Provincial Offences Court - Frequently Asked Questions

General Information
What are provincial offences?
What services are provided?
Do I need a lawyer or paralegal?
Can I get Legal Aid?

Accessibility
How do I request accommodation?

Provincial Offence Notices
What are the different types of provincial offence notices (tickets)?
I don't understand exactly what the charge means - how can I find out more information?
How many days do I have to respond once I receive a ticket?
What options do I have if I receive a Part I Notice (ticket) with an amount payable?
Why are there two amounts on my ticket?
What does it mean when I receive a ticket (Part I Summons)?
Can I request an interpreter?
What happens if I don't do anything after I have received a ticket?

Payments
How do I pay my ticket?
What will happen if I don't pay my fines?
Can I pay a parking ticket at a provincial offences court office?
Can I serve time in jail rather than paying my outstanding fines?
Can I get more time to pay a ticket?
Does bankruptcy impact my fines?
What does the collections office do?

Trials/Appeals
What should I do if I cannot attend on my trial date?
What is disclosure?
How do I order disclosure?
What happens if I am found guilty?
I requested a trial and did not receive a Notice of Trial - what should I do?
How do I file an appeal?
Can I appeal without paying my fine?
Can I file an appeal more than 30 days after conviction?
Do I require a transcript for an appeal?

Demerit points/licence suspensions
Will I receive demerit points if I am convicted?
How can I receive more information about the current status of my driving record?
My licence has been suspended, what should I do now?
How long will it take for my licence suspension to be reinstated?
I changed my address with the Ministry of Transportation - why was my notice not sent to my address?
I tried to renew my licence plate, but I was told that I have an outstanding fine - what should I do?

Complaints
How do I make a formal complaint?

 

What are Provincial Offences?

Non-criminal offences including (but not limited to):

Most provincial offences result in out-of-court fine payments. If a provincial offence ticket has been issued to you, read it carefully for a complete list of payment and/or trial options.

What services are provided?

  • Telephone and walk-in counter service
  • Respond to general enquiries about provincial offences
  • Accept payment of provincial offence fines (except parking fines)
  • Schedule trials and early resolution meetings
  • Process re-openings and extensions of time to pay fines
  • Prosecute provincial offences
  • Provide disclosure
  • Enforce unpaid fines

Do I need a lawyer or paralegal?

No. Refer to guide.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Contact your local Legal Aid office.

What are the different types of provincial offence notices (tickets)?

  • An offence notice (total payable shows on ticket) (view sample)
  • Summons (requires defendant to attend court) (view sample)
  • A parking infraction (contact issuing municipality) (view sample)
  • A summons (requires defendant to attend court) (view sample)

I don't understand exactly what the charge means - how can I find more information?

For more information about your charge, click here and select "search consolidated law".

How many days do I have to respond once I receive an offence notice (ticket)?

You have 15 days from receipt of an offence notice. If you fail to respond you will be deemed not to dispute the charge, and may be convicted in your absence, without notice.

What options do I have if I receive an offence notice (ticket) with an amount payable?

Option 1 - Plea of Guilty - Voluntary Payment of Total Payable
Voluntary Payment of Total Payable by choosing this option, you are pleading guilty, and you must pay the total payable at the bottom of your ticket. You can pay the fine on line at paytickets.ca, by mail to 3 Cross Street, Welland, ON L3B 5X6, or in person at any Provincial Offences Court location in Ontario. Cheques should be made payable to The Regional Municipality of Niagara.

Option 2 - Early Resolution - Meet with Prosecutor
This meeting can be used to discuss a possible resolution of the charge. The court will issue a notice to you of the date, time, and location of your meeting. To ensure proper delivery of court notices, it is your responsibility to notify the court of any change in address. If you are unable to reach a resolution at your meeting, you can request a trial, or alternatively plead guilty to the charge and pay your fine. You must attend your meeting. If you fail to attend your meeting, you may be convicted in your absence. If you require an interpreter, indicate your preferred language and dialect on the back of the ticket.

Option 3 - Trial Option
By choosing this option you are pleading not guilty. You or your Representative MUST attend in person, at the Provincial Offences Court office shown on the back of your ticket to file a Notice of Intention to Appear. To ensure proper delivery of court notices, it is your responsibility to notify the court of any change in address. If you do not receive a Notice of Trial within six weeks, contact the provincial offences court office to confirm the status. If you require an interpreter, indicate your preferred language and dialect on the Notice of Intention to Appear.

Why are there two amounts on my offence notice (ticket)?

There are two different amounts shown at the bottom of your ticket - the set fine and the total payable. The total payable includes the set fine applicable, Victim Fine Surcharge, and costs.

What does it mean when I receive a summons?

You must appear in court on the date and time assigned. If you do not attend, a trial will be scheduled in your absence without any further notice to you.

Can I request an interpreter?

Yes. When choosing Option 2, indicate your preferred language and dialect on the back of the offence notice. When choosing Option 3, indicate your preferred language and dialect on the Notice of Intention to Appear.

What happens if I don't do anything after I have received an offence notice (ticket)?

A Justice of the Peace will review the ticket, and may convict you in your absence.

How do I pay my ticket?

Method of Payment Payment Options Where
In person Varies by court location

Niagara accepts cash, cheque, money order, VISA, MasterCard and debit

At any Ontario provincial offences court location
By mail VISA, MasterCard, cheque, money order 3 Cross Street
Welland, ON L3B 5X6
Telephone VISA, MasterCard Note: we accept payments for Niagara fines only
Online VISA, MasterCard paytickets.ca

What will happen if I don't pay my fines?

  • Additional costs will be applied
  • Your driver's licence may be suspended
  • Your fine may be referred to a collection agency
  • Your credit history may be affected
  • Your wages and/or bank account may be garnished
  • A lien may be placed on your property
  • Your fine may be added to your property tax bill

Can I pay a parking ticket at the provincial offences court office?

No. In Niagara, parking tickets must be paid at the Municipality that issued the ticket.

Can I serve time in jail rather than paying my outstanding fines?

No.

Can I get more time to pay my fine?

Complete the Motion for Extension of Time to Pay the Fine and forward to a provincial offences court location in Niagara.

A Justice of the Peace will review your motion, and you will be notified of the decision. If you do not receive notification within two to three weeks, it is your responsibility to contact our office to obtain the decision.

Does bankruptcy impact my fines?

No.

What does the Collections Office do?

The collections office enforces court orders by pursuing payment of all unpaid fines. Call 1-800-756-9477 or email poacollections@niagararegion.ca if you would like more information about how to resolve your unpaid fines.

What should I do if I cannot attend on my trial date?

Contact a provincial offences court location in Niagara

What is disclosure?

Disclosure is a copy of all information which will be used by the prosecutor at trial.

How do I order disclosure?

  • For offence notice (ticket) obtain and submit a Request for Disclosure form
  • For a summons, request disclosure from the prosecutor on your first court date

What happens if I am found guilty?

  • The Justice of the Peace will impose sentence
  • Your sentence could include a fine, probation, court order, by-law related order, driver's licence suspension, imprisonment, or any combination thereof.
  • What will happen if I don't pay my fine?

I requested a trial and did not receive a Notice of Trial - what should I do?

If you have not received your Notice of Trial within six weeks of your request, you should contact the court office.

How do I appeal a Niagara provincial offence?

Will I receive demerit points if I am convicted?

Demerit points are administered by the Ministry of Transportation. More information

How can I receive more information about the current status of my driving record?

More information

My driver's licence has been suspended - what should I do now?

Contact the Ministry of Transportation, Driver Control at 1-800-303-4993 to determine the reason for the suspension.

If your licence is suspended due to unpaid fines, all outstanding fines must be paid in full unless an Extension of Time to Pay your fine(s) has been granted by the Justice of the Peace.

Your driver's licence may be suspended for reasons other than outstanding fines. If so, contact the Ministry of Transportation, Driver Control at 1-800-303-4993.

Once your licence is eligible to be reinstated, you must pay a reinstatement fee of $150 to the Ministry of Transportation.

How long will it take for my driver's licence suspension to be reinstated?

Contact the Ministry of Transportation

I changed my address with the Ministry of Transportation - do I need to change it with the provincial offences court as well?

Yes, the provincial offences court database is not linked to the Ministry of Transportation database. It is your responsibility to provide the Ministry of Transportation and the provincial offences court office of any change of address.

I tried to renew my licence plate, but I was told that I have an outstanding fine - what should I do?

Pay outstanding amounts at Service Ontario.
For information regarding parking fines, contact the municipality that issued the ticket.
Contact 407ETR fees for information regarding outstanding fees.

How do I make a formal complaint?

For complaints concerning:
Justice of the Peace Contact the Justice of the Peace Review Council.
Administration Contact Anne Rose, Supervisor, Court Administration at anne.rose@niagararegion.ca or 905-687-6590 ext. 26
Prosecution Contact Jackie Foley, Senior Prosecutor at
jackie.foley@niagararegion.ca or 905-734-7880 ext. 228
Collections Contact Diane Chase, Supervisor, POA at diane.chase@niagararegion.ca or 905-734-7880 ext. 227

Accessibility

If you or someone that you represent requires services or accommodation in one of our courthouses, contact:

Anne Rose
Supervisor, Court Administration
905-687-6590 ext. 26
anne.rose@niagararegion.ca

You should make your request for accommodation as far in advance as possible in order to allow the court time to review your request, and to make arrangements for the accommodation. It may not be possible to arrange for some types of accommodation unless enough advance notice is provided. A minimum of two weeks notice is recommended.


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