Fighting Speeding Tickets – Before Court
You received a speeding ticket – Now what…
Fighting Your Ticket
Drivers need to fight speeding tickets to:
Drivers need to fight the ticket to do everything possible to keep the ticket off your insurance, to save your points and keep your driving record clear.
The first step in fighting any traffic ticket is to take the ticket to the court and request a court date.
Setting a Court Date
When you’re fighting your speeding ticket, the first thing you have to do is request a court date.
Requesting a court date is the terminology to say you’re:
- disputing the charge
- fighting the ticket
- filing for a court date
To file for a court date, the ticket must taken to the court listed on the back of the ticket within fifteen (15) days.
At the courthouse you must fill in a form called a, “Notice of Intention to Appear” (NIA).
Many traffic courts may allow a further 15 day grace period to file the ticket but are not obligated to.
Specific courts like in the City of London will convict the driver if the speeding ticket has not been filed within the fifteen (15) day period.
What is a Notice to Appear
To fight a speeding ticket, the ticket must be filed at the court listed on the back of the ticket. The driver must appear at the court and file a “Notice of Intention to Appear“, requesting a trial date.
Traffic tickets can be filed for a court date online for Toronto and GTA area courts through OTT Legal Services.
Do not agree to attend a:
- First Attendance Meeting,
- Early Resolution Hearing or a
- Meeting with the Prosecutor.
The clerk at the court may offer to let you speak to the prosecutor to avoid a contested trial (See Speeding Ticket Options).
Do not agree to any of these meetings, as on the court date:
- any resolution is normally available
- it may not be in your best interest to plead guilty to reduced charges
- you are allowed to discuss the case with the prosecutor before any hearing
- if you plead guilty to reduced charges they can still affect your insurance rates
If you agree to meet the prosecutor, you lose any chance of winning because:
- officer does not have to attend for your hearing,
- you lose any chance of winning on a technicality, and
- ticket goes to insurance and any demerits go on your driver record forthwith.
If you accept the Early Resolution Process or sometimes called “First Attendance”, the clerk of the court will schedule an appointment with the prosecutor forthwith.
Early resolution and first attendance hearings were first used for people who forgot their documents, like insurance slips.
The court quickly realized that they could use this forum to convince drivers to plead guilty to reduced charges and thereby save money, with court time and not having officers appear.
Use caution accepting advice from clerks at the court house. The clerk works for the courts and are told to “steer” drivers into Early Resolution Meetings as it saves the courts money and time.
Before any Court Date
The reason for fighting a speeding ticket is to keep your driving record and insurance record clear.
In discussing strategies for fighting speeding tickets, drivers should;
- do everything possible to have the ticket dismissed completely, and
- if you cannot have the ticket dismissed, reduce the implications and/or demerit points.
- delay the ticket going on the driving abstract to stop the insurance company from seeing the conviction.
Even if the driver believes in paying the ticket at some point, it’s better to pay the ticket six (6) or ten (10) months after the insurance renews than right away.
You want to delay the ticket because;
- Demerit points do not go on the record until the case has gone to court.
- Any conviction does not go on the driving record until after a trial date.
- Insurance companies cannot see the speeding ticket until after the trial date, so the insurance implications are delayed.
- Officers move around and retire, if the officer doesn’t come to court the ticket gets canceled.
When fighting a speeding ticket, if you cannot win the ticket you want the court date to be delayed as much as possible and after your insurance renewal period.
What month does your insurance renew? The answer is on the pink slip for the insurance. Drivers should seek to have any court date after a insurance renewal, not before.