by BJ  21/09/2021  0 Page Views
1 Comments  Criminal law, traffic matters, DUI, assault, theft, fraud
So, a few years ago (~2017/2018) I was escaping a domestic violence situation and moved into a sharehouse temporarily. I wasn't on the lease initially so I couldn't get a parking permit for the area for the first few months. It gets a little complicated, so bear with me... The ex housemate who I replaced, had left her car in the backyard for months, leaving no parking for me, and the majority of the street parking was metered. I got extremely sick and needed emergency surgery shortly after moving there, which meant my car was parked in the metered parking spot for at least 3-4 weeks while I was in hospital, with no parking permit. This of course got me multiple parking fines. My mental health was an absolute mess at the time, diagnosed CPTSD with major treatment resistant depression, memory problems, and a panic disorder from the abusive relationship situation. That plus the surgery + extended recovery lead to an opiate dependence, for which I went on a maintenance program. I know there were fines, and I know I tried to start an appeals process, but found everything extremely overwhelming and due to my mental health condition and general life situation, I honestly don't remember exactly when things happened, in what order, what I did, or what the outcome was etc. I know I didn't pay anything though, and I don't *think* I've heard anything from TMR or SPER about the fines, however, (1) my registration lapsed while I was recovering from surgery, so my car was given a new license plate number when renewed, and (2) I have since changed my legal name (for unrelated reasons) as well as moved house. So maybe they just haven't been able to reach me? Though I've kept my details current and updated with TMR. I have paid my rego and renewed my licence on time every time before and since. I received one speeding fine in maybe 2015/2016 and paid that. I've been fined for failure to vote twice over the years and paid those. I tend to avoid toll roads but whenever I have taken one, I've paid the toll immediately. I received a parking fine twice more recently (2019/2020), one I contested and it was waived, the other I paid immediately. That's all the fines I've ever received. So I think this at least shows I'm not a habitual offender. I've also never had a DUI or any other traffic offense or even legal trouble at all. I'm on the DSP and have a casual job doing minimal hours, my financial situation obviously isn't the greatest, so if it turned out these fines have just been silently wracking up overdue fees for the last 3-4yrs they would easily be ~$4000+, which would be a crippling amount for me. I'm quite scared that this could be damaging my credit rating, or that one day I'll just be arrested for unpaid fines, or they'll take what little savings I've managed to put aside, or seize and sell my car which I need for work and medical reasons, or start garnishing my pay leaving me without enough to cover my expenses. I'm also worried that if I were to call to enquire about this, I would 'poke the sleeping dragon', drawing attention to myself and then causing these things to happen. So I don't know what to do, or what could realistically be happening or happen to me because of this. Do parking fines eventually expire in QLD? It was such a messed up situation, could these be considered mitigating factors and that's why I haven't heard anything? Or is this potentially a ticking time bomb waiting to go off and ruin my life at any moment?