Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Know the difference between fines and infringement fees

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The Citizens Advice Bureau can give people information on fees and fines. File photo

A fine is imposed by the court, whereas an infringement fee is imposed directly by a prosecuting authority such as the police or a local body.

In both cases, the penalty is imposed because a law or by-law has been broken.

The police may give you an infringement notice for speeding and the court could fine you a penalty for a criminal offence such as drink-driving.

If you have received a notice of infringement, it will clearly state how you can pay and the amount you have to pay and what payment options may be available.

This information will also be on the reminder notice.

If you have a notice of fine from the court, you can pay it:

  • At your local Post Shop or branch of Westpac Bank – bring your notice of fine with you;
  • In person at your local District Court, (with a credit, debit or Prezzy card) – have your fine number (PPN) handy;
  • By phone, with a credit, debit or Prezzy card, on 0800 434 637;
  • Online, with a credit, debit or Prezzy card;
  • Using Internet banking.

You can also pay your fine from overseas.

If you cannot afford to pay your infringement fine, you should contact the authority that gave you the infringement notice to arrange another option with them, such as paying in instalments from your wages.

If you received an infringement notice from the police, you will have to pay it in full.

If you cannot afford to pay your court fine you can also ask for more time to pay the fine, or for permission to pay by instalments.

If you do this, the court may ask you for details about your income, assets and spending.

Call 0800 4 FINES (0800 434 637) or visit your local District Court collections office.

  • This Solutions Column has been compiled by Vani and is a regular Times editorial from the Pakuranga Citizens Advice Bureau. Email enquiries.pakuranga@cab.org.nz or Visit us at the Library Building, Pakuranga, Phone 576 8331 and at Botany Citizens Advice Bureau, rear Food Court entrance, Botany Town Centre, Phone 271 5382 or 0800 367 222 for free, confidential and informative help.

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