Fatal Error?

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Fatal Error?

by: markB on
Thu May 16, 2013 12:58 pm

I received a ticket for driving under suspension. The summons says "contrary to the Highway Traffic Act Section 53" even though it should say s.53(1)
If I dont fight it and Im found guilty can I appeal it based on London v. Young. And If I appeal it do I have to go to court or can I send a Paralegal. (I might be out of the country for a year)


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by: daggx on
Thu May 16, 2013 2:19 pm

Unfortunately London vs. Young only applies to tickets issued under part 1 of the Provincial Offences Act. Summonses are issued under part 3 of the Provincial Offences Act and are not covered by the London vs. Young ruling.

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by: Stanton on
Thu May 16, 2013 6:04 pm

As stated above, fatal errors don’t apply when you receive a summons. Unlike regular tickets, there’s no out of Court settlement where you can just pay a set fine and be done.

In fact not showing up can be very problematic. If you fail to attend Court for certain offences like yours, it could result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. While not a common practice, it’s a possibility and something to be mindful of.

More likely the Court will simply proceed with an ex parte trial (a trial in your absence). The Justice of the Peace will enter a not guilty plea on your behalf and the Crown will present their case. As you can imagine, with nobody present to cross examine witnesses or raise possible defences, it’s typically quite easy for the Crown to get a conviction. And then your sentence will be decided in your absence, so you’re unlikely to get any breaks in terms of fines, additional suspension, etc.

It’s really in your best interest to attend Court. If you don’t have a serious record and attend as required, typically the Crown will offer you some type of deal. Even if you go to trial and lose, you’re much more likely to get a break from the Justice of the Peace in terms of your sentence if you’re actually present. If you will be out of the Country, then I'd definitely hire someone to represent you.

I’d also point out that even if fatal errors were applicable to summons, no subsection is required with your charge. Section 53 is correct.

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by: bend on
Thu May 16, 2013 8:31 pm

I'm just going to repeat what everyone else has said. You received a summons, not some pay and go ticket.

Your fine/penalty hasn't been determined yet. Take it seriously or they'll take it seriously for you.

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