Fines in Quebec - Accident while driving with no licence

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Fines in Quebec - Accident while driving with no licence

by: jaypeegee on
Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:39 am

My 19 year old son was involved in an accident last winter. He was driving the car but only had a learners permit. As a result he received multiple tickets (issued at the time of the accident) and had to attend court. In court he pleaded guilty, was fined an additional $1000. (Over and above the $1200 of tickets he was issued) and lost his licence for a year.

I have a couple of questions about this. My son has absolutely no money, he is receiving benefits and has no way of paying off any of these fines. Is there any way he can appeal or have the fines reduced? Yes he was stupid, but it is impossible to get blood out of a stone. What will be the further ramifications to him if he does not pay these fines?

In terms of the court fine imposed and the suspension of his licence - are these two things connected? He was given 18 months to pay the fine but as the licence was suspended for 1 year does this mean that potentially his licence will be reinstated prior to him paying off his $1,000 fine in full?

A third question is - does a conviction of this nature mean he now has a criminal record? If so and if he wants to apply for a pardon down the road does the three year waiting period start from the time he pays off the $1,000 court imposed fine?

All so confusing for me. I can not (and will not) bail him out any more financially but I would like to understand the full scope of the situation.

thanks for any advice on this
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by: Stanton on
Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:00 am

I base my answers on my knowledge of the Ontario Highway Traffic act and related provincial statutes, so its possible things may be different in Quebec.

Im not aware of any way to have fines reduced once the Courts have issued them. Typically accused have a chance to plead/explain their financial situation prior to sentencing, so the Justice of the Peace can tailor the fine to the accused. Failure to pay fines simply means your licence remains suspended. In Ontario you can go before the Courts and setup a payment plan. Keep making regular payments towards your fines and theyll reinstate you licence as you pay them off over time.

It doesnt sound like your son has a criminal record, but that would depend on his actual charges. You say he received an additional fine above and beyond the tickets. That makes me wonder if he was charged with criminal offences on top of the traffic ones. Criminal driving offences include dangerous driving, impaired and certain fail to remains. The only way to get a criminal record is to be charged with a criminal offence. Straight traffic (provincial) offences, even if they result in a suspension, do not result in any type of criminal record.

Again, it may be worth speaking with someone who deals with Quebec provincial matters as they may be able to better answer your questions.
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