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What Are The Consequences Of A Conviction In Ontario?

“What are the consequences of a conviction?”  This is one of the most common questions that we get asked by defendants.  It is also one of the most important questions that you need answered if you have been charged under the Highway Traffic Act or the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act.  It is not uncommon that the police officer charging you may attempt to be helpful in trying to provide you information about the court process and the penalties that you are facing.  However, it is also not uncommon for that information to be incorrect.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common penalties that you need accurate information about in guarding your interests… 

COURT FINES

There are two main ways that you can be issued an offence notice.  The first is what people generally refer to as a “ticket” that goes to a Municipal Prosecutor.  The second version is a “summons” that goes to a Provincial Prosecutor.  

Tickets list the set fine for the offence plus the total payable fine that includes the victim fine surcharge and costs.  More serious offences with greater pending fines are issued by way of summons.  A summons does not list a fine.  The reason for this is that the offence will carry a range of fine with your actual fine being determined by the court should you be convicted.  Fines in these cases could range from a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars.

DEMERIT POINTS

The Ministry of Transportation upon receiving a notice of conviction from the court applies the conviction against your driver’s licence along with a demerit point penalty that ranges from 0 to 7 demerit points.  As you accumulate demerit points you will successively receive from the MTO:  a warning letter, then a notice of mandatory interview, and finally a notice of licence suspension.  Different licenes allow for different amounts of demerit points to be accumulated before triggering each of these consequences.

Novice drivers (ie.  G1 or G2) have to be exceptionally careful as a conviction for any single offence will result in escalated sanctions.  These penalties may either suspend your licence or cause it to be revoked.

CVOR POINTS

CVOR points are the MTO’s way to keep track of commercial motor vehicle operators.  When a truck driver receives a ticket where the company’s CVOR number is listed on the offence notice, the company will also be facing a record of conviction and possible CVOR points.

LICENCE SUSPENSION OR CANCELLATION

One of the worst things that can happen to a driver in Ontario is to either have their licence suspended or cancelled outright.  These penalties can either be issued as a court ordered penalty or be due to accumulated demerit points or escalated sanctions by the MTO.

With a full G licence, demerit points work as follows:

“2 to 8 points:
You will be sent a warning letter.

9 to 14 points:
Your licence could be suspended. You may have to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. At this meeting, you will need to provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended. […]

15+ points:

Your licence will be suspended for 30 days.”

For a novice driver (ie.  G1 or G2), demerit points work as follows:

“2 to 5 points:
You will be sent a warning letter.

6 to 8 points:
Your licence could be suspended. You may have to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. At this meeting, you will need to provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended. […]

9 or more points:

Your licence will be suspended for 60 days.”

IMPRISONMENT

Imprisonment is ultimately the strongest penalty that the court can apply against an Ontario driver.  Imprisonment is generally applied only for very serious offences or matters where prior convictions have already occurred for the same offence.

INSURANCE

While the Highway Traffic Act and the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act don’t list this under the various penalty sections…however…increased insurance costs are one of the most important reasons to protect your driving record.  Being uninsurable or being in a position where insurance is prohibitively expensive can take you off the road much longer than an MTO or court ordered licence suspension will.  The cost of increased insurance rates can also easily surpass the fine issued by the court.

GENERAL COSTS

Other costs that can come hand-in-hand with a ticket or summons can be:

  • Stress and anxiety over being charged by the police
  • Stress and anxiety over the pending consequences of a conviction
  • Loss of employment due to a conviction
  • Family arguments
  • Personal time and energy spent to deal with the offence 

MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS

If you are charged by the police, it is important to make informed decisions.  Understand what you have been charged with, what penalties will be incurred if you are convicted, and what can be done to protect yourself at court.

OTD Legal Services provides a no-cost, no-commitment initial consultation to provide you the basic information that you will need to make an informed decision.  Most matters can be reviewed by telephone in as little as 5 to 10 minutes.  If you have been charged, our staff can be reached by email or the toll-free number 1-844-647-6869.

Posted under Appeal, CVOR Points, Demerit Points, Professional Truck Drivers, Traffic Ticket Defence

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