Once your defence is presented, you and the prosecutor must give your final statements.
Keep your argument short and clear, only summarizing the key points of your case. Emphasize the strengths of your story, and the inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case.
Make it clear that they have failed to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
At this point, the Justice will render their verdict, either finding you guilty or not guilty.
If you are found guilty, the Justice will consider your punishment. You and prosecutor will each get a chance to state what the punishment should be.
To figure out what you should argue for, it’s not a bad idea to look at minimum fines. Note that for a Part 1 offense, the maximum fine is $1000.
This is a prime opportunity to reduce your punishment—appeal to the justice’s humanity. Consider bringing up factors like:
- Your economic circumstances
- Your family and anyone who would be affected by this
- The time you’ve spent fighting your case
- How sorry you are, and how a heavy fine is unnecessary to discourage you from committing the offence again
At this point, it is best to be sincerely apologetic.
Under section 59(2) of the Provincial Offences Act the justice can impose a fine lower than the minimum amount or even suspend your sentence. This is where the politeness and the professionalism you showed earlier could really pay off!