Grounds for the withdrawal of expiation notices can be grouped into three main categories as follows:
- You did not receive the expiation notice
- You did not commit the offence
- You have an excuse
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.
This cannot occur if you have already paid the expiation in part or in full.
See Expiation of Offences Act 1996 s 16(6), 16(7) and 16(13).
You did not commit the offence
An authority can withdraw an expiation notice if it is of opinion that:
- you did not commit the alleged offence; or
- the expiation notice should not have been given to you for the alleged offence.
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 (08) 8463 4388 to make an appointment to view the photograph/s or fill out the Request for Photographic Evidence form. You should have received this form with the expiation notice, but it is also downloadable from the police website. You can send your completed request form by either post of fax to:
Fax: (08) 8463 4361
If you send a request form, the photograph/s will be sent back out to you.
See Expiation of Offences Act 1996 s 16(1)(a), 16(1)(ab) and 16(12).
See also Road Traffic Act 1961 s 79B (5), (6) and (6a).
You have an excuse
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
- you could not reasonably have averted the offence
- the offence was merely a technical, trivial or petty instance of the offence
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.
This cannot occur if:
- you have already paid the expiation notice in part or full
- you have already applied for relief in relation to payment or
- the authority has already issued a certificate for enforcement
See Expiation of Offences Act 1996 s 4(2) and 8A.
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.