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07.30.2016 | AUTO

Should I fight my Ontario traffic ticket?

Fighting an Ontario traffic ticket can seem like a complicated and costly process. And, while it may seem counterintuitive to pay for legal services that sometimes cost more than the fine amount, it’s important to consider the impact even minor convictions can have on your driving record.

Did you know? Over 500,000 speeding charges were laid in Ontario in 2014 and over 25,000 of those charges were dismissed, stayed, acquitted or withdrawn.

Not only are ticket fines costly but if you have multiple minor and/or major infractions, you could face increased insurance rates, demerit points and even risk a license suspension. And, if you’ve been charged with a criminal conviction such as Impaired Driving, you will face even more severe penalties that can affect you for the rest of your life. To avoid these headache-inducing worries, you may want to consider fighting your ticket in court.

When you receive an Ontario traffic ticket, there are three options to consider.

Highway Traffic Act Ticket Options

  1. Admission of guilt & fine payment
  2. Meet with a prosecutor (plead guilty with an explanation)
  3. Request a trial

If you choose to pay the ticket, it is considered an admission of guilt in Ontario. Once you’ve paid the ticket, you can no longer request a resolution meeting with a prosecutor to obtain a reduced fine or request a trial date. If you request a resolution meeting, the prosecutor can decide to reduce your charge and/or fine but the ticket will still appear on your driving record.

Requesting a trial is the only way to prevent a conviction. If you request a trial, the crown must prove their case to support the charge laid against you. If they are unsuccessful in proving their case, the charge will be dropped and the infraction will not appear on your record.

Before you decide what action you’ll take, it’s important to consider that convictions on your record can have an impact on your insurance for anywhere from 3 to 5 years from the date of the conviction. So, although a day in court may seem inconvenient, it could save you from paying years of higher insurance rates.

Important: Convictions can impact on your insurance for 3 to 5 years from the date of the conviction

If you decide to fight the ticket, you can represent yourself but it’s recommended that you seek professional legal advice from a qualified experts such as OTT Legal. An experienced professional with a thorough understanding of the Provincial Offences Act, Highway Traffic Act and court procedures can help fight your ticket and keep it off your driving record.

So, if you’ve received a ticket and are facing a conviction, consider your options carefully. Your decision can affect your insurance for years to come.

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