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).
You may choose to dispute your infringement through an internal review or you can 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 anytime up until the infringements offence is registered with the Director, Fines Victoria.
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. They may, for example:
- 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 to the matter at a formal hearing. If you do not appear at court, the court can decide the matter in your absence.
Note: An issuing agency can also refer the infringement to the Magistrates' Court at its discretion (rather than choosing to lodge the infringement with the Director, Fines Victoria).
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 take the following steps:
Complete section found on the back of your infringement notice titled: 'Application for Action by a Court' or write to the VEC to request to have the matter heard in court, quoting the infringement notice number.
Deliver your application:
- by post to VEC, Reply Paid 76032, Melbourne Vic 8060
- by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- by fax to (03) 9620 3489
- in person at Victorian Electoral Commission, Level 11, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne, from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.
You (or your legal representative) will be required to appear in a Victorian Magistrates' Court.
Note: 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.
You may call 1300 551 575 if you wish to speak to a customer service representative.