce the fine. See the options a client will have when the infringement reaches enforcement stage.
An issuing officer has the discretion to serve a person with a written official warning rather an infringement notice (s 8 of IA) if they are of the opinion that in all the circumstances, it is appropriate to serve an official warning. If issuing officers do exercise such discretion, they must be guided by their agency’s code of conduct and guidelines. Even if an official warning is issued, this does not prevent the warning from being withdrawn in order for the agency to issue an infringement notice or commence proceedings with respect to the offence (ss 10 and 11 of IA).
Referral to open court
An enforcement agency has the discretion to refer the matter to open court any time before an enforcement order is made (s 17 of IA), however, this does not apply to excessive speed, drink-driving or drug-driving fines. A client also has the right to elect to have the matter heard in Court any time before the fines is registered with Fines Victoria (s 16 of IA) except for fines for excessive speed, drink driving or drug-driving.
Requirements for service of an infringement notice
An infringement notice may be served on a person by personal delivery, by post to the person’s last known address, or by affixing it to any vehicle involved in the commission of the offence (s 12). An infringement notice served by post in accordance with s 12 is deemed to be served 14 days after the date of the infringement notice. An infringement notice served on a person less than 28 days before the date specified in the notice as the due date for payment is invalid.