What is the Provincial Offences Act?
The Provincial Offences Act is a provincial statute that sets out procedures for the prosecution of offences under other provincial statutes and regulations and municipal by-laws. Under a Memorandum of Understanding, municipalities are responsible for the administration of courts hearing Provincial Offences Act (POA) matters and the prosecution of certain POA cases on behalf of the Attorney General.
The Ontario Court of Justice hears virtually all provincial offences matters as well as offences against municipal by-laws. Examples of such cases include:
- Highway Traffic Act charges such as:
· Cell phone tickets
· Careless driving
· Fail to remain
· Red light tickets
· Prohibited turn tickets
· Stop sign tickets
· Speeding tickets
· Suspended driving
· Stunt driving tickets
- Municipal by-law charges relating to excessive noise, animal control, or garbage disposal;
- Charges laid under provincial legislation such as the Environmental Protection Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Dog Owners’ Liability Act, and the Trespass to Property Act.
When you receive a Provincial Offences ticket, the first inclination is to want to just pay it and make it go away. This is the wrong thing to do as you may be faced with serious penalties, such as jail time, high fines, license suspension, increased insurance rates, increased demerit points, and a bad driver’s abstract report. When convicted of a driving offence, the conviction will appear on your driver’s licence history (abstract) for three years from the date of conviction.
Demerit Points System
You don’t lose demerit points, you gain them! You start with zero and gain points when convicted of breaking certain traffic laws. Demerit points stay on your record for two years from the offence date. If you collect enough points, you risk losing your driver’s licence.
How our paralegals can help you:
- File your ticket for a court date
- Appear at your first attendance (if you have received a summons)
- Order police notes (disclosure)
- Argue any resolution before setting for trial
- Prepare arguments in your defence in order withdrawal or reduce your ticket to a lesser offence
- Represent you in court until matter is completed
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