Why should I fight a traffic ticket?
Traffic tickets may seem like no big deal but they are. If you simply pay the ticket, its the equivalent to pleading guilty. That means you get convicted of the charge. Convictions lead to demerit points, possible license suspensions, and an increase in insurance premiums. If you’re a Novice driver, its even worse.
Can I fight my traffic ticket myself?
The short answer is yes. Before you do however, read further. Although the Provincial Offences Act is in place to make it easy for people to represent themselves, it is usually advisable to at least speak to an XPOLICE paralegal to get some legal advice. Sometimes what seem like simple charges are quite complex. Speeding for example is a simple charge but extremely technical in nature and should be reviewed by a professional. Also, some of the more serious offences carry stiff penalties including license suspension, jail and probation. In addition, there may other legal arguments that could be made on your behalf that you might be unaware of. When you hire someone, they have a duty to canvass all the issues with you to determine what’s in your best interest. You may be able to represent yourself. You may even be successful but before you do, ensure that all your rights are protected and get advice on the charge. Ensure the advice is specific to your charge and circumstances.
They misspelled my name. Shouldn’t it be thrown out anyway?
Probably not. The Provincial Offences Act provides for broad powers of amendment. Unless your name is Smith and they wrote Jones, you will likely find that they amend the certificate (court’s copy of the ticket) to the correct spelling. Speak to an XPOLICE paralegal about the nature of the flaw. Find out how the flaw affects you. Some flaws are fatal, others are not. Getting legal advice on what to do when faced with a traffic ticket which you believe to be flawed may make the difference in the end result of the case.
Well, if I hire you do I have to go to court?
That would depend on the facts and the issues. There is no “yes/no” answer to that question. In some cases we require your attendance but for most offences we do not require your attendance. Consult one of our paralegals and find out if your case is one of those cases where you don’t have to attend. There are also times when it’s a good strategy to not attend. Your attendance is required when you need to testify or when you are ordered to attend by a court. You’re always entitled to be present for the proceedings if you so choose.
The fine is only $110. Why is the fee more?
Isn’t it cheaper to just pay the ticket? It isn’t. The fine pales in comparison to the cost of rising insurance, the cost of losing your drivers license, or if you drive for a living, possibly losing your job. The impact in a traffic ticket goes well beyond any fine imposed. XPOLICE paralegals are cost effective because they can prevent your insurance premiums from increasing, or keeping you driving. Find out how your traffic ticket could affect you.
I was given a ticket with a court date. How do I just pay it?
The short answer is… You can’t. Traffic Tickets with court dates are summons. Usually under Part III (see ‘Resources’ for explanation of part III). These are fairly significant offences. They could include probation, license suspension, or jail as part of the penalty. These summons cases require you or your XPOLICE legal representative to attend court and enter a plea. It may be just a fine is imposed but the sitting Justice of the Peace will have to impose a penalty. There is no out of court settlement. As these cases are typically serious, you should get some advice on the charge. Speak to a lawyer or XPOLICE paralegal today.
I missed my court date. What can I do?
It would depend on what kind of court date you missed. If its a Part I, you’ll likely be deemed not to dispute the charge and convicted. You should attend the court house and confirm. If you are convicted and it was through no fault of your own or a necessary document (trial notice) didn’t reach you, you may qualify for a reopening. You should get legal advice. Reopenings save you from costly Appeal proceedings. Talk to a Paralegal today. If you missed a Part III summons date, you should contact the court immediately and find out what happened. It is possible the matter was adjourned (postponed) or perhaps you were convicted in your absence. There are no reopening applications for Part III matters. You’ll need to launch an Appeal in order to undo the problem. You should get legal advice to determine if there exist grounds for an Appeal.
Are there any guarantees if I hire you?
As of May 1, 2007, the Law Society of Upper Canada began regulating paralegals. This has stopped any guarantees companies could previously offer you. This was done in the interest of public protection. The guarantees didn’t really help people. For example let’s say you were charged with speeding 20 km over the limit. You will likely be offered a guarantee that said the company would save your points or pay your fine. They would go to court and simply plead guilty to 15 over and save your points which might not necessarily help you. Not to mention they’d charge you about $350 and if they had to pay the fine it was less than $100. If they did nothing and simply paid your fine, they were within the bounds of their agreement with you. That’s $250+ without much effort. In addition, you’d be signing consent to plead guilty which waives your right to trial. It’s far better to preserve your right to trial than to simply give it up without explanation.
With Law Society regulation, the guarantees are gone and your protection is ensured by placing rules which govern your paralegal. Your case must be properly reviewed with you to determine what’s in your best interest.