What are Provincial Offences?
These are offences committed within the Province of Ontario and governed by the Provincial Offences Act which is the legislation that dictates the rules, regulations and procedures of administration, enforcement and prosecutions of all statutes that fall under its umbrella. They are non-criminal charges issued by enforcement agencies that include, but are not limited to, those committed under the following statutes:
- Highway Traffic Act (eg. speeding, seatbelt infractions)
- Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (driving without insurance)
- Liquor Licence Act (eg. underage drinking, public intoxication)
- Trespass to Property Act (entering premises when prohibited)
Who can issue Provincial Offences Notices (tickets)?
There are several enforcement agencies in Hastings County who can issue notices including;
- Ontario Provincial Police
- Belleville Police Service
- Stirling Rawdon Service
- Tyendinaga Reserve Police
- Military Police – CFB Trenton
- Fire Departments
- Municipal By-law – Licensing, Building and Property Standards Enforcement Officers.
- Enforcement Branches of Provincial Ministries i.e. Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Natural Resources etc.
- Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit
Why are there two amounts on my ticket?
Two different dollar amounts are shown at the bottom of every ticket for the set fine and the total payable. The difference between the two amounts is called a Victim Fine Surcharge. It is imposed by the provincial government and added to every fine issued under the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge proceeds are used to maintain and expand services to victims of crime.
What if I need more time to pay a Provincial Offences fine that has already been convicted?
Complete the form requesting an “extension of time to pay the fine”. Include your ticket information, how much you have paid to date and the specific date you would like it extended to. The form is submitted to a Justice of the Peace. You can obtain this form online or at your local Provincial Offences office.
I received a notice of fine and due date. Why is the amount on my notice more than the amount on my ticket?
Failure to pay by the due date results in additional court fees. Once the fine is transferred to collections it accumulates additional fees making the amount on your notice more than the amount on the original ticket.
I don’t agree with the outcome of my trial, how do I get a new one?
If you are convicted at your trial and you don’t agree with the Justice of the Peace’s decision, you can file an appeal. Complete and submit the applicable appeal forms within 30 days from the date of conviction to the Ontario Court of Justice at 15 Bridge Street West, Belleville. You will be mailed a Notice of Time and Place of Hearing for Appeal. Please contact your local Appeal Office at 613-962-3468 for further details.
I just found out that my driver’s licence is suspended. Why? How do I get it back?
If you failed to pay your fine by the due date, and haven’t requested a time extension to pay, your driver’s licence will be suspended and a $20 fee is added to your fine. You will be notified of this suspension by a courtesy letter from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). In order to get your driver’s licence back you will first need to visit any Provincial Offences Court Office and pay all outstanding fines holding it under suspension. Wait three to five business days and then go to the Service Ontario office in your area and pay the $180 reinstatement fee. This fee is payable directly to MTO and Provincial Offences Clerks have no authority to waive this fee unless an error has occurred in the transmission of information to MTO. The Ministry of Transportation will advise when you can drive.
Do I have outstanding fines and how much in fines do I owe?
Call or visit the Provincial Offences Court Office to find out if you have outstanding fines and how much you owe. Be sure to have the offence notice number or your driver’s licence ready so staff can better assist you.
What if I need more time to pay a Provincial Offences fine that was sent to the Collections Unit?
If you need more time to pay a Provincial Offences fine that is with the Collections Section, call us at 613-966-0331 or 1-800-510-3306 or visit us at 235 Pinnacle St., 3rd Floor, Room 302, Belleville. You are required to complete the prescribed form for an extension of time to pay. When the form is completed, it must be given to our office, and it will be submitted to a Justice of the Peace.
How many demerit points do I have?
The demerit point system is administered by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). For driver and vehicle information call the MTO office at 1-800-303-4993
How can I have outstanding fines if I was able to renew my sticker for my plate?
Sticker renewal only renews your vehicle plates for parking infractions. It does not affect your driver’s licence.
Can I go to jail instead of paying my fines?
No, this is not an option.
What does the Collections Unit do?
The Collections Unit collects all fines in default. The Collections Unit is mandated to recover outstanding fines for all civil enforcement activities.
My ticket is several years old, why am I just getting notified now?
The County of Hastings accepted the transfer of responsibilities for Provincial Offences in June of 2000. With the transfer came a large backlog of defaulted fines. As a result, The County implemented a Collections Unit which has been actively working on reducing the backlog.
If I chose to challenge my charge in court, do I need to get a lawyer? Will Legal Aid be available to me?
It is your choice to be represented by a lawyer or agent but it is not a requirement. You may represent yourself in the Provincial Offences Court. However, if you choose to be represented by a lawyer or agent, it is a requirement that they attend court on your behalf with written authorization from you. In most Provincial Offences matters Legal Aid is generally not available. However, you may attend at the Legal Aid office to determine eligibility. Duty Counsel is not provided in the Provincial Offences Court.