If you get a ticket stating that you must pay a fine, you have 3 options (which are listed on the back of your ticket). You must choose one of these options within 15 days (otherwise you are not disputing the charges and you will be convicted):
1. Plead guilty and pay the fine: you can do this by mailing it to the address on the ticket or by going to the provincial court in person. You must pay the “total payment” in full. If you need more time to pay the fine, you can go to the court office listed on the back of your ticket, at the time specified on the back of your ticket, and ask the court to give you an extension of time for payment. Paying a fine means that you are pleading guilty.
2. Plead Not Guilty: if you are pleading not guilty, you will schedule a trial. You or your “agent” (e.g. caseworker or lawyer) must go to the office listed, at the time or times listed, on the back of your ticket and fill out a Notice of Intention to Appear. The court will send you a notice by mail giving you a date when you should come back to court for your trial.
3. Plead guilty with an explanation: there are two ways you can plead guilty with an explanation. You can i) request a meeting with a prosecutor by indicating that request on the back of your ticket and delivering the ticket to the court office specified on it within 15 days of receiving the ticket, or ii) you can attend at the time and place specified on the ticket and tell them you are pleading guilty with an explanation. Both options allow you to tell your side of the story and have the fine reduced (sometimes to zero). For example, if you jumped a TTC turnstile because you had no money for fare, you can explain this.
You can also provide evidence that you cannot pay the fine. Take any evidence that will support this. If you live in a shelter, get a letter from the shelter stating how much Personal Needs Allowance (PNA, if any) you get. If you are on welfare, take your most recent stubs. If you are employed, take your most recent pay stubs. If you do not have any documents, it is still important to tell the official your story and to let them know that you are unable to pay. Sometimes the court will reduce the fine significantly or set up a payment plan.