Summons to Appear for Speeding

A police officer can issue a speeding ticket under three (3) different types of traffic tickets, depending upon the situation.

What is a Summons to Appear?

A “Summons to Appear” is a formal notification and is one of the three distinct types of traffic tickets that police officers can issue to drivers in certain circumstances:
  • Part One Provincial Offences Notice: This is a standard ticket that comes with a set fine, detailing the offence and the penalty. It’s the most common type of ticket for minor traffic violations.
  • Part One Provincial Offence Summons: This is a summons to appear in court without an accompanying fine. It’s typically issued for more serious offences than those covered by a Part One Provincial Offences Notice, requiring the driver’s presence in court.
  • Part Three Provincial Offence Summons: This type of summons is also for court appearance, generally reserved for the most serious traffic offences. It often involves more complex legal proceedings and can carry more severe penalties.

Each type of ticket is governed by specific rules and limitations that the issuing officer must follow. The type of ticket issued depends on the nature and severity of the offence. A part one summons to appear has a maximum allowable fine of $500, vs. a part three summon as no limitation on the amount of the fine.

The Part One Provincial Offences Notice is straightforward and usually resolved by paying the fine or contesting it in court. In contrast, both types of summons (Part One and Part Three Provincial Offence Summons) necessitate a court appearance.

Understanding the differences between these tickets is crucial for drivers, as each requires a different response and carries varying implications for one’s driving record and potential legal consequences. When issued a summons to appear, it is advisable for drivers to prepare adequately for their court appearance, understanding the nature of their offence and the legal options available to them.

Summons to Appear

Receiving a summons to appear in court is a serious matter, especially when it’s issued for a significant speeding offence. The summons indicates that the officer deems the situation severe enough to warrant judicial attention and is often indicative of the officer seeking a substantial penalty.

A court summons for speeding may be issued under these circumstances:

  1. Excessive Speed or Serious Situation: If the speed was extremely high or the incident was particularly serious, a summons is likely.
  2. Officer’s Judgment for Judicial Review: The officer may decide that the nature of the offence is such that it should be evaluated by a Judge.
  3. No Opportunity for Out-of-Court Settlement: When the speeding offence is so severe that an out-of-court settlement is not applicable, especially for high-speed cases.
  4. Offence Occurred Over 30 Days Prior: If the incident happened more than a month ago, the officer is procedurally bound to issue a summons.
  5. Mandatory Procedural Requirement: Certain cases necessitate the use of a summons due to legal protocols.

Once a driver is issued a summons to appear in court, it is mandatory for either the driver or their legal representative to be present on the specified date. Failure to respond to a court summons is a serious matter. In such cases, a judge has the authority to issue an arrest warrant for failing to appear, leading to the defendant being detained in custody until they can be presented in court.

This level of legal action underscores the severity of receiving a summons to appear in court for a speeding offence. It is a clear indication that the matter is considered serious and that significant legal consequences may follow.

Drivers facing such situations should understand the gravity of the summons and take appropriate legal steps including legal advice to address it.

Differences in Types of Tickets

The difference between the tickets is in the amount of the penalty that the judge may give the driver in traffic court, including a drivers licence suspension.

Part One Offence – Offence Notice

Traffic tickets issued under part one of the Provincial Offences Act of Ontario.

  • most common type of speeding ticket
  • penalty is the fine listed on the ticket
  • must appear at the court and apply for a court date
  • can pay the ticket and not appear in court if they wish
  • demerit points are associated to the speed

Part One Offence – Summons to Appear

  • has a court date on it
  • must appear in court
  • rarely given out by police officers
  • maximum fine the judge can give is 500 dollars
  • has the demerit points associated to the speed
  • possible licence suspension for speeds over 50km/h

Part Three Offence – Summons to Appear

  • has a court date on it
  • driver or agent must appear in court
  • demerit points are associated to the speed
  • possible licence suspension for up to two (2) years
  • maximum fine the judge can give is 12 dollars per kilometre over the limit

Summons to appear in court are usually given for speeds over 50km/h or offences in Community Safety Zones, and stunt driving charges.