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Prisoner's rights

Before prison: The criminal court process

Getting your fines wiped (“remitted”)

What does it mean to get fines “remitted”?

Summary Proceedings Act 1957, s 88AE

Getting a fine “remitted” means that a judge makes an order that you don’t have to pay it or, if you’ve already paid some of it, that you don’t need to pay any more. In other words, the fine is wiped.

A judge might do this because:

  • you’re going to do some community work instead of paying the fine, or
  • you’re going to do a few days or weeks in prison instead of paying the fine, or
  • the judge decides that in your case it’s fair and appropriate that your fine is wiped.

How do I ask to get my fines remitted?

You’ll need to write to the courts and ask for your fines to be remitted. However, you should make sure you talk to a lawyer about this first, because you could have time added to your sentence.

Is there a risk I’ll get a longer sentence?

Yes, there is – you could, for example, end up with a couple of extra weeks added to your sentence. So you should make sure you talk to a lawyer before you ask to get your fines remitted – this could be either a duty lawyer at the courts or your own lawyer if you’re in court on other charges. Discuss with the lawyer how much the fines are and what they think the outcome would be of getting them remitted. They can get a sentence indication from the judge.

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Before prison: The criminal court process

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