Speeding Tickets Options

Fighting your speeding ticket gives you a chance to win, saving insurance increases and your demerit points.

Dealing with a Speeding Ticket

You’ve received a speeding ticket, now your trying to decide whether to pay the ticket or fight it.

These are the options that the traffic court gives you, you can:

  • pay the ticket
  • plead guilty with an explanation
  • have a meeting with the prosecutor
  • dispute the ticket

Ensure you understand the penalties for speeding and what each option means to you and your insurance company.

What Your Insurance Cares About…

Insurance companies only care about “convictions” on your driving record.

A conviction is where the driver:

  • pays the ticket,
  • pleads guilty or does not dispute the ticket,
  • is found guilty at court
    • regardless if there are demerit points or not

Each year a traffic ticket conviction is on the driving record, the insurance will be affected.

Demerit Points Don’t Matter

The insurance provider does not care is you receive demerit points only convictions.

Demerit points do not affect insurance rates unless the driver accumulates too many points and the licence is suspended.

The best option for saving the insurance is to fight the ticket by setting a court date.

Most speeding tickets (98%) are either dismissed or reduced on the court date.

Early Resolutions and First Attendance

Meetings with the prosecutor are called:

  • early resolutions, or
  • first attendance

In these meetings, the prosecutor tries to get the driver plead guilty, by bargaining with the demerit points or reducing the fine.

Early resolutions and first attendance meetings should be avoided because:

  • you still receive a conviction
  • the conviction affects insurance
  • prosecutor does not have to prove the charge
  • your insurance doesn’t care if you lose points or not

Ninety-nine percent of contested traffic tickets are dismissed or reduced on a court date.

Setting a Trial Date

Setting a trial date to dispute the ticket is the best option.

When you set a trial date you save your demerit points until after the court date and keep insurance rates low.

By pleading NOT guilty the driver:

  • delays or doesn’t have to pay the fine
  • keeps any conviction off the driving record for an extended period of time
  • stands the best chance of winning the ticket
  • avoids any licence suspensions

Where the case does come to trial all of the options on the back of the ticket are usually still available to the driver.

Where the case appears at court and the prosecution appears to be able to prove the charge and the officer is in attendance the driver can still:

  • pay the ticket
  • plead guilty with an explanation
  • discuss the ticket with the prosecutor, or
  • proceed to trial

RECOMMENDED



Demerit points do not affect insurance rates unless the points accumulate points to a licence suspension.

What about just paying the ticket?

If you pay the ticket,

  • the ticket immediately goes on your driving record,
  • any demerit points are applied, and
  • the conviction is available to your insurance company

Any conviction on your driving record will affect the insurance rates for three (3) years.

Where you are a novice driver, the demerit points may suspend the licence.



Pleading Guilty with an Explanation

If you plead guilty with an explanation you must appear at the court and stand in front of the judge.

All the judge is allowed to do is reduce the fine. Upon conviction the ticket immediately goes on the driving record.  Any demerit points are applied and the conviction is available to your insurance company.

Any conviction on your driving record will affect insurance for three (3) years.

Where you are a novice driver, the demerit points may suspend the licence.

NOT RECOMMENDED

Meeting with the Prosecutor

Many court clerks have been ordered and encouraged to schedule drivers for early resolution and first attendance meetings.

These meeting are NOT set up with the drivers best interests in mind.

The courts want people to plead guilty, so they save money by not scheduling court hearings, and scheduling officers to appear in court.

Court clerks may suggest that you met with the prosecutor, so you can “come to an agreement to avoid a contested trial”.

This phrase is meant to intimidate and encourage the driver to plead guilty, so the court:

  • gets a conviction and your money
  • the police officer doesn’t have to appear
  • court time is reduced

This system is set up to save the court system money regardless of your rights and the affect(s) of a conviction on your driving record and insurance.

The court does not care about you, what happened, your clean driving record or the bills you have to pay including how much your car insurance is.

If you do decide to met the prosecutor, they will offer to reduce the ticket down to the next level, for example:

  • reduce a 4 point ticket to 3 points, or
  • reduce the fine from $110 to $50

Most reductions offered on first attendance or early resolutions date are not worth doing, as the insurance will still be affected.

Whether the ticket goes from a 4 to 3 points or even to no demerits, the ticket goes on the driving record affecting insurance for 3 years.

Any conviction on your driving record will affect insurance for three (3) years, regardless if there are demerits or not.

NOT RECOMMENDED