Seeking Leniency For Penalty Notice In NSW


The concept of appealing an infringement notice is not technically accurate, as it involves seeking a review of a penalty notice with the goal of having Revenue NSW withdraw and/or caution the offence in question.


When your fine is being reviewed by Revenue NSW, your personal circumstances will be taken into account. Therefore, it is important to inform Revenue NSW if there were any extenuating circumstances that led to you receiving the fine, including if you have a clean driving record spanning 10 years.


To ensure that your request for a review of an infringement is processed, it is crucial to adhere to the designated time limits and submit supporting documentation as required. In addition, there are types of offences that are ineligible for review and therefore you should know your alternative options that are available.


There are three primary categories for requesting a review of an infringement notice:


  1. If you believe the notice was issued in error;
  2. If you have extenuating or special circumstances that affected the offence; and
  3. If you are seeking leniency based on your good driving record.

If someone else was driving the car at the time, do not to request a review of the infringement notice, but rather nominate that person. This can be done online at www.revenue.nsw.gov.au. Failure to nominate another driver may result in demerit points being deducted from you. After a certain period of time, the nomination may no longer be reviewed or reversed.

Which Infringement Types are not Eligible for a Caution to be issued by Revenue NSW?

Certain types of infringements may not be eligible for a caution to be issued by Revenue NSW. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:


  1. Serious or severe offences: Offences that are considered serious or severe, such as reckless driving, speeding excessively over the limit, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or other similar offences;
  2. Repeat offences: If you have previously received a caution for the same offence within a certain time period, Revenue NSW may not issue a caution for a repeat offence;
  3. Offences with specific penalties: Some offences may have specific penalties mandated by law, and Revenue NSW may not have the authority to issue a caution for such offences. For example, offences that require mandatory license suspension or cancellation;
  4. Offences involving injury or harm: Offences that involve injury or harm to others, such as accidents resulting in injury or damage to property; and
  5. Heavy vehicle, school zone, speeding over 20km/hr and mobile phone offences are ineligible.

The eligibility for a caution may vary depending on the specific circumstances and regulations in your jurisdiction. It’s best to refer to the guidelines provided by Revenue NSW or seek legal advice from a criminal defence lawyer for accurate and up-to-date information on which infringement types are not eligible for a caution to be issued.

Request Review of Penalty Notice Sample Letter

Here is a review of penalty notice sample letter. This is only a sample and it should be used only as such. It is a guide that will assist you in drafting a letter for a review of the fine that has been issued against you.


[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State ZIP Code]



Revenue NSW

[Address of Revenue NSW]


Dear Sir/Madam,


Re: Request for Review of Penalty Notice No. [Penalty Notice Number]


I am writing to request a review of the penalty notice referenced above that I recently received from Revenue NSW. I believe that there are extenuating circumstances that warrant a review and reconsideration of the penalty imposed.


[Explain the reason for the review request in detail. Provide relevant information such as the date, time, and location of the alleged offence. If there were any mitigating factors or exceptional circumstances that led to the offence, include them in your explanation. Be concise, clear, and provide supporting evidence if available.]


I request that Revenue NSW consider my explanation and supporting documentation in light of the circumstances I have outlined. I believe that the penalty notice was issued incorrectly, and I am seeking a review with the hope that the penalty can be withdrawn or reduced.


I am aware of the time limits for requesting a review and have attached all the necessary supporting documentation as required. I understand that Revenue NSW has specific guidelines for reviews and that not all offences are eligible for review. However, I respectfully request that my case be considered on its merits.


I have a clean driving record of [number of years] years, and I am committed to maintaining safe driving practices. I am willing to cooperate fully with any further inquiries or provide additional information if necessary.


I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to a prompt response. Please contact me at the address or phone number provided above if any further information or clarification is required.


Thank you for considering my request for a review of the penalty notice.



[Your Name]

[Mobile Phone number]

What Occurs Following the Submission of NSW Infringement Notice Review?

After your request for review of the fine has been reviewed, it may be resolved in one of the following three ways by Revenue NSW:




This means that your request for a review has been rejected. The penalty notice remains valid, and you are required to either pay the fine or elect to have it determined by a court.




If you receive a caution, it means that you are not required to pay the fine, and no demerit points will be added to your driving record. However, the caution for the offence will be recorded on your traffic record.




The fine has been determined to be issued in error and has been cancelled. No payment is required, and no demerit points will be incurred as a result.

What are the Next Steps if my Request for an Infringement Review is Denied?

If your request for a review of an infringement notice is denied, you have two options: you can either pay the fine or elect to have it determined by a court. However, taking a fine to court comes with risks. If you are not successful in contesting the infringement, it may end up costing you more than the value of the fine itself.


If you are found guilty or plead guilty in court, the court has no authority over demerit points. Demerit points will be applied by the relevant road authority, and the court cannot prevent or reduce the number of points applied. In fact, the maximum penalty that a court can impose is often higher than the amount on the infringement notice. Additionally, the court may also impose court costs and has the option to disqualify your licence in certain circumstances. A guilty verdict in court may also result in a conviction being recorded on your record.


The only way to avoid the fine and demerit points is if you are found not guilty in court, or if the court decides to proceed without recording a conviction such as a conditional release order. It’s important to carefully weigh the risks and potential costs before electing to have an infringement determined by a court, and consider seeking legal advice from experienced traffic lawyers in Sydney.

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