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Enforcement of court fines

What if I don't pay my fine or default on a payment arrangement?

The Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer has a wide range of powers to deal with people who default on payment of court imposed fines. These include:

  • seizure and sale of assets (including land in which you hold an interest);
  • garnishment of wages or money owing to you;
  • suspension of your driver’s license;
  • restricting you from transacting business with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles;
  • clamping or impounding any vehicle you own or drive;
  • publishing your name on the Internet.

See Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 (SA) ss 70K, 70L, 70M, 70N, 70O, 70P and 70Q.

Under section 70B the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer may investigate whether you have the means to pay the outstanding sum.

The Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer also has the power to waive payment of a court fine [Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 (SA) s 70I(1)(e)].

Community service orders

A Community service order can be imposed by the Court (on application by the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer) if the Court is satisfied that you do not have, and are not likely to have within a reasonable time, the means to pay the debt without you or your family suffering hardship (Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 (SA) [s 70U]).

However, if at any time the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer is satisfied that you have the means to pay without hardship, a community service order can be revoked [s 70U].

If you fail to comply with a community service order you can be imprisoned. You will be sent a notice to appear before the court to explain your failure to comply with the community service order, and if you fail to appear a warrant will be issued for your arrest [s 71].

Enforcement of court fines  :  Last Revised: Fri Jan 31st 2014
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