Frequently Asked Questions
Who Can Issue Provincial Offence (POA) Notices?
The following enforcement agencies in Windsor and Essex County can issue infraction notices (also referred to as tickets):
- Windsor Police Services (WPS)
- Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
- By-law Enforcement Officers
- Fire Department
- Ministry of Transportation
- Ministry of Environment
- Ministry of Labour
- Ministry of Natural Resources
- Ministry of Health
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
What Are The Different Types of Provincial Offence Notices?
There are three different types of Provincial Offence notices:
- Part I - a ticket that is issued to an individual
- Part II - a parking infraction (Note: These are not paid at our office. See Parking Enforcement at 1266 McDougall)
- Part III - a summons (including a court date)
What Options Do I Have When I Receive a Ticket?
Within 15 days of receipt of the Offence Notice (ticket), you must choose one of the following options below. If you fail to respond, you will be deemed not to dispute the charge and convicted.
Option 1 - Plea of Guilty
By choosing this option, you are stating that you are guilty and you must pay the total amount at the bottom of your ticket.
Option 2 - Early Resolution Meeting
This option offers you the opportunity to schedule a meeting with the prosecutor to discuss your charge(s). This meeting can be used to discuss a possible resolution of the charge or to request additional time to pay your fine. If you are unable to reach a resolution, a trial date will be set for you.
Option 3 - Trial Option (Not Guilty)
If you wish to plead not guilty, you or your Representative must attend in person at the Provincial Offences Court office shown on the back of your ticket to file a Notice of Intention to Appear. You will receive a notice of trial in the mail within a few weeks after we receive your request. Notify the office of any change in address so that your notice of trial goes to the proper address. If you do not receive a notice of trial in 3-4 weeks, contact the Windsor/Essex Provincial Offences office to confirm the status.
What Happens If I Don't Do Anything After I Have Received a Ticket?
Once 45 days has passed, the charge will be placed on a Fail to Respond docket and a Justice of the Peace will review the offence notices and may convict you in absentia. Once you have been convicted, it is too late to choose any of the options indicated on the back of your ticket.
Why Are There Two Amounts On My Ticket?
There are two different amounts shown on every ticket: the set fine amount and the total payable amount. The difference between these two amounts is called the Victim Fine Surcharge (VFS). The VFS is imposed by the provincial government and is collected by our office on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) and remitted directly to MAG. It is added to every fine that is given under the Provincial Offences Act (except parking fines). See schedule of how the VFS is calculated.
What Are My Payment Options?
There are many payment options available to you. See our Payment Options for more details. You can also pay at any Provincial Offences court location .
Can I Look Up the Status of my Ticket Online?
You can now go online to find out the status of your case, find out how to pay your ticket or fine or request to meet with a prosecutor to discuss a solution before going to trial. Visit Ontario.ca/ticketsandfines to find out information about most tickets and fines issued under the Provincial Offences Act.
How Do I Apply For More Time to Pay?
If you need more time to pay your fine, you can visit your Provincial Offences Court office and complete an Extension of Time to Pay form or print this form online and fill out. When the form is completed, it must be dropped off in person at the Windsor/Essex Provincial Offences office. It will be submitted to a Justice of the Peace for review.
Note: Notification of the approval or denial of the extension application is not sent to you, and it is your responsibility to contact the POA administration office within 3-5 business days to request this information.
What Further Actions Can a POA Take If I Don't Pay My Ticket?
The Provincial Offences court will pursue further collection efforts against an offender to ensure that all fines are paid in full. In addition to our internal collection efforts, these actions include, but are not limited to adding the fine to property taxes, sending fines to third party collections, garnishing wages and bank accounts, putting liens on properties and suspending licenses. Additional administrative fees, interest, court fees and penalties may also be added.
Do I Need A Lawyer If I Choose to Challenge My Case in Court?
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. The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) offers various services to the public, including "Finding a Lawyer or Paralegal." The Law Society of Upper Canada's Lawyer and Paralegal Directory also allows you to search for lawyers and paralegals by name, city or postal code.
Note: Please be aware that the Windsor/Essex Provincial Offences office will not provide advice or promote or endorse any lawyer or agent under any circumstances.
I Can't Attend My Trial. What Should I Do?
As soon as you are aware that you can't attend your trial, contact your court office where the trial is scheduled. A request for adjournment requires that a Notice of Motion be served by you on the prosecutor and the enforcement agency giving three days notice. You can have an agent appear and speak on your behalf and provide the court with your reasons why you cannot be present. The Justice of the Peace may still choose to proceed in your absence.
What Happens If I Miss My Trial Date or Meeting With Prosecutor?
If you miss your trial date or meeting with the Prosecutor, you will be convicted in your absence.
- If you were initially given an Offence Notice (Part 1 ticket), you may attend at the convicting court office and complete reopening papers within 15 days of becoming aware of the conviction. The papers will be put before a Justice of the Peace who will then consider the reasons for your failure to appear at trial or early resolution meeting. The reopening may or may not be granted
If granted, you will receive a new Notice of Trial or Early Resolution Meeting Notice by mail. It is your responsibility to advise the court of any change to your mailing address
If it is not granted, the conviction will stand. You cannot appeal the decision denying a reopening but you may appeal the original conviction.
- If you were served with a Summons, there are two possible outcomes.
The trial may take place in your absence, and you may or may not be convicted. If you were convicted at a trial where a Summons was served, a reopening is not available, but again you may appeal the conviction or
A new trial date may be selected, and you will not be provided with any further information
What is Disclosure? How Do I Order Disclosure?
Disclosure is a copy of the evidence that the prosecutor and/or police have collected in order to prosecute your case. It is your constitutional right to know the evidence that will be used against you.
You can visit the Windsor/Essex POA office and fill out a Request for Disclosure form. In order to minimize any delays, you should apply for disclosure as soon as possible.
What Happens If I am Found Guilty?
You will be sentenced. Your sentence could include a fine, probation, court order, by-law related order, licence suspension, imprisonment or any combination thereof.
How Do I Appeal My Conviction?
You must file an appeal 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.
Appeal documents may be obtained directly from the Windsor/Essex Provincial Offences office, from the Ontario Court of Justice, or via our online forms.
Will I Be in Court All Day If I Am Scheduled For a Trial?
Be prepared to be in court all day, as there can be a number of cases before your case.
My Licence Is Suspended For Unpaid Fines. How Can I Get it Back?
Contact your local Provincial Offences Act Court office to determine if there are any outstanding fines. Pay all outstanding fines in full. Three to five business days after the payment is made, go to your local Ministry of Transportation (MTO) office and pay a reinstatement fee. The Provincial Offences office has no authority to waive this fee. The Ministry of Transportation will advise when you can drive.
Note: Failure to receive notification by mail of your conviction and/or suspension notice does not constitute grounds to dispute your license suspension.
How Many Demerit Points Will I Receive Once I Am Convicted?
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) administers and determines demerit points. For driver and vehicle information, call the MTO office at 1-800-303-4993 or visit their website.