Traffic-ticket paralegal Francesco (Frank) Alfano has been sentenced to 18 months’ probation and 300 hours of community service. He had been convicted in February of driving while his licence was suspended.
Sentence was passed June 27, in Burlington Court of Justice.
Feb. 28, Alfano was found guilty under section 53(1) of the Highway Traffic Act . He faced a maximum penalty of a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000; or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.
Alfano was charged in May 2012, after an OPP officer followed a vehicle from the Burlington Provincial Offences Court parking lot, to an address in Hamilton.
Driving Nine Years Under Suspension
A candidate in the March 31 Paralegal Standing Committee election, Alfano admitted at trial to having many outstanding fines, from multiple jurisdictions. He had been effectively suspended for nine years and had served a 30-day sentence for driving while suspended in 2005.
Alfano had testified that he had relied on incorrect information provided over the phone by a clerk. At trial, Justice of the Peace Gerry Manno found that testimony was not sufficient.
Justice Manno noted:
“The onus was on the Defendant to show some form of mistake of fact or due diligence once the actus reus had been proven by the Crown. He did not take reasonable steps to avoid the suspension in our view.”
Alfano says he will perform 300 hours’ service with the Ontario Provincial Offences Advocacy Group (OPOAG), an online group he formed several years ago.