Filing for a Court Date
The Process to Fight a Speeding Ticket
When charged with speeding drivers can:
- appear in court themselves,
- have a friend appear
- hire a paralegal/lawyer
The driver can either appear in court themselves on a trial date or have someone or a paralegal appear for them.
Who Appears in Traffic Court
Where a friend appears on behalf of the driver, the friend cannot give evidence or tell the court what the driver or defendant told them. Evidence as to what someone else told you is called “Hearsay Evidence” and is not allowed.
Where you appear yourself, your knowledge of the court system and rules of evidence will be tested.
Where you hire a paralegal, they will know the system, law and technicalities for traffic court.
Step #1 take the ticket to the court and request a trial date.
- DO NOT agree to
- Early Resolution Meetings
- First Attendance Meetings
- meetings to “avoid a contested trial”
These meetings are where the prosecutor attempts to induce you to plead guilty.
Where a speeding ticket is reduced at court the ticket will still go on the driving record and affect insurance rates for three years.
You Have No Friends in Traffic Court
Many Ontario courts are on a campaign to:
- disregard your rights
- discourage drivers fighting their tickets
- deny drivers the right to have a hearing
- circumvent the Demerit Point System
Court clerks are being directed to push drivers into first attendance and meetings with the prosecution. The court system saves the time and money where they can get drivers to plead guilty without a trial date.
Pleading NOT GUILTY and setting a “Trial Date” is the option every driver should take for a speeding or traffic ticket.
Know Your Rights
It is your right as a Canadian citizen under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to:
- challenge any accusation against you
- to have a judge or justice listen and review the case against you
- to have a trial within a reasonable period of time
The court system is intent in soliciting early reduced charges and guilty pleas.
Upon appearing at court the driver will be solicited by the court clerks to accept a first attendance or meeting with a prosecutor.
Even where the driver applies for a trial date, they many even receive a letter in the mail or a phone call from the prosecutors office soliciting a guilty plea.
Clerks at the court have been ordered to offer these meetings with the prosecutor, as a way to save the courts money without regard to the effect of a speeding ticket on your insurance.
This system violates drivers rights by soliciting drivers to plea guilty to reduced charges who may not be away of the implications of doing so.
When drivers take reduced charges:
- the officer does not have to appear in court
- the prosecutor does not have to prove the charge
- a conviction goes on the drivers record forthwith
- the driver is found guilty even though they may have had a defence
- the courts and police save money at the drivers expense
The court clerks and prosecution will always seek to benefit from the driver’s ignorance of the legal and court system.
Your Options Explained
There are 4 options for your speeding ticket.
Option 1 – Fight the Speeding Ticket
- best chance of winning the ticket completely
- best chance save your demerit points
- keep your insurance low
- keeps ticket off your driving abstract
Learn more about fighting your speeding ticket >
Option Two, Plead guilty with an explanation
- do not do this – do not plead guilty with an explanation
- all the justice is allowed to do is reduce the amount of the fine
- drivers may still lose demerit points
- drivers lose any chance of winning the case completely
- ticket goes on the driving record for 3 years
- conviction is available to insurance companies to base insurance rates upon
Option Three – Meet with the Prosecutor
- do not do this – do not agree to a meeting with the prosecutor
- the prosecutor may reduce the ticket but they will not canceled it completely
- demerit points may still be applied
- lose any chance of winning the case completely
- ticket goes on driving record for 3 years
- conviction is available for your insurance company to see
You always want to win your speeding ticket completely.
Option 4 – Plea of Guilty – Voluntary Payment of Total Payable
- do not do this – do not plead guilty to speeding
- the ticket goes immediately on the driving record
- drivers lose any applicable demerit points
- the ticket goes on the driving record for 3 years
- the conviction goes to you insurance company to see for 3 years
Avoid taking legal advice from a clerk or employee of the court!
It is highly improper for a court clerks to give legal advice and may not be acting in your best interests.
Most court clerks do not understand the total costs and penalties of a speeding ticket nor are they qualified or legally allowed to give legal advice.
Many of the clerks themselves disagree with this process but they are under direct orders to encourage people to first attendance meetings because it saves the court money.