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VIC Voting Fines at Warrant Stage but Didn't Know?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by stillwaters, 25 August 2014.

  1. stillwaters

    stillwaters Member

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    Hello,

    Not sure if I am posting this in the correct forum?

    I recently found out that I had three separate warrants for failing to vote (when I phoned about a separate matter). These were:

    A Melbourne city council election
    A Victorian by-election (for Melbourne city)
    A state election

    For the city council and by-election, I did not reside in the Melbourne district when the elections occurred. I wrote to the magistrates court requesting these are revoked due to this, however they have refused the application on the basis there are not sufficient grounds to revoke..

    When I put in the applications, I provided evidence that I did not live in the Melbourne district at those times. I also explained that I had setup a mail redirection with Australia post and had ticked the box to say to provide my new address to government agencies. I have never received any correspondence relating to these matters until I contacted the infringement office about an unrelated parking fine.

    * Do I have grounds to object (i.e. take this to a hearing)?

    Thanks
     
  2. tigerzzz

    tigerzzz Member

    Joined:
    30 July 2014
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    When at the Infringement Warrant stage the Sheriff can issue a document known as a "7 day Notice" this gives you the option of 1. paying the infringement in full, 2. Request additional time to pay, 3. enter into an installment order, 4. make an application for revocation either under specially circumstances or generally.

    Infringements Act 2006 "seven-day notice" means a notice served under section 88;

    "special circumstances", in relation to a person means—

    (a) a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness where the disability, disorder, disease or illness results in the person being unable—

    (i) to understand that conduct constitutes an offence; or

    (ii) to control conduct that constitutes an offence; or

    (b) a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance within the meaning of section 57 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 where the serious addiction results in the person being unable—

    (i) to understand that conduct constitutes an offence; or

    (ii) to control conduct which constitutes an offence; or
    s. 3

    (c) homelessness determined in accordance with the prescribed criteria (if any) where the homelessness results in the person being unable to control conduct which constitutes an offence;

    At the end of the 7 day period a sheriff can arrest you and bail you to the Magistrates' Court for a penalty enforcement hearing. You must appear at this hearing as you are on bail. Once attending the hearing (called a mention) and if you elect to contest the matter (sounds like you want to) then the matter will be adjourned to another date for a hearing. At the contest hearing you would present evidence to support your case. It is very unlikely you would be able to get out of the fine for the state election. You need to weigh up the time involved attending at least 2 court dates and sometimes sitting around court all day against paying a small fine. If found guilty in the Magistrates' Court you may have court costs added onto the fines.

    Good luck
     
    John R likes this.

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