What are the three different types of provincial offences notices?
a) Part I - A ticket issued by a provincial offenses officer, for which you have 15 days* to respond by choosing one of the following three options:
1. Plea of Guilty- Payment Out of Court: If you choose this option you are pleading guilty and you pay the total payable amount indicated on the bottom of the ticket. Fines can be paid either in person or by mail to our office:
County of Lambton
Court Services Department
150 N. Christina Street, Box 1060
Sarnia, ON N7T 7K2
Payments may be made by cash, personal cheque, money order or visa & master card. If paying in person, you also have the option of paying by debit card.
* - In Lambton County, you are provided 30 days total to responde to your offence notice.
2. Plea of Guilty with an explanation: If you choose this option you are pleading guilty to the offence but you wish to explain your financial circumstances to the Justice of the Peace in the hope of a lesser fine amount or longer time to pay. You must attend at the Provincial Offences Office, 150 N. Christina Street, Sarnia, on Thursdays only at 9:00 a.m. sharp. The Justice of the Peace cannot reduce the charge when choosing this option and the demerit points remain the same. The Ministry of Transportation applies the demerit points upon conviction and the court cannot change this.
3. Trial Option (Not guilty): If you wish to plead not guilty or plead guilty to a lesser offence you must sign your name under option 3 and mail the ticket (or drop it off) at the County of Lambton Court Services Department. You will receive a notice of trial in the mail within one to six weeks. Please notify the office of any change in address so that your trial notice is mailed to the appropriate location. If you do not attend your trial, you will be deemed not to dispute the charge and will be sentenced in your absence and court costs may be applied.
b) Part II - Parking infraction
c) Part III - Summons to attend court: These charges are more serious offences. The fine amount will be set in court by the Justice of the Peace. If you do not attend court, you could be fined in absentia or a warrant issued for your arrest, depending on the charge.
What does it mean when I receive a ticket (Part 1 Offence) with a court date written on the bottom of my ticket but no fine amount?
When there is no fine amount written on the ticket, you must appear in court on the time and date assigned. If you do not attend, a trial could be scheduled without your presence and a conviction registered. Don't delay!
In general you should always follow the instructions on the ticket for the plea you wish to make, and act promptly. If you don't answer the ticket in the time allowed, and it relates to a charge under the Highway Traffic Act, your driver's licence can be suspended.
Why are their two amounts on my ticket?
The set fine and the total payable that appear at the bottom of every ticket, are two different amounts. The set fine is the regulated amount for the offence and the total payable amount includes a Victim Fine Surcharge. This surcharge is imposed by the Provincial government and is added to every fine given under the Provincial Offences Act. Proceeds from the surcharge are used to maintain services to victims of crime. You are reqired to pay the 'Total Payable', which includes the Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs.
I need more time to pay my fine. What can I do?
If you have already been convicted of the offence and need more time to pay you must visit a Provincial Offences Office and file form 125 - Motion under Subsection 66(6) for Extension of Time to Pay Fine (often referred to as an extension application). Once the form is completed you must then forward it to the Provincial Offences Office which processed your original ticket. A Justice of the Peace will review your application and will either grant or deny your request.
I wish to choose Option 2 on the back of my ticket. What do I do?
To plead guilty with an explanation you must enter a guilty plea. A Justice of the Peace may, based upon your explanation as to your ability to pay the set fine amount, lower the fine, give you more time to pay, or both. The Justice of the Peace cannot change the demerit points. You must attend at the local office in the jurisdiction where the ticket was issued during the times and dates printed on the ticket.
Do I need a lawyer or paralegal if I plead 'not guilty'?
It is completely your decision as to whether you hire a lawyer or paralegal. Once your trial has been scheduled you will have the opportunity to speak with the Municipal Prosecutor (for a Part 1 matter) by calling 519 332-2513 ext. 2231 on Wednesdays between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only to discuss your case. For Part 1 matters that are related to commercial motor vehicles, please follow the instructions included in your Notice of Trial to contact the appropriate Prosecutor.
How do I file an appeal of the court decision?
You must file an appeal on a Part I and Part III matters within 30 days of the conviction date. The fine must be paid in full or an application to file an appeal without paying the fine must be completed before filing the appeal. If you are past the allotted time, you may also apply for an extension of time to appeal under Section 85 of the Provincial Offences Act. A Provincial Judge must grant both the application to file appeal without paying the fine and the application for extension of time to appeal. These documents can by picked up at any Provincial Offences Office. To learn more visit the Appeals / Transcripts page of this website.
My driver's licence was suspended for non-payment of fines. Once I pay my outstanding fines, how long will it take for my licence to be re-instated?
When all outstanding fines are paid in full, it takes three to five working days to re-instate your driver's licence. You must also pay a re-instatement fee to the Ministry of Transportation (Service Ontario) before you will be re-instated. To learn more about how to re-instate a licence with Service Ontario once fines have been paid in full, visit Service Ontario.
The notice of Fine and Due Date has a different amount than what the Justice of the Peace said in court? Why?
The amount stated by the Justice of the Peace is the set fine only and does not include the additional Victim Fine Surcharge. The Victim Fine Surcharge is an administrative charge imposed by the Provincial Government and is added to every fine, along with a nominal administrative fee.