Victoria Legal Aid

Going to court to challenge a fine

Read about the when and how you can challenge a fine in the Magistrates' Court.

You can go to the Magistrates’ Court to challenge a fine if:

  • you do not think you broke the law
  • it was not you who broke the law, it was someone else
  • you believe you should not have to pay the full amount.

You can apply to court any time until the infringement is registered with Fines Victoria. It is important to get legal advice before you choose this option.

If you want to go to court, write to the agency to tell them as soon as possible.

The agency that issued your fine or the Infringements Court can also take the matter to the Magistrates’ Court if you do not pay your fine.

What happens at the Magistrates’ Court?

Going to court means you get to tell your side of the story to a magistrate or a judicial registrar. They then make a decision about what you must do.

The magistrate or the judicial registrar can decide to:

  • cancel the fine
  • take away the extra costs
  • order you to pay a smaller fine.

However, the magistrate can also decide to:

  • give you a larger fine
  • make you pay for the court costs
  • cancel or suspend your driver’s licence
  • record a conviction against your name.

If you have to pay, you can ask for the amount you owe to be converted to a community-based order. Ask for the court registrar at the Magistrates’ Court to apply. You must agree to the conditions of the order. You must also have enough free time to do the community work.

If you are found guilty, it may appear on a Victoria Police criminal record check.

Other support

Find out how you can get other support for fines and infringements.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at

Reviewed 07 April 2022

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