When can you request an internal review

You can request an internal review if:

  • You have "special circumstances"
  • You have "exceptional circumstances"
  • You think the fine has been given contrary to law (wrongly)
  • You were acting lawfully
  • There has been a mistake in identity: you weren't the person who committed the offence

Special Circumstances

Special circumstances are things that were affecting you at the time you were fined that meant:

  • you didn't understand that you were breaking the law; OR
  • even if you knew you were breaking the law, you couldn't control your behaviour or weren't able to make good choices (like if you had mental health problems or a serious dependency on drugs or alcohol)

Special circumstances are things like having an intellectual disability, a mental illness or disorder, a serious addiction to drugs or alcohol, experiencing homelessness, or experiencing family violence. 

If you are applying for special circumstances you should get a letter from a doctor or support workers. Click here for more information.  

Exceptional Circumstances

Exceptional circumstances are not defined. Generally, they are other things that impacted your behaviour or your ability to pay the fine. 

They are things like your age, experiencing poverty, financial difficulty, debilitating life events (such as acute illness), language or literacy difficulties and cultural differences. It is not enough that these things exist - you need to make a case that they should excuse your behaviour.

They can also be things that were outside of your control like a medical emergency or your car broke down. 

Exceptional circumstances can also include the relative gravity of the behaviour, whether it is your first offence or a first offence in a long time. 

If you can, include supporting documents that help establish that your behaviour should be excused because of your exceptional circumstances. 

The fine was issued contrary to law

You can ask for the fine to be reviewed if you did not break the law. Under the Victorian restrictions, this can include if you had a 'reasonable excuse' for breaching the restrictions. 

This can also include if the fine is invalid for some reason or the officer acted unlawfully, unfairly, improperly or outside of their authority.

If you apply on this ground, Victoria Police may consider whether the officer:

  • was authorised to issue the fine,
  • made a mistake, or
  • acted improperly or unfairly.

They may also consider whether Victoria Police has complied with their responsibilities. 

The Victorian 'Stay at Home' directions do not apply to people experiencing homelessness and who have not been given proper housing for the pandemic. Please call us if you have a COVID-19 fine and are experiencing homelessness, including if you are in emergency housing. 

You weren't the person who committed the offence

You can apply for a review if the fine has been sent to you by mistake. Or, if someone else was driving your car and got a fine but the fine has come to you: you can 'nominate' that other person. You can only do this when the fine is still in the 'infringement stage'.

If you are a victim-survivor family of violence and can't nominate the correct person please call us.


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