Can a paralegal charge more if case becomes more involved?

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Can a paralegal charge more if case becomes more involved?

by: UnluckyOne on
Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:57 pm

I won't get into the specifics of the case, but the paralegal's defense for me involves showing up for my trial date and pointing out to the prosecutor that a serious error has occurred with the charge (which could involve the issuing officer being charged with lying on the summons), and basically saying this should be dismissed in order to avoid this from occurring. My paralegal says they will either throw out the ticket at that point, or they will correct the error that occurred (don't ask, but according to the circumstances it IS possible) and order a new trial date with the correction made and then proceed. At this point I will be charged with the original offense, but then he will take it to appeal. He also said something about filing an 11a (which is not the 11b which has to do with having a trial in a reasonable amount of time, so I'm not too sure what this means). If this occurs, the paralegal says that he will charge me another $800 because this isn't covered under the original $600 I had to pay for the original offense (and another possible up to $200 for court documents!?!). Sorry if my situation is a bit vague or confusing, which in most part is due to my lack of knowledge concerning anything legal, but all I'm really asking in this case is, does it seem proper that he charge me another $800 to see this case to the conclusion. It doesn't seem right to me even though more work is possibly going to be involved - shouldn't the original fee cover it? Just wondering what other paralegals have to say. Thanks for your time.
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by: jsherk on
Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:06 pm

Lawyers and paralegals can charge what they want pretty much. It's our great Canadian justice system that allows true justice for all that can afford it. Once I paid paralegal $500 for trial then another $1500 for appeal.

I am not sure what "serious error" mean but you should read up on Fatal Errors ... if there is a Fatal Error on the ticket, then you should NOT got to trial (and not have anybody attend for you) and if the JP sees the error they will drop the charge. If the JP does not see the error, then you can then appeal based on fatal error and have it dropped. As long as nobody shows up for trial on your behalf, then a trial has not actually taken place and the prosecutor can NOT amend/fix the ticket. If you or paralegal go to trial and there is a fatal error on the ticket, the prosecutor can amend/fix it on the spot and then they say "thanks for pointing out our error" and then go on with trial and you get charged and you cannot appeal the fatal error anymore because they were allowed to fix it at trial. Also if they amend/fix it at trial then there is no more "officer lied on the summons issue" either (because they fixed it). And if the officer did lie on the summons and you can prove it, that is a separate charge against the officer that does not have anything to do with your charge.

I am just making assumptions here that a "serious error" is a fatal error, which of course it might not be, but either way it is usually a bad idea to point out to the prosecutor problems with their case as you have now given them a heads up to what they need to either fix or address in their case.

Can you post a copy of your Offence Notice (with license plate blacked out and officers name blacked out and your personal information blacked out)?
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++
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