What are my options once I receive a provincial offence ticket?
Within 15 days, you must choose one of the following three options:
- Option 1 – Plea of Guilty – Voluntary Payment of Total Payable
- Option 2 – Plea of Guilty – Submission as to Penalty
- Option 3 – Schedule a trial
If you do not exercise one of the three options within 15 days of receiving your Provincial Offences Notice, you will be deemed not to dispute the charge and a Justice of the Peace may enter a conviction against you. Upon conviction, additional costs will be added to the total payable. If the fine goes into default, an administrative fee will be added and steps will be taken to enforce your defaulted fine. For example, information may be provided to a consumer reporting agency and for certain offences, including speeding, your driver’s licence may be suspended.
By choosing this option, you are stating that you are guilty and you must pay the total payable as set out on your ticket.
Fine payments may be made either in person or by mail. If a partial payment is made, or if the defendant’s cheque is returned for insufficient funds, the fine will not be considered fully paid.
Walk-in guilty pleas occur every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. sharp (excluding holidays and court closures). This option is available to defendants who do not wish to dispute the charge, however, wish to plead guilty before a Justice of the Peace and make submissions as to penalty (e.g. amount of fine and/or time to pay)
You must attend in person at the court office designated on the back of your ticket. Time and dates are also listed. Upon your arrival at the court, you must register your name at the Administration Service counter. Staff will instruct you accordingly after you sign in.
Before pleading with submissions as to penalty, it is important that you understand what a Justice of the Peace can and cannot do when you plead guilty under this option. Remember, you are pleading guilty to the offence on your notice and not to any other offence.
The Justice of the Peace can
- Reduce the amount of the set fine
- Give you an extension of time in which you can pay the fine
The Justice of the Peace cannot
- Reduce the charge; e.g. a speeding charge of 20 kilometres over the limit cannot be reduced to 15 kilometres
- Remove or reduce the demerit points to be applied. Demerit points are applied by the Ministry of Transportation upon conviction and the court cannot change the demerit points to be applied.
If you wish to request a court date, you must sign the notice of intention to appear on the back of the ticket under Option 3: Trial Option. Any requests for trial may then be hand delivered or mailed, to the Court office and must be received by the Court within 15 days. A trial date will be set and mailed to you.
How many days do I have to respond once I receive a Provincial Offences ticket?
Please read and follow the instructions provided on the back of the yellow ticket (Offence Notice). Within 15 days, you must choose one of the following options:
What if I need more time to pay a Provincial Offences fine?
If you need more time to pay a fine, visit the Court Office noted on the back of your ticket and complete the Extension of Time to Pay form. Completed forms are to be filed with the Court Office. It will then be submitted to a Justice of the Peace for decision. You will then be required to contact the office to determine whether the extension is granted or not.
Why are there two amounts on my ticket?
One amount is the set fine and the second is the total payable. The total payable consists of the set fine, court costs and the victim fine surcharge.
Court costs are an amount to be paid by the defendant for the service of the offence notice and/or summons and upon conviction of an offence. The costs are authorized by Section 60 of the Provincial Offences Act and the amount is set by Regulation.
The Victim Fine Surcharge is imposed by the Provincial Government and is added to every fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act. The amount of the Victim Fine Surcharge varies based on the amount of the set fine. Proceeds from the surcharge are used to maintain and expand provincial services to victims of crime.
Will I be able to pay a parking ticket at the Provincial Offences Court?
No. Municipal parking tag infractions are dealt with and processed through the ServiceGuelph counter or Parking Office at City Hall, 1 Carden Street. Parking payments are accepted in cash, cheque, debit, VISA, and MasterCard. A drop box is also available for your convenience at 1 Carden Street.
Parking payments may also be accepted by phone at 1-877-678-8465 or through the online Parking Ticket Payment System.
What are provincial offences?
Provincial offences are non-criminal charges, issued pursuant to provincial and municipal legislation such as:
- Ontario Highway Traffic Act charges: speeding, careless driving, not wearing a seatbelt, etc;
- Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act charges such as failing to surrender insurance card, possessing an altered or invalid insurance card, etc;
- Liquor Licence Act charges such as being intoxicated in a public place, selling alcohol to a minor, etc;
- Trespass to Property Act charges such as entering premises when entry is prohibited, failing to leave premises after being directed to do so, etc;
- Municipal By-law charges pursuant to noise control, animal control, waste collection, etc.
Where do I appeal?
Appeal Forms and Information can be obtained from any Ontario Court of Justice Provincial Offences (Provincial Offences Court) or Criminal Court Office.
Make payments at a Provincial Offences Court Office before filing an appeal.
Request Transcripts at the Provincial Offences Court Office where the trial was initially heard.
Filing an Appeal
Appeal documents are to be filed as follows:
- Where the trial was held before a Justice of the Peace in a Provincial Offences Court, the Appeal is to be filed at the Criminal Court Office in the same jurisdiction; or
- Where the trial was held before a Judge in a Provincial Offences Court, the Appeal is to be filed at the Superior Court of Justice in the same jurisdiction.
How can I find out more information about filing appeals?
The Ministry of the Attorney General has developed a Guide to Appeals in Provincial Offences Cases, providing general information about court process for appeals under the Provincial Offences Act. The guide is available at ontariocourts.ca/ocj/self-represented-parties/guide-to-appeals-in-provincial-offences-cases/
How can I find more information?
The Ministry of the Attorney General has prepared the “Ontario Court of Justice Guide for Defendants in Provincial Offences Cases” that is now available on the Ontario Courts website.