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Penal proceedings

Table of contents

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Infraction report
Transmission of your plea
Guilty plea and payment
Plea of not guilty
Default of transmitting a plea and the total amount claimed
Inaptitude points
Preliminary requests
Right to a lawyer
Change of plea
Request for postponement
Retraction of judgment
Right to appeal

Infraction report

A penal proceeding begins at the time of the notification of an infraction report. The notification can be given to you by the peace officer at the time of infraction, or following the perpetration of the infraction by mail or from a bailiff.

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Transmission of your plea

You have the obligation to transmit a plea of guilty or not guilty within thirty (30) days following the date of notification. If the defendant is a moral person, the signature of one of his (her) administrators or other directors is required. It is incumbent upon you to assure the reception by the municipal court office of your plea or your payment within the prescribed time line. It is the date of reception and not the date it is sent that constitutes the date on which the plea is made.

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Pleading guilty and payment

If you wish to plead guilty to the alleged infraction, please use the response form attached to your infraction report to:

  • record a plea AND 
  • pay (in Canadian funds) the total amount claimed; 

The plea can be entered and the payment sent by mail or made in person at our Chateauguay district municipal court offices at 265 D'Anjou Blvd., suite 101, Chateauguay, Quebec J6J 5J9.

The payment can be made by cheque or money order, in the name of VILLE DE CHATEAUGUAY, or at most financial institutions. A debit card is also accepted for payments made in person. Visa and Mastercard credit cards are exclusively accepted via the CONSTATS EXPRESS on-line payment service. No credit card is accepted at the court counter or by telephone.

In default of transmitting your plea within 30 days, the total amount of the fine and additional costs will  be imposed. If you are not in a position to pay the total amount, you can come to a payment agreement with the collector of fines, in return for additional costs. You must present yourself at the municipal court to agree to the modes of payment of this entente.

When the defendant has entered a guilty plea or has paid the total amount of the money due, he is reputed to have been declared guilty of the infraction.  

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Plea of not guilty

If you plead not guilty to the infraction, you must record a written plea on the response form of your infraction report. If you have lost it, fax the Plea form herein attached and send it to us within the required time line. Your plea must be transmitted within thirty (30) days from the notification of the report, to the address indicated on the response form.

If the defendant is a corporation, the signature of one of its directors or another officer is required. The signatory must mention its quality.

If you plead not guilty to the offense, you must record a plea in writing on the response form of your statement of offense. If you have lost it, download the enclosed Form (French) and send it to us within the required time. You can also dispute it online on the CONSTATS EXPRESS website. Your plea must be sent within thirty (30) days of service of the statement, to the address indicated on the answer form.

You must also indicate your new address, telephone number and email, if applicable. You will be notified by the court clerk of the place, date and time set for the hearing of the proceedings.

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Default of entering a plea or paying the total amount due

The defendant who does not transmit neither a plea nor the total amount of the fine and costs claimed, is then reputed to have entered a plea of not guilty. The case is then investigated and the judgment is rendered without further notice.

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Inaptitude points

The inaptitude points indicated on the report are of a suggestive nature only. The inscription of inaptitude points on the defendant's dossier lies exclusively in the domain of the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).

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Preliminary requests

To ensure your defence, you can present, along with your not-guilty plea, preliminary requests prescribed by articles 168 to 186 in the Penal Proceedings Code.

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Right to a lawyer

You have the right to consult a lawyer before you enter a plea or present a preliminary request.


You must present yourself at the municipal court on the date and time indicated on the hearing notice.

Please bring to the hearing your infraction report and all other papers or documents that you wish to put into evidence (photos, sketches, bills, etc.). The elements of proof deposited will be kept in the court file for a period of 30 days following the pronouncement of final judgment or sentence. After the expiration of the time line for making an appeal, if no appeal is lodged you will be able to remove from the file in exchange for a receipt an item that you have produced, providing it was not seized. To do this, kindly present yourself to the court clerk.

At the hearing, the plaintiff reserves the right, among other things, to produce as proof the notice of the infraction or the infraction report to hold a place for the testimony of the peace officer or the person in charge of the application of the law who delivered the notice or the report, as well as the right to have witnesses heard.  

However, if you desire to cross-examine this peace officer or this person, you must request his or her presence in writing from the municipal court prosecutor. The judge will nevertheless be able to impose costs on you if you are found guilty and if he is convinced that the documentary proof would have been sufficient and that the witnesses had nothing substantial to add. 

Once the presentation of the proof is  terminated in these proceedings, you will be able to present your defence, testify, produce papers and have your witnesses heard, if the case may be. It is incumbent upon you to summon your witnesses, if there are any.

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Change of plea

Conforming to article 166.2 of the Penal Proceedings Code, you can modify your not-guilty plea and register a plea of guilty. If this is the case, it is mandatory that you advise the court in writing (download the Change of Plea form before the investigation and hearing of the case).

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Request for a postponement

If you absolutely cannot be present on the fixed date, you must present to the judge a duly signed request for postponement in writing, specifying the reasons why you cannot attend on that date. (Download the Request for postponement form).  The reasons invoked must be serious and well motivated.


All such requests must be produced in writing to the court clerk at least three clear legal working days before the scheduled presentation date. The request to change the date is done in writing and you must absolutely provide a serious and well-motivated reason for having the date changed. This request can be contested by the prosecutor of the proceedings.

It is at the judge's discretion to grant or reject the postponement. In case it is rejected, a default judgment will be rendered in your absence. If the postponement is granted, a new date will be set according to the availabilities of the court.

Kindly communicate with the court clerk to find out the available dates. It should be noted that the postponement costs according to the Judicial Tariff in effect will be enforced if you are found guilty of the infraction of which you are accused.


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A defendant has thirty (30) days from the date when a guilty verdict is rendered to pay the amount owed, unless the judge grants further delay.

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Retraction of judgment

The request for a retraction of judgment is a legal procedure that permits the defendant who was condemned by default to ask a judge to reverse that judgment and obtain the right to a new hearing. This request must be filed within fifteen (15) days of the date when the defendant was made aware of the judgment. You must have ”serious reasons” to request a retraction of the judgment. Only the judge is empowered to evaluate the seriousness of your motives.

A non-refundable judicial cost will be charged to you when you deposit your request with the court clerk. The request for a retraction of the judgment is not subject to the right of appeal and does not compensate for the negligence of a defendant. In order to avoid proceedings and needless costs, it would be preferable to consult a lawyer in order to see whether this recourse applies to your case.

The municipal court staff is not in position to inform you and is not empowered to give you a legal opinion. (Download the Request for a Retraction of Judgment form).

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Right of appeal

You have thirty (30) days to appeal a municipal court judgment at Superior Court. For more information, please consult a lawyer. Municipal court staff is not in position to inform you and is not empowered to give you a legal opinion.

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Last update: 2019-11-27 16:14