The offender levy is an administrative fee to help pay for law enforcement and administration costs.
If you’re sentenced in the Supreme, District or Magistrates Court, you need to pay the offender levy. (This doesn’t apply to child offenders.)
The levy is payable on each sentencing event whether or not a conviction is recorded. For example, if you were sentenced on 1 October 2016 in relation to four charges, only one levy would be applied.
The levy is not an order of the court and doesn’t form part of any sentence imposed by a judge or magistrate.
You can’t appeal the levy or convert the levy payment to community service.
If you go to court diversion for a minor drug offence, you still have to pay the offender levy.
Paying the levy
The offender levy is set under the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2015, s. 10.
The levy amount is currently:
- $344.30—if the sentence is imposed by the Supreme Court or District Court
- $114.80—if the sentence is imposed by a Magistrates Court.
You can pay the levy at the court registry on the day it’s applied. Otherwise, you can pay it through the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) - they will send you an enforcement order advising how and when to pay the levy.
If you don’t pay the levy by the due date on the enforcement order, SPER may take enforcement action against you.
If all your charges are dealt with at the same time before the same judge or magistrate, you will be charged only one levy.
However, if your charges are dealt with at two separate sentencing events (e.g. some at District Court and some at Magistrates Court, even on the same day), you will be charged two levies.
You won’t be charged an additional levy if:
- your sentence is re-opened
- you apply for a re-hearing
- you appeal your conviction and/or sentence.
Appealing your conviction and sentence
You don’t have to pay the levy if you’ve lodged an appeal against your conviction and sentence.
If your appeal is completely successful and all convictions relating to the sentencing event are overturned on appeal, the levy will be removed/refunded.
If your appeal against conviction isn’t entirely successful, you will have to pay the levy if you haven’t done so.
Additionally, if you appeal the sentence only and the sentence is changed (e.g. the original sentence of 12 months’ probation is overturned and a new sentence of $500 fine is imposed), you still have to pay the levy if you haven’t done so.
Querying the levy
If you believe the levy has been applied incorrectly, (e.g. two levies were applied where there should have been one), contact the registry of the court that applied the levy.