You qualify for special circumstances if you:
- Had a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness, including anxiety and depression; rendering a person unable to understand or control the conduct that causes the offending.
- Had a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or volatile substance; including marijuana or alcohol, as well as drugs such as heroin, ice, speed or ecstasy.
- Were homeless; living on the streets, did not have a stable place to live for a long time or were couch surfing.
The law says you may not have to pay your fines if you were experiencing a special circumstance when you got the fine and you found it difficult to avoid breaking the law.
This means you:
- Could not control your behaviour when you broke the law
- Did not understand that you had broken the law.
In order to qualify for special circumstances you must:
- Have a mental health condition or addiction or be homeless
- Explain how this condition or circumstance caused the infringement
- Provide evidence to support your claim.
Nothing in the definition of special circumstances is to be taken as limiting any power of the Court to consider the circumstances of any person.
Doogue O’Brien George defence lawyers have been successful in arguing special circumstances for matters which do not strictly fit within these guidelines.
You should contact us to discuss further if you are unsure if you could qualify for special circumstances.