skip to content
Law Handbook banner image

Fine Enforcement

A person who owes court fines is treated in a similar way to an ordinary debtor. The Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit manages the collection of fines and court costs.

In order to avoid additional costs associated with late payment of fines you must either:

  • Pay in full by the due date; or
  • Negotiate payment by instalments with the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit prior to the due date on the notice.

If you are unable to meet the suggested instalment plan then you can seek an extension of time to pay or vary the period for payments by instalment (over up to 12 months) after payment of a prescribed fee [Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 (SA) s 70(1)].

In addition to an extension of time or payment by instalments there are other arrangements available under section 70(3) which include:

  • (a) payment by instalments (including instalments paid over a period exceeding 12 months);
  • (b) an extension of time to pay;
  • (c) the taking of a charge over land;
  • (d) the surrender of property to the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer;
  • (e) payment of any amount, including by direct credit, by or through some other person or agency (eg deductions from an ADI account or wages);
  • (f) any other form of arrangement agreed by the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer and the debtor

Non-payment of fines

If you have previously been subject to an enforcement action (if you previously have not paid fines within the time period) or are an undischarged bankrupt, the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer may refuse to make arrangements to pay by instalments or other alternative methods of repayment. In these cases, and in cases of non-compliance with a payment arrangement, the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Officer has wide ranging powers to enforce the debt, including:

  • seizure and sale of assets (s 70K);
  • garnishing of wages or bank accounts (s 70L);
  • suspension of driver’s licence (s 70M);
  • restriction on transacting business with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles ( no applications made by a debtor for renewal of licence or payment of registration will be processed until the fine is paid) (s 70N);
  • clamping or impounding of motor vehicle (s 70O);
  • dispose of vehicle seized under s 70O if uncollected (s 70P);
  • publication of names of debtors subject to enforcement action (s 70Q).

Community services orders as an alternative to payment are restricted to cases of hardship, see Community service orders.

Penalties  :  Last Revised: Thu Apr 19th 2018
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.