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The vast majority of provincial charges are laid under the Highway Traffic Act, but also include charges under the Tobacco Tax Act, Fire Protection and Prevention Act, Liquor Licence Act, Consumer Protection Act, Building Code Act, and many others.

What is the Provincial Offences Act?

The Provincial Offences Act (POA) is a statute (or piece of legislation) that sets out procedures for how to deal with offences under other provincial statutes, regulations and municipal by-laws. The vast majority of provincial charges are laid under the Highway Traffic Act, but also include charges under the Tobacco Tax Act, Fire Protection and Prevention Act, Liquor Licence Act, Consumer Protection Act, Building Code Act, and many others.

Do I have a criminal record when convicted of a provincial offence?

No, you will not receive a criminal record for a conviction under any act governed by the POA. However there can be very serious consequences depending on the nature of the charge. These can be heavy fines, restitution paid to hurt parties, demerit points, statutory probation, or even custody in rare cases (yes, jail!).

What should I do if charged with a provincial offence?

You need to first understand the statute (or Act) and its section under which you are charged. The specific language of the law is very important to determine if the charge is valid to your unique fact scenario. Aitken Robertson provides free consultations for this exact purpose.

What do I need to prove to beat my provincial charge?

Like any other matter before the court where the State has charged you with an offence (like a crime), you don’t have to prove anything. The onus lies on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the offence. It is your right to make full answer and defence to the charge. A legal representative’s job is to analyze the evidence to find that reasonable doubt.

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