Thank you for the advice so far. I will update with the outcome next week.
- Came to court with a big envelope of photos and other evidence
- Asked prosecutor for a plea to TMC. She declined.
- During a recess the cop approached me and asked if I was sure to come to trial. I said yes and he asked if there's any way I'd plead guilty, to which I said only to a plea under the TMC. I told him the code 950-304.
- Cop told me bylaw offences don't go on the driving record (at least, he said he's been a cop for 14 years and has never seen one)
- Cop went to talk to the prosecutor, and then to one of the paralegals hanging around.
- Came back and said the prosecutor agreed to amend the charge to TMC. Also said the paralegal agreed that he has never seen a bylaw offence on a driving record.
- When my turn was called I pled guilty but something strange happened. The prosecutor said that the change does carry demerit points but they won't appear on the record.
- Judge, clerk, cop and I were all confused. If they don't appear on the record, then how does anyone know they exist?
- Nobody could really answer that question
- I could've gotten an adjournment but as I'm leaving the country in 10 days I decided to just plead guilty to the TMC offence and hope for the best.
- Fine was $65 including fees, under a bylaw instead of HTA. There shouldn't be anything on my driving abstract, the only question is what will happen to these two phantom demerit points...?
Maybe check your driving record in 1 or 2 months and let us know what, if anything, appears on it. Will interesting to see.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++
After the arraignment I went down to the prosecutors office and explained my situation to someone there (a clerk, possibly). He was also confused and called over a prosecutor who apparently knew more on the matter. That prosecutor said that oftentimes demerit points might appear on the abstract with no associated charge in cases like this, but he agreed that it rarely happens since it's up to the city to communicate these convictions to the MTO which they're often too busy to do.
He also said that in some cases there is a generic "bylaw offence" listed on the record but he hasn't seen anything like that in a long time.
In any case he suggested I check my driving record in month or so. I hope nothing'll come up (otherwise, I might as well have went to trial, lol)