How To Do It

So how do you ask the court to stay your charge? Sadly there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the stay application procedure.

Ontario has three types of courts that hear three types of cases: criminal (for example: murder), civil (for example: divorce) and regulatory (for example: speeding). There are rules for each court. There are also separate rules for appeals.

Traffic offences are regulatory offences and fall under provincial offences courts which are informal in nature. What you must do to request a stay is actually very simple and easy.

Dazed and Confused

However if you attempt to go to court and apply for a stay in person, you will have to deal with untrained court clerks who cannot recognize the difference between a traffic ticket and a child custody hearing. Rather than learn the rules of each type of court, the court clerks apply the same rules to everyone. They shouldn't be doing this, but since they are behind bullet proof glass, they don't really care.

Even worse, some prosecutors and justices are also poorly trained. The prosecutor may incorrectly object to your application arguing it was not filed properly. Sometimes the justice will confuse the rules and try to apply the rules for civil courts or criminal courts to your traffic ticket. In most cases you do not have to follow the rules they tell you to follow. Sometimes you do. But that's extremely rare.

Unless you know better and can correct them, you will be subject to incorrect arguments, difficult filing requirements or inappropriate decisions.

Asking the court to stay your charge does not have to be complex. The following pages explain what the rules are for stay applications. After that, two different ways to apply for a stay are described. Finally the most common kind of stay application for unreasonable delay and the arguments that you must make are examined.

First let's learn the stay application rules so that you can decide which method to use and avoid a great deal of aggravation.

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