What to Expect at Traffic Court Hearings

Do you feel anxious and uncomfortable when you are required to attend Traffic Court because of a ticket or a charge?

Usually this is due to the unfamiliar environment, a lack of understanding of the process and the uncertainty of whom to ask for assistance or someone to guide you through the process.

Reading this short summary of the Guide For Defendants In Provincial Offences Cases; Spring 2012; which was taken from the Halton Court Services’ website will give you an opportunity to be more informed and to become more familiar with the process.

(Note: This summary has been edited slightly for clarification to the reader who is not trained or experienced, or familiar with legal terminology.) Continue reading

Letters of Reference

Today, employees are using every resource available to land a job.  One resource frequently relied upon is the letter of reference. A good report from a previous or present employer whose opinion is respected can go a long way to influence a potential employer. To demand a letter of reference from a reluctant past or present employer may have a negative response from a potential employer.   Are employers obligated to provide a letter of reference? Continue reading

Ignore Unpaid Fines At Your Own Risk

It is not wise to ignore unpaid traffic or parking tickets older than fifteen days (see (1) below) as the courts can take the following action against you:

  • your driver’s licence may be suspended (see (5a) below);
  • a warrant may be issued for your arrest if you are evading payment (see (6) below);
  • if you are brought before a Justice, the Justice will determine if you are unable to pay the fine within a reasonable period. However, you must convince the Justice that this is the case (see (9) and (10) below);
  • if the Justice is unconvinced that you cannot pay the fine within a reasonable period, the Justice does have the option (even though rarely used at this time) to imprison you to a maximum of 90 days (see (14, (16) and (17) below). Continue reading

Gathering Witness Statements

In Small Claims Court, the judge makes rulings based on the believability of the evidence presented.  The majority of evidence is in the form of sworn verbal statements made by witnesses in front of the judge.  These witnesses can be any of the persons involved in the court case. These witnesses can also be persons who have no interest in the outcome of the court case but have relevant knowledge about what led up to the court case. Therefore, it is a good idea to have written statements prepared beforehand by persons who may be asked or required to testify at a trial. Continue reading

Be Fully Informed When Attending Early Resolution Meetings in Traffic Court

In 2012, a new procedure was introduced in the Ontario Highway Traffic Court. If you receive a traffic ticket (Offence Notice), you (the defendant) will find printed on the back of the form “OPTION 2 – Early Resolution – Meet with Prosecutor”. This option allows you to meet with the prosecutor to reach an agreement to plead guilty to the ticket you received or to plead guilty to a lesser charge (see Note 1).  Pleading Not Guilty is not permitted in Option 2.

This new procedure may create some difficulties for unrepresented defendants (those people who want to deal with the ticket themselves) for the following reasons: Continue reading