If you break a rule of your city or the province, you have committed what the law calls an "offence".
Examples of Offences
Here are examples:
- You find are in a municipal park at night after the curfew.
- You didn't stop at a red light.
- You're in a bar but are not yet 18 years old.
If you commit an offence while you are in a vehicle, a police officer will ask you to pull your car over to the side of the road. The police officer will also ask you to identify yourself. To respect the law, you must do this.
Tickets and Fines
If you are 14 years of age or older, you can be given a ticket or fine, officially called a statement of offence. A copy of the statement of offence will be sent to your parents.
This statement of offence requires you to pay money. The amount depends on the type of offence.
Committing an Offence: Same as a Crime?
Most offences are not crimes. If your act isn't considered a crime, you won't be called before a court, and you won't have a criminal record.
But you might have to go to court if you decide to challenge the police officer's decision: if you think the police officer made a mistake and you didn't commit an offence, you can indicate "not guilty" on the ticket or fine. You can then try to defend your point of view in front of a judge.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.