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False Police Charge or Ticket

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False Police Charge or Ticket

This page has been written for the purposes of legal education. Its purpose is to present in a general and simplified manner the law in force in Quebec concerning police powers and duties, your obligations as citizens and advice when you consider that a police officer has laid charges or issued a ticket knowing full well that these are unjustified. Its content should therefore not be construed as legal advice or advice. To find out the specific rules or advice appropriate to your situation, consult a lawyer.


What is a traffic ticket? 

A traffic ticket is a written notice that you have committed an offence, such as a traffic violation, and that you must pay a fine.


What should I do if I receive a traffic ticket?

You should read the ticket carefully and make sure you understand the offence you are being charged with. 


Can I dispute the ticket? 

Yes, you have the right to challenge the ticket if you believe you are not guilty of the offence.


How do I dispute the ticket? 

You can challenge the ticket by going to court and presenting your case to a judge.


Under what circumstances might a police officer fail in his or her duty when issuing a ticket?

Article 6 of the Code of Ethics of Quebec Police Officers stipulates that police officers must avoid any form of abuse of authority in their dealings with the public, in particular by not knowingly making an accusation against a person without justification (art. 6 paragraph 3).

Thus, a police officer or any other peace officer commits a breach of the Code only if he or she makes a charge or issues a statement of offence knowing that it is unjustified, that it is a lie.  

On the other hand, just because a citizen is found not guilty after contesting his or her statement of offence does not mean that the police officer knowingly laid a charge against the citizen without justification.

For example, a police officer commits a breach if he arrests you for assaulting him when nothing you did could be construed as such.

Depending on the circumstances, a police officer who has committed such acts could also be charged criminally with perjury, forgery, using a false document or attempting to obstruct justice. 

What should I do if I find that a police officer intentionally issued me a traffic ticket knowing it was unjustified?

  • Take notes. Take notes as soon as possible after the incident about what happened in as much factual detail as possible (Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?), especially about what leads you to believe that the officer intentionally lied about what he or she is accusing you of. Also, keep any evidence. 
  • Consult a lawyer if possible. If you have the opportunity to consult a lawyer, he or she can help you assess what remedies are appropriate for you.
  • Consider filing a police ethics complaint. You have the option of filing a police ethics complaint. If we believe that the events alleged in your complaint are potentially criminal, then we will refer the file to a police organization for criminal investigation. Otherwise, we will handle your complaint appropriately.



Examples of complaints >>




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