Originally posted by rinny
Can agents be paid to represent people? Wouldnt this be considered as being a lawyer? I was under the impression that one had to be part of the bar to collect money for this type of service.
It's fine. For summary matters, which all traffic matters are, agents can appear for accused people. Anyone can be an agent for anyone else. And yes, you can be paid for it. That's how all of these traffic ticket agents work. They are not lawyers.
When you are acting as an agent, the courts treat you and everything you say as if you were the person that you are agent for. So anything that they could do, you can do - unless it's an indictable matter, in which case agents are not allowed.
What isn't okay is claiming that you are a lawyer, or giving legal advice - which would be practicing law.
On another note, can the first appearance crown completely squash a ticket? And if not, is there a limit to how much they can "amend" a ticket ex. take a 6/7 demerit ticket down to 2 as it is amended to something harmless?
In theory, there are no limits on the crown's discretion, they could withdraw anything. In practice, there are limits on what can be done.
First: When changing a charge, they can only change the charge to something that is supported by the facts in question. So if you are speeding, they can't change the charge to improper turn, for instance. The facts have to support the charge.
Second: They aren't likely to reduce a 6 or 7 demerit ticket to 2 demerits. For speeding, the general rule of thumb is that they will knock you down one demerit category, so reduce a 3 demerit ticket to 2 demerits, and a 4 to a 3, etc. In some circumstances you might get a more advantageous change than that, but those are more the exception than the rule. Often the fines will be cut correspondingly - somtimes in half.
That said, if the crown doesn't think that they can get a conviction, no matter what the charge is, they can and should withdraw the charge.