Regulatory / Quasi-Criminal Offences

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What are Regulatory Offences?

Regulatory offences, also commonly referred to as quasi-criminal offence are regulated by the Provincial Offences Act in Ontario. Unlike criminal offences defined within the Criminal Code of Canada, which apply to all Provinces within Canada, regulatory offences are specific to the province of Ontario and may differ from province to province.  
Some of the more common regulatory offences in Ontario’s provincial legislation include, but are not be limited to the following provincial legislation:
  • The Dog Owners’ Liability Act
  • The Environmental Protection Act
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • The Highway Traffic Act
  • The Trespass to Property Act
  • The Fire Protection and Prevention Act
  • The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
  • The Smoke-Free Ontario Act
  • The Liquor License Act
  • Municipal By-Laws
Regulatory Offences should not be taken lightly. Even though these types of offences are not recorded on a person’s criminal record, they do have serious consequence. Depending upon the type of offence, there are varying fines, fees, and other such penalties, as well as potential imprisonment periods.


Regulatory Offences FAQs


In this Regulatory Offences FAQs section, we will review some of the more commonly asked questions.      


What are Municipal By-Laws offences?

Municipal By-Laws offences are charges related to violating municipal laws, like improper garbage disposal, excessive noise, disturbing the peace, improper animal control, and so on.          


Can I be charged with both a Regulatory Offence and a Criminal Offence?

Yes, in some cases. For instance, you were driving without insurance and were impaired when the police stopped you. You could potentially be charged under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, a Regulatory Offence, for not having insurance, as well as the Criminal Offence of Impaired Driving.        


Do I have to go to Court for Regulatory Offences?

It depends upon the type of Regulatory Offence committed. For less serious offences, you could be required to appear in front of a Magistrate or for a hearing in front of a Justice of the Peace in the Provincial Offences Court.


What happens if I fail to appear for a Regulatory Offence?

Again, it is largely based upon the type of Regulatory Offence you are accused of committing. For minor offences, failing to appear often results in being found guilty of the charges. For more serious offences, failing to appear could result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.  


Can I have a criminal defence lawyer represent me for Regulatory Offences?

Yes, in most cases, you can have a North York, Toronto criminal defence lawyer represent your interests for Regulatory Offences. It is highly recommended to retain the services of a qualified criminal defence lawyer, or at least obtain their advice, before deciding whether or not you should seek legal representation from a lawyer.  


Can I go to jail for Regulatory Offences?

There is always the possibility of being sentenced to varying imprisonment periods for certain types of Regulatory Offences, if you take a plea agreement or are convicted and found guilty of the charges.


Should I take a plea agreement, if one is offered for a Regulatory Offence?

It may not always be in your best interests to take a plea agreement for a regulatory offence. While the offence is not recorded on your criminal record, there could be other long-term consequences. It is best to seek advice from a criminal defence lawyer before accepting a plea agreement to determine whether it is actually in your best interests to accept it or if you should fight the charges.


Note to readers: This article is solely for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice. In order to ensure the protection of your rights and interests, please consult a criminal defence lawyer prior to acting or relying upon any information.



Contact Farjoud Law – Toronto Regulatory Offences Lawyer

If you or someone you care about has been charged with drug possession offence, it is in your best interests to speak directly to a criminal defence lawyer in North York, Toronto to find out your rights and get your questions answered. Call Farjoud Law now at (647) 606-6776 to speak with a criminal lawyer to discuss your matter. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Farjoud Law is located at 4950 Yonge Street, Suite 2200 in the neighbourhood of North York in Toronto, Ontario. Click here for directions to our law office.


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