Understanding what happens when an officer makes a mistake on a ticket is crucial, as it can impact your defense strategy. Here’s a breakdown of the implications:

1. Irrelevant Mistakes:

  • Potential Distraction: Not all mistakes on a ticket are relevant to your defense.
  • Focus on Key Issues: Prioritize your energy on mistakes that are crucial to your defense rather than getting sidetracked by minor, irrelevant errors.

2. Amendable Mistakes:

  • Provincial Offences Act: Sections 34 through 38 of the Provincial Offences Act grant the Crown or prosecutor the authority to amend tickets.
  • Correction Process: Minor errors can be corrected by the Crown making a motion to amend the certificate (ticket).
  • Purpose: The primary goal is to ensure that the actual facts of the case are presented before a judge, allowing for a fair assessment.

3. Fatal Mistakes:

  • Rare Instances: While most mistakes can be amended, there are a few instances where mistakes may be considered fatal and cannot be corrected.
  • Strategic Consideration: Focus on mistakes that, if proven fatal, could potentially lead to the dismissal of the ticket.

4. Professional Consultation:

  • Seek Guidance: If you have concerns about mistakes on your ticket, consult with professionals like OTD Legal.
  • Case Assessment: Professionals can assess the relevance of mistakes, guide you on potential defense strategies, and provide clarity on whether a mistake is fatal or amendable.


Key Takeaway:

  • Prioritize energy on mistakes crucial to your defense.
  • Understand the Crown’s authority to amend certain errors.
  • Focus on potentially fatal mistakes for a strategic defense.
  • Seek professional consultation for a comprehensive case assessment.

In summary, while mistakes on tickets are not automatically grounds for dismissal, understanding their relevance and potential impact is essential for a strategic and focused defense. Consultation with legal professionals can provide valuable insights tailored to your specific case.


Video Transcription:

What happens if an officer makes a mistake on a ticket? Obviously, an important question to be asking, and there are in many cases mistakes that are made on these tickets. Some of these mistakes are irrelevant to a defence so they’re irrelevant to you and they can mislead you and you could end up putting your energy in the wrong spot.

There are only a certain number of mistakes on a ticket that are considered fatal. What I mean by that is when you’re charged with a ticket here in Ontario, minor mistakes or many mistakes can be fixed by the Crown attorney or the prosecutor simply making a motion to amend that certificate.

Certificate is the ticket to correct that particular mistake. And the reason for that lies in the Provincial Offenses Act itself. Sections 34 through 38 allow a very wide range of powers for the Crown or prosecutor to amend those tickets. The purpose of all of that is so that the actual facts of the case get before a judge so the judge can decide what’s important and what’s not.

They want to hear the facts of the case, so another way of saying all that, to be clear, is that these are not tickets of technicality. These are not issues that the court wants to concern itself with a mistake and have it thrown out. It’s not to say that it doesn’t happen, and it’s not to say that I’ve not found on many occasions mistakes that simply cannot be corrected.

There are a few But most importantly that stuff is not what we want to focus on too, too much, unless I know to a certainty we can bounce that ticket out of the courtroom. That being said, if you have a concern, if that’s something you’re not sure of, I would suggest you take the time to consult with OTD Legal and find out what’s there to help you and what’s not.

by | May 23, 2023

Ron Harper

Ron Harper

Ron Harper, owner of OTD Ticket Defenders Legal Services, is a former Ontario Prosecutor and Licensed Paralegal with over 40 years of experience in traffic offences.

Related Videos

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Ticket On Time

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Ticket On Time

What Happens If You Don't Pay Your Ticket On Time When you receive a traffic ticket, you have 15 days to respond. If you don't, you will be convicted. After conviction, the court gives you another 15 days to pay the fine. Missing this deadline results in an...

Stunt Driving: Fines, Penalties and Consequences

Stunt Driving: Fines, Penalties and Consequences

Stunt Driving: Fines, Penalties and Consequences Here's a summary of the initial penalties you face if charged with stunt driving in Ontario: Penalty Details Vehicle Impoundment 14 days Immediate License Suspension 30 days Court Fines $2,000 to $10,000 (average $2,500...