Questions About Traffic Court
Do I have to attend court?
On simple traffic violation charges where you have instructed us to enter a plea of guilty to a reduced charge, it is not usually necessary to attend court.
In the case of traffic tickets such as speeding tickets, it is seldom that our clients are required to testify.
Where you intend to challenge the allegation against you then it is only you that can tell the court what happened. Your POINTTS™ representative is by your side to conduct the trial, defend your rights in the proceedings and make argument on your behalf. We cannot tell the court what happened.
Will an ex-cop attend court on my behalf?
Not necessarily. Of the more than 3,500 licensed paralegals in Ontario, there are not many that are ex-police officers. They are mostly now college graduates, of all age ranges, that have the education and qualifications required to be licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
In the POINTTS™ organization, there are several licensed paralegals that were police officers. Not only do they represent our clients in court, but they are now passing on their skills and experience to the next generation of paralegals.
How do I file the notice of intention to appear?
A person charged that wishes to request a court date MUST attend the court as indicated on the reverse of the ticket. There are only a very few courts left in Ontario that permits a trial request to be mailed in.
You stand in line to get to a wicket in order to ask for the form to request a trial. You take it away and fill it in at the tables provided. You then take it back to the wicket where the court clerk will probably tell you that a trial notice will be mailed to you in due course. Depending on the court location, this could take a few weeks or many months before the court administration decides what the court date will be.
Your POINTTS™ representative will manage all this for you. It is part of a professional service, no matter where the court is located in Ontario.
Can I plead guilty to my ticket with an explanation?
The Provincial Offences Act provides no such provision. Section 7 does permit a defendant to plead guilty, as charged and make submissions as to penalty.
An explanation may constitute a defence to the charge in which case the justice of the peace will not accept your plea of guilty and will adjourn the matter to have a date set for a trial.
A plea of guilty would be to the full amount charged. A justice of the peace has no authority to change the charge or the demerit points. Only the amount of the fine may be amended.
What is a plea bargain?
A plea bargain or plea resolution is the result of your experienced POINTTS™ Licensed Paralegal negotiating with a prosecutor, either on the scheduled court date or at a resolution meeting in advance of the court date. The purpose is to come to an agreement to reduce the original charge, the demerit points and/or the fine to which the client will plead guilty.
This is only done with the written consent of the client and that they fully understand the consequences of pleading guilty.
Is it true the prosecutor will offer me a deal if I attend court myself?
It could be. Anyone can represent themselves but, is it in their best interests. Is any deal offered, a good one? An offer may look good on paper, but is it? How would you know unless you have been given all the options, which a prosecutor will not do? A POINTTS™ Licensed Paralegal has the experience, knowledge and training to provide that to you.
It doesn’t cost you anything to call us. It could cost you plenty if you don’t.
If the prosecutor offers a deal, how do I know it is a good one?
You don’t. However, your POINTTS™ Licensed Paralegal, before accepting any resolution will ensure the prosecution is in a position to proceed with the case. They will know all the options in relation to your particular charge and may in fact recommend any offer be declined and conduct a trial instead. The decision is ultimately yours but you will be fully informed of all the consequences to be able to come to a decision that feels right for you.
What do Provincial Offenses Courts do?
The Provincial Offences Courts administer all matters that fall under the Provincial Offences Act. This includes:
- Receiving all charging documents from enforcement agencies, including parking tickets.
- Entering documents into the court computer system.
- Keeping a filing system for tickets.
- Receiving fine payments.
- Setting trial dates.
- Maintaining court dockets.
- Staffing the courts and keeping records of court proceedings.
- Reporting convictions to the Ministry of Transport and requesting licence suspensions.