If you have any of the circumstances outlined below, you may be eligible to apply for a review of your fines under Special Circumstances.
These circumstances are very specific. You can only apply if you can show that:
- you committed the offence in part because you:
- had a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
- had a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
- were homeless
- were affected by family violence, OR
- you cannot deal with your fines because of severe disabling long-term circumstances, even if those circumstances did not exist at the time of the offence.
Special circumstances linked to your offending behaviour
You must show a link between your special circumstances and your offending behaviour.
If you have a mental illness, intellectual disability, or a serious substance addiction, you need to provide evidence of how this reduced your capacity to:
- understand your behaviour was against the law, or
- control your behaviour (even if you knew it was against the law).
If you are homeless or a victim of family violence, you need to provide evidence of how this reduced your capacity to control your behaviour (even if you knew it was against the law).
If your fines resulted from family violence, you may be able to apply under the Family Violence Scheme.
Long-term circumstances linked to your ability to deal with your fine
If you are not able to deal with your fine due to severe disabling long-term circumstances, you need to provide evidence that your circumstances:
- are long term and severe, disabling or incapacitating, and
- relate mostly to issues other than financial hardship, and
- make it impracticable or unfeasible for you to deal with your fine by:
- paying in full
- paying in instalments
- completing activities or treatment under a Work and Development Permit
- applying for the Family Violence Scheme.
- long-term involuntary mental health care
- severe physical or intellectual disability.
Who can prepare your supporting evidence?
You must provide evidence from a practitioner or agency who is familiar with your circumstances. Depending on your circumstances, this may be your:
- doctor or medical specialist
- psychiatrist or psychologist
- social worker or case worker
- accredited drug treatment agency or drug counsellor
- financial counsellor
- recognised health, support or welfare agency (for example, the Salvation Army).
Evidence may include, reports, letters, statements, submissions, statutory declarations, police reports and family violence safety notices.
What is required in your report?
Your practitioner or agency report should include:
- your practitioner's qualifications
- your practitioner's relationship with you and how long they have known you
- an explanation of your circumstances, including its nature, severity, duration, and impact on your life
- the link between your circumstances and your offending behaviour.
In the case of severe, disabling long-term circumstances, the report should also include information on the link between your circumstances and your inability to deal with the fine.
We may ask you for more information to help determine your application.
Your evidence should be signed and dated within 12 months of the date of your application. You can provide evidence that is older than 12 months if it relates to a permanent condition, such as an intellectual disability.