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Questions Concerning the Provincial Act

  1. What is the Provincial Offences Act?
    Answer
  2. What are Provincial Offences?
    Answer
  3. What do POA offices do?
    Answer
  4. Why is the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville responsible for POA court?
    Answer

    Questions Concerning Your Charge

  5. How can I pay my fine?
    Answer
  6. Where can I pay my fine should I wish to pay in person?
    Answer
  7. I received a ticket. How many days do I have to respond and what are my options?
    Answer
  8. Why are there two different dollar amounts on my ticket?
    Answer
  9. Where can I pay a parking ticket?
    Answer
  10. After conviction, what if I need more time to pay a fine?
    Answer
  11. What happens if I do not pay a fine?
    Answer
  12. Can I serve time in jail rather than pay a fine?
    Answer
  13. I have very old fines. Do I still have to pay them?
    Answer
  14. How do I find out if I have any outstanding fines?
    Answer
  15. How can I have outstanding fines if I was able to renew my vehicle permit (i.e. sticker) for my licence plate?
    Answer
  16. My fine is several years old. Why am I just getting notified now?
    Answer

    Questions Concerning Consequences to Your Driver's Licence Upon Conviction of an Offence

  17. I have questions about demerit points. Where can I get them answered?
    Answer

Answers

Questions Concerning the Provincial Act

Question 1 - What is the Provincial Offences Act?

The Provincial Offences Act is most commonly known as POA. It is a procedural law for administering and prosecuting offences including those committed under the Highway Traffic Act, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, the Liquor Licence Act, the Trespass to Property Act and all other provincial legislation; municipal by-laws; and minor federal offences. The Provincial Offences Act governs all aspects of the legal prosecution process, from serving an offence notice to an accused person, to conducting trials, including sentencing and appeals.

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Question 2 - What are Provincial Offences?

Provincial Offences are non-criminal offences created through statutes and regulations by the province. Common provincial offences include (but are not limited to):

  • The Highway Traffic Act (e.g. speeding, careless driving, failing to wear a seatbelt, etc.);
  • The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (e.g. driving without insurance, failing to surrender an insurance card, possessing an altered or invalid insurance card, etc.);
  • The Liquor License Act (e.g. being intoxicated in a public place, selling alcohol to a minor, etc.);
  • The Trespass to Property Act (e.g. entering premises when entry is prohibited, failing to leave premises after being directed to do so, etc.).

Although municipal by-laws (e.g. noise control, animal control, waste control, property standards, parking, etc.) and minor federal offences are not provincial offences, they are administered and prosecuted under the Provincial Offences Act.

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Question 3 - What do POA offices do?

POA offices across the province perform a variety of functions including:

  • processing POA charges (e.g. a traffic ticket);
  • accepting fine payments and maintaining financial records for convictions;
  • staffing the administration office and court room;
  • scheduling trials;
  • scheduling interpreters for court as required;
  • processing walk-in guilty pleas, re-opening applications, extensions of time to pay fine applications, etc.;
  • collection enforcement of outstanding fines;
  • answering general inquiries.

Our POA Prosecutor prosecutes most charges.

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Question 4 - Why is the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville responsible for POA court?

In 1997, Bill 108 - The Streamlining of Administration of the Provincial Offences Act was enacted and provided the framework for the transfer of responsibility of all courts administration and court support functions under the Act, and prosecutions of matters commenced under Parts I and II of the Act, from the Ministry of the Attorney General to Ontario municipalities. On October 30, 2000, this responsibility was transferred by the province to the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville for all geographical areas within Leeds Grenville. On November 6, 2000, the Counties went "live" in POA operations. The Ministry of the Attorney General still retains responsibility for all other court services including criminal, youth, family, and civil (e.g. small claims court) matters.

 


 

 

Questions Concerning Your Charge

Question 6 - Where can I pay my fine should I wish to pay in person?

You can pay your fine in person by debit card, cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, cheque*, money order, or bank draft at the POA office.

*Cheques that do not clear the bank will be subject to an administrative charge which will be required to be paid in addition to the fine.

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Question 7 - I received a ticket. How many days do I have to respond and what are my options?

You have 15 days from the day you receive your ticket to choose one of the following three options that are also explained on the reverse of your ticket.

  • Option 1: Plea of Guilty - Voluntary Payment of Total Payable
  • Option 2: Plea of Guilty - Submissions as to Penalty
  • Option 3: Request for Trial

Link to Ticket Options

Question 8 - Why are there two different dollar amounts on my ticket?

Two different dollar amounts are shown at the bottom of tickets - a set fine and a total payable. The total payable is the set fine plus a provincially mandated "Victim Fine Surcharge" and administration fee. The "Victim Fine Surcharge" goes into the Province's Victims' Justice Fund account and is used to provide services to support victims of crime (e.g. Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services, the Victim/Witness Assistance Program, and Child Victim/Witness Centres). It does not provide victims with monetary compensation.

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Question 9 - Where can I pay a parking ticket?

Please refer to the reverse of your parking ticket for payment location information and payment options.

All City of Brockville parking tickets are always payable to the City.

Initially, all parking tickets from the Town of Gananoque, North Grenville (Kemptville), Merrickville-Wolford, and Town of Prescott are payable to the municipality where you received your ticket. If you have not paid your parking ticket usually within a 60 to 75 days, the ticket then gets filed with our office and payment must then be made here and a late fee will apply. If a parking ticket gets filed in our office, a "Notice of Fine and Due Date" will be mailed to you.

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Question 10 - After conviction, what if I need more time to pay a fine?

Partial payments on a fine can be made at any time providing that the total amount owing is paid in full on or before the due date. If you are not able to pay the total amount owing by the due date, you may apply to a Justice of the Peace for an extension of time to pay before the due date to avoid any further costs. A "Motion for Extension of Time to Pay Fine" application may be downloaded from this website, be completed by you ensuring that all information is current including address and telephone number, and then returned to this office. A Justice of the Peace will either grant or deny this request and they look much more favourably on your application if you've already made partial payments. Our office will advise you in writing as to whether more time has been granted by the Justice of the Peace for you to pay your fine.

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Question 11 - What happens if I do not pay a fine?

Collection enforcement will occur if you do not pay a fine. This can include:

  • driver's licence suspension;
  • collection agency assignment with associated costs;
  • Credit Bureau reporting;
  • further court action resulting in the issuance of a writ of seizure and sale of property and/or garnishment of wages and bank accounts.

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Question 12 - Can I serve time in jail rather than pay a fine?

No, serving jail time in lieu of paying a fine is not an option.

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Question 13 - I have very old fines. Do I still have to pay them?

Yes, fines are court orders, are never written off, and remain owing until paid. There is no statute of limitation when it comes to outstanding fines. Fines are not like a consumer debt and do not go away after a certain period of time. Even if you claim bankruptcy, your fines are still owed.

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Question 14 - How do I find out if I have any outstanding fines?

Call or visit the POA office to find out if you have any outstanding fines registered against you. If possible, have your driver's licence available so staff can be of better assistance to you.

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Question 15 - How can I have outstanding fines if I was able to renew my vehicle permit (i.e. sticker) for my licence plate?

Having outstanding fines, other than for parking, has no bearing on your ability to renew your vehicle permit.

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Question 16 - My fine is several years old. Why am I just getting notified now?

In all likelihood you have moved several times and the contact information that we had on file for you was not current. Upon receiving updated contact information, we always attempt to communicate.

It is a debtor's responsibility to provide updated contact information at all times.

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Questions Concerning Consequences to Your Driver's Licence Upon Conviction of an Offence

Question 17 - I have questions about demerit points. Where can I get them answered?

Our office has no control over demerit points. The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) can answer all of your questions as they administer the demerit points system. MTO can be reached through their website here or by calling 1-800-387-3445.

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