Provincial Offence Act
Final Exam Review
1. Initial Interview
- Gather all information that may be relevant to both trial and sentencing. - If the client is calling from a police station, ensure privacy, and gather as much information as possible from the officer-in-charge. - Does the client wish to be interviewed in the presence of a third person? - Consider that the solicitor-client privilege may no longer apply and the third person could be forced to testify about the interview. Documents to obtain:
- documents served on your client
- all relevant correspondence and notes
- employment and business records
- photographs or diagrams
2. What to first look at when your client advises you that he has been charged The Provincial Offences Act is the procedure by which offences under other provincial Acts and certain federal regulatory offences governed by the Contraventions Act (Canada) are prosecuted. Refer to the Charging Act and compare its wording with the charges laid against your client. Recognize the illegal “acts” alleged. Background Questions: Obtain and accurately record the following background details from your client: 1. Name, date of birth, address and telephone number(s)
2. First language- would an interpreter be helpful?
3. Marital Status, with names and ages of spouses and any children – does the client support dependants? 4. Immigration status and residence history.
5. Education history and plans
6. Employment history and sources of income.
7. Ability to pay fines and your fees.
8. Mental and/or physical health and treatment
9. Criminal and/or provincial record of offences (or other relevant governmental record of misconduct, with explanations if any.) 10. Bail, probation, or other court or administrative orders or agreements in effect, with contact person to confirm compliance, if necessary. 11. Charges outstanding.
12. Character references – does your client want family, friends or employer to know of the charges? Allegations: Obtain and accurately record the following details about the allegations against your client. 1. Client’s version of the allegations and evidence.
2. Co-defendants? Get details.
3. Steps taken to comply with the law (reasonable care).
4. Steps that could have been taken, with reasons for not doing so. 5. Industry standards for reasonable care.
6. Was the client impaired by alcohol or drugs? Was anyone else impaired? 7. Did the clients impede the investigation?
8. Names, phone numbers and addresses of all potential witnesses, both favourable and unfavourable. 9. Details of all contact with the authorities, and whether rights (such as the right to counsel) were given. 10. Date, time and place of next court appearance.
3. Corporate Clients: Interview Requirements
- Both individuals and corporations can be charged under various provincial offences. - Determine the current directors, officers and shareholders of the corporation. Obtain their names, phone numbers and addresses. - Determine the directors and officers in the latest filing at the Companies and Personal Property Security Branch of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services under the Corporations Information Act. Obtain their names, phone numbers and addresses. - Review corporate minutes book.
- Consider corporate by-laws and resolutions.
- Who are the directing minds of the corporations?
4. Provincial Offences: Jurisdiction of Court
Ontario Court of Justice, the jurisdiction is in Ontario, provincial offence matters, Justice of the Peace Presides over the court. 5. POA: maximum fines
Part I of the POA – Minor Offences
Most minor offences (including traffic tickets but not parking tickets) are prosecuted by a certificate of offence. The maximum fine is $1,000 (unless fine is set out in and there is no imprisonment: section 12(1). The defendant must be personally served within 30 days of the alleged offence with either a summons or an offence notice: section 3(3). If a summons is...
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