If you have been issued a penalty notice or fine from the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO), you should obtain legal advice so that we can advise you on your rights of appeal and review.

Penalty Notice Lawyers in NSW

Our Criminal Law Team can assist you with matters related to a penalty notice, we have the experience and expertise necessary to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.

We’ve been defending the people of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast and the Hunter region since 1969 and have helped our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes in all Criminal Law matters.

We are used to dealing with the Police and Revenue NSW, and know all the ‘ins and outs’ of the Courts and Justice system.

If you have received a penalty notice, contact our Criminal Law Team today to book a teleconference or appointment. We’ll fight vigorously to protect your freedom and rights.

How do I deal with a penalty notice?

Certain offences within NSW are ‘fine only offences’ which means that the maximum penalty that may be imposed is a fine.

Penalty notices are usually dealt with, in the first instance, by the Office of State Debt Recovery.

Certain penalty notices or requests for review can now be made online through the Office of State Debt Recovery website.

If you wish to contest a penalty notice, time limits apply and you should ensure that your application is filed as soon as possible.

Upon an application being made, the matter will thereafter be transferred to the Local Court of NSW, where a Local Court Magistrate will thereafter decide your case. Generally, Briefs of Evidence are not provided in penalty notice matters and, accordingly, it is in your best interests to obtain legal representation early because if you are unsuccessful in contesting the matter before a Court, the majority of penalty notice matters attract fines in excess of the penalty notice issued by the Office of State Debt Recovery or other Prosecuting Authority.

What will happen if I make a request for review?

When you contest a penalty notice by filling out a request for review application form, there are three possible outcomes:

Penalty to Stand

Your application was not successful. You must pay the fine or elect to have your matter decided in Court. At this point, you will have 28 days to decide whether or not you want to pursue your matter further in Court.


The penalty notice issued to you was done so correctly, however, due to the unique circumstances outlined in your application, you will only be issued with a caution (warning). Payment of the fine is not required and you will not lose any demerit points, however the caution will still appear on your driving history.

See Also: Traffic Law – Common Offences & Penalties


Your application was successful. This is the best possible outcome. The penalty notice either did not sufficiently disclose the offence or it had been issued in error. Payment of the fine is not required and you will not lose any demerit points. Nothing is recorded on your driving history.

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