Can I have my provincial offences trial in French?

Provincial Court deals with matters such as traffic tickets, speeding tickets, trespass, and noise complaints. A provincial offence is not a “crime” under criminal law. You will not get a criminal record for a provincial offence. But you might get a fine and sometimes even jail time.

The Provincial Offences Act says that if you live in Ontario and speak French, you have the right to have non-jury proceedings in French. These are called “bilingual proceedings”. The Act does not use the words “French proceedings” or a “French trial”.

You also have the right to bilingual proceedings for other parts of your case, such as motions, pre-trials, and conferences.

This applies to all Provincial Offences Act proceedings at the:

  • Ontario Court of Justice
  • Superior Court of Justice
  • Court of Appeal for Ontario
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