The most informal proceedings in Provincial Court involve traffic and municipal bylaw matters. You can act as your own lawyer to dispute a traffic ticket for infractions like running a red light, speeding or parking violations. You can also dispute bylaw offences such as walking a dog without a leash.
The Provincial Court has jurisdiction (legal authority) in all traffic and bylaw offences, as well as all other provincial and municipal offences prosecuted under the Offence Act and the Local Government Act. Many of these offences are prosecuted by way of a violation ticket or municipal ticket information.
Judicial justices generally hear these cases. The judicial justice will explain and guide the hearing process but cannot give you legal advice. On your court date, be prepared to conduct your trial if you plead “not guilty”. If an issue under the Canadian Charter of Rights is raised the matter will be adjourned to another day for a Provincial Court judge to preside.
Generally, there is no Crown counsel - the police officer or bylaw enforcement officer acts as the prosecutor for the ticketed offence. In certain circumstances the law permits a police officer’s evidence to be submitted in writing by way of a certificate rather than in person. However, if you believe you will need to question the officer during your trial, you may ask the judicial justice to require the officer to attend.
Find out more about traffic and bylaw court issues and processes by using these links: