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Settlement guide: How to get free legal advice when you get a fine

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Got a fine? You may not be aware of your options and the consequences if you don’t pay the fines. Here's everything you need to know.

What to do when you get a fine?

If you get a fine, don’t ignore it! Fines only increase over time and more penalties are added to the fine the longer you ignore it.

If you get a fine and you're not sure what to do, or you want to fight it or you would like the advice of an expert, get in touch with Legal Aid.

How to get free legal advice?

There's a Legal Aid in each state and territory, with solicitors ready to answer your questions.

They even have interpreters so you can speak to somebody in your own language.

Parking fine
There is free Legal Aid available when you get a fine and want to dispute it or have incurred penalties.

What to do in financial hardship?

Legal Aid can also assist you in particular situations, like serious financial hardship or if you're suffering from a mental illness, to access special programs.

There is special consideration under the law for people who can show that they don't have enough money to pay the fine, says Paula Novotna from Legal Aid NSW.

It can mean having a payment plan or clearing your fines with activities instead of money.

How to break the cycle of fine debt?

There’re different services to help you clear your fine debt.

For example Legal Aid NSW’s Work and Development Orders (WDO) program lets you pay off the debt with volunteer work, treatment programs, counselling, courses and other activities.

Even if you are not eligible you can still get help with overdue fines.

Dollar coins
If you have accumulated a debt, there are options availbale to help you pay it off.