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Grounds for withdrawal of expiation notices

There are three main grounds for withdrawal of expiation notices:

  1. You did not receive the expiation notice
  2. You did not commit the offence
  3. You have an excuse (such as that the offence was ‘trifling’)

If you have paid the expiation fee (either in full or in part) and the notice is subsequently withdrawn, you may be entitled to a refund but this will depend on the ground being relied upon for withdrawal (see details for each ground below).

1. You did not receive the expiation notice

If it becomes apparent to the authority that you did not receive the expiation notice until after the due date for payment has passed and this was resulting from error on the part of the authority or the postal system, the authority must withdraw the expiation notice [Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) s 16(6)].

If you have paid the expiation fee (whether partially or in full) the expiation notice cannot be withdrawn [Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) s 16(7)].

If an expiation notice is withdrawn because you did not receive it, it can be re-issued to you within one year of the date of the alleged offence [s 16(13)].

2. You did not commit the offence

An authority can withdraw an expiation notice if it is of the opinion that:

  • you did not commit the alleged offence; or
  • the expiation notice should not have been given to you for the alleged offence.
If the issuing authority agrees to withdraw an expiation notice on this basis any payment of the expiation fee must be refunded [Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) s 16(2)].

Where the expiation notice is issued to the registered owner of a vehicle

For some offences where an authority issues you with an expiation notice as the registered owner of a vehicle, they must also provide you with a statutory declaration to complete if you were not the driver or owner of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence.

If you complete a statutory declaration, the authority may withdraw the expiation notice and re-issue it to the driver or owner whom you name (within one year of the date of the alleged offence).

When the expiation notice is re-issued, the person to whom it is re-issued will be told that you named them.

Where the expiation notice is issued on the basis of photographic evidence

For some offences where an authority issues you with an expiation notice on the basis of a photograph/s taken by an automated detection device, you must be informed that you are entitled to request a copy of the photographic evidence. To request a copy of the photographic evidence, you can either telephone the Expiation Notice Branch on (08) 8463 4388 to make an appointment to view the photograph/s or make the request through SAPOL's Online Photo Request Portal.

For more information see:

http://www.police.sa.gov.au/sapol/services/expiation_notices.jsp;

Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) s 16(1)(a), 16(1)(ab) and 16(12); and

Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 79B (5), (6) and (6a).

3. You have an excuse (i.e. the offence was ‘trifling’)

Usually only minor offences may be dealt with by way of expiation notice and there are only very limited excuses for committing these offences.

Expiation notices should not be issued for offences that can be regarded as trifling.

An offence can be regarded as trifling and excused on the grounds that:

  • there were humanitarian or safety reasons for the offence; or
  • you could not reasonably have averted the offence; or
  • the offence was merely a technical, trivial or petty instance of the offence.

See Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) s 4(2).

You can apply to the police, council or other authority that issued the expiation notice for a review of the notice on the ground that the offence was trifling.

If you apply for a review and the authority agrees that the offence was trifling, the authority must notify you in writing and withdraw the expiation notice.

However, the notice cannot be withdrawn if:

  • you have already paid the expiation notice in part or full; or
  • you have already entered into an arrangement in relation to payment under section 9 of the Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA); or
  • an enforcement determination under section 13 has been made in relation to the notice.

[See Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) s 8A(6)]

Grounds for withdrawal of expiation notices  :  Last Revised: Tue Sep 30th 2014
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.