Penalty Notices and Court Attendance Notices


What is a Penalty Notice?

A penalty notice is an on the spot fine issued for minor offences that fall within schedule 4 of the Criminal Procedure Regulation 2017 (NSW). The police have the discretion to issue a penalty notice pursuant to section 333 Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) ‘the Act’. Under section 334 of the Act a penalty notice is a notice to the effect that, if the person served does not wish to have the matter determined by a court, the person can opt to pay the outstanding amount of the prescribed penalty. A penalty notice can be viewed as a get out of jail free card, pay the penalty and your free from the court. Avoiding the court can appear like a savour to some as it enables them the opportunity to escape getting a criminal record.


What is a Court Attendance Notice?

A court attendance notice (CAN) pursuant to section 50 of the Act is a formal letter to a person that has been charged with a more serious criminal offence notifying them to attend court to have the matter heard. There are numerous criminal charges that can result in a CAN being issued. A CAN will outline when and where you need to attend court. A CAN issued whilst you are under arrest will usually have a bail decision (either by police or magistrate) attached to it. If you receive a CAN, you should immediately contact Walker Criminal Lawyers for professional legal advice.


What is a Field CAN?

A Field CAN is a small yellow piece of paper basically saying to go to court without any FACTS sheet attached. It is a quick type of CAN that police can issue while out in the field. Police can issue it to someone who is not under arrest or someone that was under arrest who is now being un-arrested  A Field CAN has no bail implications attached to it.


What is a Future CAN?

A Future CAN is just a CAN but it is a CAN issued for a future court date that is usually served on the person or the person’s legal representative. It does not have bail implications attached to it.



Criminal Procedure Regulation 2017 (NSW) sch 4.

Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) s 333.

Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) s 334.

Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) s 50.


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* Information contained in this article is of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as concise legal advice.
Please contact us for legal advice tailored to your situation. *

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