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This question already has an answer here:

I don't know if anyone can be helpful, but, I ve just received this 670$ fine from the NT. I stayed for 3 days in Darwin and cracked one small firecracker, and got caught by the cops. (I know its very silly)
Not saying that I wondn't mind paying the fine, but 670$ is a bit excessive isn't it? I'm leaving the country in 7 days and I literally have no money on me. What do you think would happen at the airport if I don't pay that fine?

Because I was just on holidays (WHV) I didn't have a permanent address though they sent it to my home in Europe.

marked as duplicate by Mark Mayo, Vince, Karlson, Gagravarr, Aditya Somani Sep 3 '14 at 2:38

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    @MeNoTalk not knowing the law is no excuse for not complying with the law... – jwenting Sep 2 '14 at 13:44
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    Aus, USA and most other countries consider ignorance to NOT be an excuse of the offense for almost every crime. – Mark Mayo Sep 2 '14 at 14:05
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    @pnuts "oh, I didn't know it wasn't allowed to behead people I don't like" would be a valid excuse and as long as you're adamant about it there's nothing anyone can do to prove otherwise... Still like allowing the claim you didn't know about a law being an excuse for breaking it? – jwenting Sep 2 '14 at 14:44
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    Do you plan on going back to Aus in the future? Because if you are and you end up with a conviction for not paying fines your not going to get a visa. – Liam Sep 2 '14 at 15:17
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    We're going way offtopic here, but there was a rather interesting murder case in Indonesia a while back where the defendant, a tribal man from deepest Papua, made the argument that revenge killings were permitted in his tradition and he didn't know murder was a crime. IIRC, this did not cut the mustard with the judge, and he was found guilty anyway. – jpatokal Sep 3 '14 at 0:50
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Nothing will happen (at the airport).

  1. The penalty for your offense is only a fine, there's no arrest warrant or anything out for you.
  2. Fines have a due date by which they must be paid. If you're leaving in 8 days, you will almost certainly leave before the fine becomes due.
  3. Australia is a federal state. You've broken Northern Territory law and were fined by Northern Territory police, but Immigration is run by the federal government, and NT fines are not their problem.

All that said, you should still pay the fine. If you don't pay up, it will start racking up interest and court charges etc, and it may come back to haunt you if they go to collections, you return to Australia for any reason, and you find yourself needing credit, traveling in the NT, etc. You may not have plans now, but who knows what will happen in the future?

Last but not least, if you think $670 is excessive, consider that the maximum penalty for illegal use of fireworks is 40 penalty units @ $149 each, or almost $6,000!

  • Thank you! In the fine it says that i used fireworks instead of firecrackers but are fireworks and firecrackers the same? How can we know its illegal when 2 days before bunch of people were cracking some on the streets? 670$ is still excessive for a traveler like me... – unlucky Sep 2 '14 at 23:12
  • Sentence 1 of this answer totally contradicts sentence five? In sentence one, did you mean "... AT THE AIRPORT, WHEN LEAVING" ... ?? – Fattie Sep 3 '14 at 8:29
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    firecrackers are fireworks. – Fattie Sep 3 '14 at 8:29
  • @JoeBlow: What contradicts what? The question was "What will happen at the airport?", and I've listed three independent reasons why the answer is "nothing". – jpatokal Sep 3 '14 at 11:05
  • Sentence 1 says "Nothing will happen." Your paragraph which begins "All that said..." explains in detail all the horrible things that will happen. Does your first sentence refer to the issue "at the airport" ..? – Fattie Sep 3 '14 at 12:40

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