Tickets for Not Respecting Social Distancing: Can You Contest?

Legal News
Share
Print

Many tickets have been given since Quebec was forced into isolation and social distancing was imposed. Some of these tickets can cost as much as $1,500 with fees. Here’s what you can do if you were ticketed.  

You can pay the ticket 

When you pay a ticket, you are pleading guilty. This means you are accepting responsibility for the actions you were ticketed for. You can visit the website of the Bureau des infractions et amendes (Bureau of Tickets and Fines) to find out how to pay your ticket.  

The deadline for paying the fine for a ticket is not known right now. However, you can pay it right away if you want.  

You can fight the ticket 

To fight the ticket, you must fill out the attached form by checking the “not guilty” option and mailing it to the address listed on the ticket. You can also plead not guilty by email. Simply write to amendes@justice.gouv.qc.ca and include your name, the number of the ticket and that you want to plead not guilty. The deadline for contesting a ticket is not known right now. However, you can contest the ticket right away if you want. You will eventually receive a “Notice of Hearing” with a court date for your trial.  

You should also receive a copy of the evidence against you (“disclosure”). This can include, among other things, the police report. This report says why the police ticketed you. These documents will be very important for your defense. To make sure you get your disclosure, it’s a good idea to fill out this form and send it to the Bureau of Tickets and Fines.  

To learn how to prepare to contest your ticket, see our article Contesting a Ticket

If you lose your trial and are found guilty, you will have to pay extra court fees on top of your original ticket.  

You can do nothing, but… 

If you do nothing and the deadline for paying the ticket passes, there can be a trial in your absence. The judge will hear the evidence against you and decide whether you are guilty or not. If you are found guilty, a notice of judgment will be sent to you. You will have to pay extra court fees on top of the original ticket.  

If you can’t afford to pay your ticket 

You can choose to plead guilty and accept responsibility even if you can’t afford to pay the ticket. You must fill out the attached form by checking the “guilty” option and mailing it to the address listed on the ticket. You can also plead guilty by email. Simply write to amendes@justice.gouv.qc.ca and include: your name, the number of the ticket and that you want to plead guilty. The deadline to plead guilty to a ticket is not known right now. However, you can plead guilty right away if you want.  

If you pleaded guilty or were found guilty at a trial and cannot afford the fine, you have options. You can contact the Bureau of Tickets and Fines at 1-877-AMENDES (263-6337) to speak with the “percepteur des amendes” (fine collector). The fine collector has the power to extend the deadline to pay a ticket in certain situations. In some cases, you may be able to do community service instead of paying the fine. To learn more, you can visit the Quebec Sécurité publique (Public Safety) website