What happens if you don’t touch off? Is there a Defence?

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$2.7 million… roughly the amount of a Toorak mortgage or the price of a beach house in Sorrento. It was therefore to Sarah Cole’s shock when she found her Myki was this amount in arrears during a recent top up. Ms Cole, an irregular commuter, has dismissed the figure as a system glitch, deciding to take no action if and until the Transport Department contacts her.

There have been other commuters however, that have taken a more proactive approach toward their Myki system grievances. In a recent article from the Age, it was revealed that not one Myki infringement case in the Magistrates Court had proceeded to a contested hearing where the accused has pleaded not guilty. This startling admission comes amidst reports that the Department of Transport received advice that Myki technology may not stand up to legal scrutiny due to repeated administrative errors and poor calibration on their behalf.

Andy Schmulow, an academic from Melbourne Law School described the Department’s tactic of pressuring commuters to pay on spot fines as a “bluff.” Mr Schmulow was recently hit with a Myki infringement fine despite topping up his card adequately a day earlier. Upon expressing his willingness to challenge the fine in Court, the infringement was quietly withdrawn. Success stories such as Mr Schmulow’s, point toward the effectiveness of legal action when commuters are given unjust infringement fines.    

If you or someone you know has been given a transport infringement fine you believe to be unjust, or is suspected of some other criminal offence, contact Melbourne Criminal Lawyer Rowan Skinner & Associates Lawyers today for a confidential discussion as to how we may be able to assist you.

Sources:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/commuters-bullied-into-paying-myki-fines-claims-julian-burnside-20150430-1mw60w

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/what-it-feels-like-to-owe-27-million-on-your-myki-20150612-ghm1mh