Being prosecuted and going to court
You can elect (choose) to be prosecuted for an offence alleged in an expiation notice.
When you are prosecuted for an offence, the matter goes before the Court and you are required to plead guilty or not guilty.
Whether you plead or are found guilty following a trial, you will be given an opportunity to tell the Court what penalty, if any, you believe you should receive for the offence and why. This may include whether or not you should be convicted of the offence.
If the Court convicts you of the offence, the conviction will appear on any subsequent police check you have conducted (see ‘Criminal records’). The Court may require you to pay not only a court fine as penalty, but also prosecution and court costs and levies.
Once you elect (choose) to be prosecuted, you cannot change your mind and seek to be expiated. Similarly, you cannot elect (choose) to be prosecuted after you have entered into an arrangement in relation to payment (see Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) s 9).
For these reasons, if you are thinking about electing to be prosecuted, it is usually a good idea to get some legal advice before making a decision.
An authority can expressly withdraw an expiation notice for the purpose of prosecuting you within 60 days of the date of the notice, but not after an enforcement order is made.
See Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) ss 6(1)(f), 8 and 16.
See also Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 (SA) div 2.
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.