I want to dispute a fine
If you receive an immediate collection and you do not agree with the fine, you have the right to dispute it. It is possible to argue based on facts.
The prosecution will accept or refuse the challenge and decide whether or not you have to pay the fine. You can contest the fine in two ways: by paper or digitally.
- For the latter option, you surf to the justice website indicated on the amicable settlement. You have to log in to the website with a digital key (e.g. your eID) and click on the 'Contest your fine' section. There, you can submit the form digitally (and dispute the facts or explain mitigating circumstances (e.g. force majeure) there - and upload any supporting documents). You can then track the status of your dispute yourself via the "History" button on the website.
- If you want to do it on paper, it is valid if the form is correctly completed, signed and sent to the address indicated on the amicable settlement. You can attach any supporting documents as well.
If the prosecution accepts your challenge, the case is considered settled and terminated.
If the prosecution refuses your challenge, you are obliged to pay the fine. If you do not pay them, the prosecution will continue the proceedings and you therefore risk an increased fine. If you still do not pay it then, you will be summoned to the police court.
Do I need a lawyer?
If you do not pay the amount of the amicable settlement or contest the offence, you will have to appear before the police judge. In that case, do not hesitate to seek advice and assistance from a lawyer to defend yourself. They will be able to explain and contest the facts in a structured way in court.
In that case, be sure to check whether you have legal aid insurance. This may be in a separate policy or as an extra section in your car insurance policy. If so, the costs of your defence in court by a lawyer of your choice may be covered.
Do keep in mind that if the police judge sentences you, the fine will be multiplied by the legal 'opdeciemen'. A fine of 50 euros is then multiplied by 8. Add in court costs and the amount can run high. So think carefully before accepting or contesting a fine that is actually already an out-of-court settlement.
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