What is a court fine?
A court fine is a fine handed down by a judge, magistrate or justice of the peace in a Western Australian court. You may receive a court fine for an offence such as drink driving, disorderly behaviour, theft or a drug-related crime. The fine may be your whole sentence or just part of it.
When you receive a fine by a court in Western Australia, you must deal with the matter immediately. Unpaid fines may be referred to the Fines Enforcement Registry within 28 days.
A fine issued by the court
You can pay your court fine by making a one-off payment for the full amount or by making arrangements with the court for time-to-pay, which will involve making regular payment instalments. Additional fees may apply if you do not make arrangements to pay your fine as soon as you receive it.
When making a time-to-pay application:
- the court officer may require documentary proof of your financial circumstances, such as pay slips, social security benefits statements and other documents detailing your expenses, to support the application
- the court officer will confirm any special arrangements with a time-to-pay order
- the court officer's decision about whether to allow time to pay is final.
Fines referred to Fines Enforcement Registry
If your fine is not paid immediately, your fine may be referred to the Fines Enforcement Registry.
The Fines Enforcement Registry then:
- issues a notice of intention to enforce after which you have a further 28 days to pay;
- if no payment is received, your driver's and/or vehicle licence may be suspended until the amount (inclusive of additional fees) is paid in full, or a payment arrangement is entered into;
- if you fail to pay when your driver’s and/or vehicle licence is suspended, an enforcement warrant may be issued to recover the outstanding debt. Again, additional fees will apply;
- an enforcement warrant authorises the Sheriff to do one or more of the following:
- wheel clamp your vehicle;
- remove your vehicle licence plates, cancel your vehicle registration; and/or
- seize and sell your property. If you do not have any goods to seize and sell, you may be ordered to attend for community work. If you are suffering from financial hardship, you may apply to the Fines Enforcement Registrar to have your court fine(s) converted to a work and development order using the request for work and development form;
- if the work and development order is not approved, or you do not complete it, a warrant of commitment for your imprisonment may be issued. If you are suffering financial hardship and are not able to undertake community service you may apply to have your court fines converted to a warrant of commitment using this request to convert to imprisonment form.