Automotive

Ask me anything about fighting your traffic ticket (Speeding, Parking, etc.)

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Ask me anything about fighting your traffic ticket (Speeding, Parking, etc.)

This thread was created May 18th, 2012 (not Sep 28th, 2010).

Most people don't even consider fighting their ticket as they usually have thoughts such as "But I'm guilty; I was parked illegally; I was speeding; I didn't come to complete stop at the stop sign, I can't be bothered taking time off work to go to court; I don't know what to do; it looks very complicated."

You will need to clear your mind out of the above as I'm here to help you win/get the ticket dropped.

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Financial Impact of a traffic ticket conviction

Most people also don't consider the entire financial impact a conviction on record can have. Even if one accepts a plea bargain for a reduced fine, the conviction this comes with due to say a minor collision that came with a careless driving offence, can cause your insurance premiums to double or even triple. The financial penalties can be severe if you pay the fine, plead guilty to a lesser fine, or are found guilty after a trial.

Most people also believe that once they have received a traffic ticket, means they are guilty, but you're not. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 11 (d) clearly states:
Any person charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.
If you pay the fine, you are abandoning this right. At the very least, requesting a trial can delay your conviction and shorten the time that this conviction stays on record which can save you thousands towards your insurance premium.

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***STEPS TO FIGHT YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET***

I just got a ticket, what is the first thing I should do?

Make notes of what happened (Description of the police officer/etc.). On the back of your ticket choose the option to Request A Trial (Note: Please see the last section of this OP for examples of when you should NOT Request A Trial nor pay the fine) and send it in. Wait a few weeks for a notice in the mail concerning your trial date.

Note: Request an Interpreter if English isn't your first language.

Here is an example notice of trial that you will eventually receive

I received my trial date, now what?

Contact the court to obtain the Address/fax info for the prosecutor's office. Send "by registered mail" OR FAX the following document to the prosecutor requesting disclosure of the evidence against you. Do this as soon as you get your trial date.

DISCLOSURE REQUEST Sample Letter to the Prosecutor

PARKING INFRACTION DISCLOSURE REQUEST Sample Letter to the Prosecutor


Note: Do not include your phone number otherwise they will just call you and ask you to go pick up your disclosure request. Its better to let the prosecutor handle all the paper work in mailing the entire disclosure requests back to you. If they do not do this, this will only work in your favour.

For those that have a trial date 10+ months from offence date, send a letter to the prosecutor asking for your trial date to be moved up, just to later demonstate to the Justice of the Peace that you are not waiving your right to a speedy trial. Waiver Sample Letter. Don't worry, your trial date won't change.

Its been a month since my request for Disclosure, I still don't have it.

If you still have at least 2 months until your trial date, then it would be a good idea to send a second registered letter to the prosecutor indicating your request for disclosure. Doing this shows the Justice that you were proactive in your attempts at getting disclosure. Send in about 2-3 requests for disclosure on a monthly basis until you receive it.

I have a month until my trial but I have not received disclosure (or the disclosure I have received is lacking information to prepare my defence)

This is actually good news. As your objective is to not be convicted, not receiving disclosure is a valid reason to not be tried in court. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms section 7 states:
the right to disclosure to help you prepare your defence and answer to the charge is a principle of fundamental justice. You must have disclosure of all the evidence before the trial. If you don't get it, you can apply for a stay.
Since your right to disclosure has been violated, you can file an application with the Attorney General to stop your trial (legal context is "STAY").

See Post #2 for instructions on how to submit an application to stop your trial. (Requires at least 15 days prior to your trial to complete)

I received sufficient disclosure, now what?

Review the material. Is it Complete? Is everything accurate (the cops notes detailing what happened that day)? Are you able to read the cops notes? If not, did your request include to have his notes typed up?

If you answer No to any of the above items and you still have months before you trial, send another disclosure request specifically stating what you require. If you have a month or less before your trial begins, then you should focus on submitting an application to stay your trial due to Improper Disclosure.

If everything in disclosure looks satisfactory, then you will need to spend some time preparing a defence to your charge. If you need assistance here, post a reply in this thread.

What can I expect to happen at trial?

On the day of trial, you and others will have their trials within the same Court Session. When you arrive at the court house, you will see your name & docket number on a sheet on the wall. At the appropriate time, you and several others will enter the court room and sit. You will have the opportunity at that point to check around to see if the Police offer is there. Before the Justice enters the court room, the prosecutor will go around and ask each of you how you will plan to plead. The prosecutor will offer a plea deal if you tell him you plan to plead not-guilty.

When the Justice enters the court room, Justice/prosecutor will deal with all the guilty pleas. Once complete, the prosecutor at this point will drop all charges for the not-guilty pleas for which the police officer is NOT present. Then they will deal with the rest off the not-guilty pleas (those who request a trial).

When it is your turn. The Justice will ask what you plea (here you will have another opportunity to change to a guilty plea or you tell the Justice you plead Not Guilty and your trial begins.

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REASONS TO "STAY" YOUR TRIAL OR HAVE YOUR CHARGES DROPPED BEFORE YOUR TRIAL BEGINS

1) You do not receive disclosure of the evidence against you

2) Your disclosure material is lacking the requested information

3) There has been 10 months or more since you received the ticket to your trial date

4) There is a Fatal Flaw on the ticket itself

5) The Police Officer is not present at your trial

6) The city did not file your parking ticket with the court within 75 Days

7) The Police Officer did NOT affixed a parking ticket to your vehicle nor hand it to you in person

Parking Ticket

The prosecutor must present the following pieces of evidence against you to the Justice - Motion of Non-Suit if any piece is missing:
1) Evidence of the ownership
2) Certificate of parking infraction
3) Notice of Trial - This is usually forgotten

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WHAT TO ARGUE IN COURT? - You should keep in mind STRICT LIABILITY

You will have months to prepare a defense. As I've already mentioned many times already, the first thing you should do as soon as you receive notice of trial, is to request disclosure of the evidence against you. If you happen to get sufficient disclosure, doesn't mean you should give up/accept a plea.

You should make notes when you receive a traffic ticket to remind yourself of what happened that day. Did you take reasonable steps to avoid the offence? Did you believe you were NOT committing an offence? If so, then it may not be difficult to prove as you may think.

By default, all offences are a "STRICT LIABILITY" offence. You will receive a NOT GUILTY verdict if you're successful in arguing due diligence. To argue due diligence, you must show that you took all reasonable care to avoid committing the offence.

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WHEN YOU SHOULD DO NOTHING (Don't Pay Fine, Don't Request A Trial)

1) Incorrect Fine

2) Parking Tickets

- GTA: Consider filing a parking ticket dispute -> http://www.toronto.ca/pay-toronto-ticke ... cation.pdf

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LAST UPDATE: Jan 4th 2013 - 3:55pm EST
11458 replies
[OP]
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How to Request a STAY (STOP YOUR TRIAL) due to No Disclosure/Improper Disclosure/Unreasonable Delay

There are 2 legally correct ways to submit a request to STAY your trial. The first is a method of going in person, the other is a fax method. The fax method is not well known. Expect the prosecutor/justice to give you a hard time which is why I recommend going through the first method to prevent any push back at trial. Choose which method you would want to use, but you will have to accept the level of difficulty that comes with that choice. The easier the method, the amount of difficulty you will face at trial.

Method 1: GO IN PERSON!

This is the method the courts know and expect. Choosing this method will give you less hassle at your trial as it will contain paperwork that the Justice would have looked at prior to your trial which will clearly contain the arguments for why you would like to stay your trial. But the bad side to this method is that it will require another week day (before trial) from work to go file the paperwork in person.

Whether it be for Section 7 - No Disclosure/Improper Disclosure, or Section 11(b) - unreasonable delay, you will need to complete Form 4F.

Blank Form 4F

Section 7 - Disclosure
FORM 4F

Courts of Justice Act

NOTICE OF CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION

R. v. Your Last Name


The Defendant, Your Name, intends to claim a remedy under subsection 24 (1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in relation to a violation of Section 7 of the Charter by the Government of Ontario. The defendant seeks the remedy of a stay of proceedings.

The question will be argued on Your Court Date at the Name and Adress of Court House.

Offence: Your Charge; PON#: Your Offence Number; Offence Date: Your Offence Date; Trial Date: Date Of Trial; Time: Time Of Trial; Courtroom: Location Or Room Number.

The following are the material facts giving rise to the constitutional question: On The Date You Requested Disclosure the defendant requested disclosure. The defendant specifically requested State Items Requested In Disclosure. State What Was Not Provided were not provided.

The following is the legal basis for the constitutional question: The prosecutor has a legal duty to disclose information that is useful to the defence in order to know the evidence against them, prepare for trial and make full answer to the charge. (R. v. Stinchcombe, 1991 CanLII 45 (S.C.C.); R. v. O'Connor, 1995 CanLII 51 (S.C.C.)). The prosecutor has failed to meet its disclosure obligation and in doing so has violated the defendant's section 7 Charter right. The defendant is requesting a stay of proceedings pursuant to Section 24(1) of the Charter.

(Date) The Date You Are Filing This With The Court ................... Your Name, Address, Phone Number (Also Sign it here)

TO[INDENT]The Attorney General of Ontario (as required by section 109 of the Courts of Justice Act)
Constitutional Law Branch
4th floor
720 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2K1
fax: (416) 326-4015


The Attorney General of Canada (as required by section 109 of the Courts of Justice Act)
Suite 3400, Exchange Tower
Box 36, First Canadian Place
130 King Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5X 1K6
fax: (416) 973-3004

Court Name and Address

Prosecutor Name and Address
[/INDENT]
Section 11(b) - Unreasonable Delay
FORM 4F

Courts of Justice Act

NOTICE OF CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION

R. v. Your Last Name


The Defendant, Your Name, intends to claim a remedy under subsection 24 (1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in relation to a violation of subsection 11 (b) of the Charter by the Government of Ontario. The defendant seeks the remedy of a stay of proceedings.

The question will be argued on Your Court Date at the Name and Adress of Court House.

Offence: Your Charge; PON#: Your Offence Number; Offence Date: Your Offence Date; Trial Date: Date Of Trial; Time: Time Of Trial; Courtroom: Location Or Room Number.

The following are the material facts giving rise to the constitutional question: As shown above, Your Offence Date is the date of the offence and Your Trial Date is the date of the Trial. This period of time constitutes an unreasonable delay.

The following is the legal basis for the constitutional question: The defendant has a legal right to be tried within a reasonable time. The defendant has not waived his right to a speedy trial, nor has the defendant been found at fault for the delay. (R. v. Askov, 1990 CanLII 45 (S.C.R.)). The defendant's legal right to be tried within a reasonable time has been infringed and in doing so has violated the defendant's section 11 (b) Charter right. The defendant is requesting a stay of proceedings pursuant to Section 24(1) of the Charter.

(Date) The Date You Are Filing This With The Court ................... Your Name, Address, Phone Number (Also Sign it here)

TO[INDENT]The Attorney General of Ontario (as required by section 109 of the Courts of Justice Act)
Constitutional Law Branch
4th floor
720 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2K1
fax: (416) 326-4015


The Attorney General of Canada (as required by section 109 of the Courts of Justice Act)
Suite 3400, Exchange Tower
Box 36, First Canadian Place
130 King Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5X 1K6
fax: (416) 973-3004

Court Name and Address

Prosecutor Name and Address
[/INDENT]
1. So once you have completed your Form 4F make 5 copies of it. Serve the Attorney General of Canada and the Attorney General of your province with a copy of your Form 4F. Faxing, mailing, or going in person are all accepted as part of this formal process. If Fax or Mail, then you will need to complete an affidavit of service form. This form has separate sections on it for the method of service. (Note, you will be keeping the affidavit of service form until the last step in this process (when you see the court clerk)). If you are going in person, then there is no need to complete the affidavit of service as you can have the clerk at the Attorney General's office there stamp 3 of your copies (one for you, one for the prosecutor, and one for the court) that you will take back with you. Make sure the clerk uses the right stamp as there are two different stamps commonly used by clerks shown below (The stamp with the signature is the correct stamp):
Image

2. Serve the Prosecutor with a copy of your Form 4F. You can Fax, Mail, or go in person as part of the formal process. If Fax or Mail, you will need to compete the affidavit of service form. If you are going in person: From the 3 stamped copies in step 1, you will give one copy to the prosecutor's office, and have the clerk there stamp the other two copies that you will take back with you.

3. Serve the Court. YOU HAVE TO GO IN PERSON. Give the clerk your documents (One of the two stamped completed 4F documents and the affidavit of service <-- if you choose to fax/mail the attorney general/prosecutor). Note: If you used the affidavit of service, you will want to swear the affidavit.

Swearing the affidavit: You will need to show ID to prove who you are, raise your right hand, and state your name. The clerk will ask you if the information contained in the affidavit is true. Then you will sign the affidavit in front of the clerk. The clerk will then sign it, stamp it and keep it along with the other documents (for your court files).

The last thing you should get the clerk to do is stamp your final copy of the Form 4F (This final copy should contain the stamps from the clerks of the other two offices) OR have them stamp the Affidavit of service if you choose to mail/fax your form 4F. THAT IS IT, you are done filing the paperwork. The Justice will be able to review what you have given to the court clerk before your trial starts.

Method 2: FAX

This is the easiest way to complete your Stay application, though you may face extreme difficulty in court if the Justice/Prosecutor are not that experienced with the rules of the court. So you may be questioned on whether or not you filed your application correctly.

1. Fax the Attorney General of Canada and the Attorney General of your province (See the address for Ontario in the sample form above). Keep the fax receipt with you.

2. Fax the Prosecutor's office. Keep the fax receipt with you.

THAT'S IT!

----

Also have a read through OVERCOMING OBJECTIONS TO STAY APPLICATIONS before trial.

djino
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Jun 26, 2007
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???
Can you post a guide for 11b. Would probably help a lot of people in this forum.
My basic strategies in fighting common traffic tickets: [shortened link removed]
[OP]
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vaportech wrote:
May 18th, 2012 3:21 pm
Can you post a guide for 11b. Would probably help a lot of people in this forum.

Sure.

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What is 11(b)?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 11b states:
11. Any person charged with an offence has the right
(b) to be tried within a reasonable time;
Any unusual amount of time that has passed between the date the offence occurred to the date of your trial can be used in your favour to have your trial STOPPED (or STAYED in the legal context).

Any period totaling 10 months or more can be considered to be unreasonable. Just as you would when your section 7 rights to disclosure have been violated, you will need to submit an application to the Attorney General and state that your rights under the Charter have been infringed concerning section 11b.

To be successful here, the Justice will look at 3 items. Waiver of time periods, total length of delay, and the reasons for the delay.

I mentioned on the OP that you should send a letter to the prosecutor asking for your trial date to be moved up as making this request will assist you in being successful should you need to request a stay due to 11b (Waiver of Time periods). Sending this letter isn't required, but will only make your 11b case stronger.

As I mention above, any period of 10 months or more can be considered unreasonable. Any period more than 18 months is just too extreme and will for sure allow your 11b motion to be granted by the Justice.

The last thing the Justice will need to look at is the reason for the delay. If any part of the delay was your fault, this will be taken into consideration. Example would be is if you made a request for disclosure less than a month before trial to which your trial was adjourned (postponed). This obviously could lead to your 11b motion being rejected.

-------------------------------

Now having said all that, you need to follow some rules when you apply to STAY your trial.

There are 3 items you must follow to request a stay

http://ticketcombat.com/step4/section_109.php
Section 109 -- How it Works

If you are making a stay application then you must follow section 109. You must inform the attorneys general of your intention to raise a constitutional issue.

In order to give them proper notice, section 109 requires you to do three things:
  1. You must follow the rules of the court.
  2. You must use the proper form.
  3. You must notify them at least 15 days before the court date.
(1) Rules of the Court

What are the "rules of the court"? Section 70 states that the rules of provincial offences court can be made by regulation. The regulation is called Rules Of The Ontario Court (provincial Division) In Provincial Offences Proceedings, otherwise known as Regulation 200. You would be wise to review these rules, especially section 7 which covers motions and applications.
(2) Proper Notice

To notify the attorneys general of Ontario and Canada you must complete this form and give them copies.

For reference, here is an example form that has been completed. A full explanation of the documents, how to complete them and when to use them is covered in the documents section.
(3) Counting Days

Counting 15 days for you application is more complicated than it looks. According to Regulation 200, section 4.4 states that where the term "at least" is added to an expression of days, the first and last day shall not be counted. The term "at least" appears in point #3 above.
YOU MUST COMPLETE FORM 4F

http://ticketcombat.com/step4/paperwork.php
Form 4F

Form 4F otherwise known as the Notice of Constitutional Question is the absolute minimum you must use if section 109 applies to you.

It is a very simple form that lets the (potentially) interested parties know that at your trial you will be making a motion to stay your charge. It is literally a note telling the prosecutor and the attorneys general of Ontario and Canada: "Hey I'm going to make a motion in court."
If all your facts and arguments do not fit on the form then you will require a "factum"
Factums

A factum is a legal brief that states your arguments. A factum for a pre-trial motion will state the facts of how you and the prosecutor handled your case. You explain how your Charter rights were infringed by the prosecutor.

Factums can also contain arguments as to why you are innocent. However if you do that you risk confusing trial arguments with a pre-trial motion for a stay. You are advised not to use this opportunity to tell your side of the story about your charge. This is NOT about arguing your innocence but about how the prosecutor has committed a wrong with the handling of your case.
Although not required, you should include an Affidavit.
Affidavit

The third component to your application is an affidavit. An affidavit is a formal sworn statement of fact. You are literally taking an oath stating that the contents of the affidavit are, to the best of your knowledge, true. It is used to present evidence to the court.

For your stay application, there are two kinds of affidavits you may want to use.

1. The first is an affidavit of service. Basically after giving copies of your documents to the attorneys general and the prosecutor, you complete an affidavit swearing you actually gave them the documents. You submit this to the court as proof that everyone has a copy.

The affidavit is a little confusing to use. There is a separate section for every type of method you could possibly use to deliver the documents (in person, by mail, by fax, and so on). You only have to complete one section depending on how you gave them your documents. To help you understand it, here is one with explanations included.

However, if you deliver the documents by hand, they can affix their stamp on the court's copy. This stamp is all you need to prove you gave them a copy and you don't need to complete the affidavit of service.

2. The second kind of affidavit you could use contains key facts relevant to your case that you wish to submit in writing. The facts are presented without embellishment or opinion. This kind of affidavit can be used to assist your case on paper by presenting evidence or to affirm the factual contents of your stay application.

Here are some resources to help you understand this second type of affidavit:
The affidavit must be signed in front of a notary, a lawyer or a commissioner of oaths. They all charge a nominal fee to do this. But you can avoid this fee and take the convenient route by completing it at the court house. Most of the clerks at the court house are commissioners of oaths and do it free of charge.
There are two methods you can use to complete your applications for stay, the method you use is up to you. You can read about them from here

Method 1 - The Full Monty

OR

Method 2 - The Friendly Fax

djino
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I requested a trial at Edward St in March, still no letter for trial date yet.

Is this normal? I did request an interpreter.
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mingyang wrote:
May 18th, 2012 4:17 pm
I requested a trial at Edward St in March, still no letter for trial date yet.

Is this normal? I did request an interpreter.

No this isn't normal, but you also should not be too concerned. There is a chance that they dropped the charges, but just have not notified you (This happens more often than you might think).

If for some reason they forgot to mail you your notice or it just got lost in the mail (which will cause you to be found guilty by default), they still have to mail you another letter stating this and for you to pay the fine. <-- If this occurs, you can take this payment request/notice to the court and have your case reopened on the grounds that you weren't told about your trial. You won't be at any disadvantage.

http://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/stat/r ... c11subsec1
11. (1) If a defendant who has been convicted without a hearing attends at the court office during regular office hours within fifteen days of becoming aware of the conviction and appears before a justice requesting that the conviction be struck out, the justice shall strike out the conviction if he or she is satisfied by affidavit of the defendant that, through no fault of the defendant, the defendant was unable to appear for a hearing or a notice or document relating to the offence was not delivered. (Provincial Offences Act)
----

So, just be patient and wait for something to arrive in the mail. No need to contact the court/prosecutor as its not your job to hound them on sending you court information. And if you do eventually get sent a trial notice, this will help you should you need to file an 11b application.

djino
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Hey djino, thanks for the info.

One more question, my other ticket I hired a paralegal, court date is next month, I guess they will attend for me.
This is probably something I should call them to ask but they should have disclosure notes and etc and defend for me right.

Both tickets are minor convictions if guilty, worst case scenarios 20-30% insurance increase? I guess other RFD can relate to this if possible...
[OP]
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mingyang wrote:
May 18th, 2012 4:40 pm
Hey djino, thanks for the info.

One more question, my other ticket I hired a paralegal, court date is next month, I guess they will attend for me.
This is probably something I should call them to ask but they should have disclosure notes and etc and defend for me right.
They should yes, but as you said, this is something you should ask them. I often do not recommend anyone hire a paralegal/ticket fighter to goto court for them as most people do a better job fighting for themselves. Most of these services consider a WIN if they get your fine reduced, but even getting the fine reduced will still be a conviction. The fine isn't the biggest financial impact when it comes to a traffic ticket, its the conviction effect on your insurance.

In my books, a WIN is if you you get the ticket dropped or are found NOT GUILTY by the end of the trial. You really should have gone though fighting it yourself as your disclosure requests could have got the ticket dropped by doing it all yourself.

The only time I recommend getting help by a professional is if you are facing your licence being suspended due to the demerit points should you be found guilty with the current charge. These professionals are good at getting your fine reduced (or charge reduced to a different less harmful charge), but from what I've seen, they are not great at in getting your charges dropped period.
mingyang wrote:
May 18th, 2012 4:40 pm
Both tickets are minor convictions if guilty, worst case scenarios 20-30% insurance increase? I guess other RFD can relate to this if possible...

It really depends on the insurer, as you will need to shop around come your renewal. Some companies will ignore your first conviction, but having 2 on record will be a significant increase. How much is dependent on each insurer.

But take a look here, as it can explain generally what convictions can affect your insurance and how they will affect your insurance

djino
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Feb 3, 2012
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Damn man, if only you were there about two months ago. :cry:
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If you don't have your pink slip on you and get a ticket for it (and eventually get convicted), will that affect your insurance rates?
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socialentry wrote:
May 18th, 2012 6:20 pm
Damn man, if only you were there about two months ago. :cry:

Why, what happened?

Djino
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Coffee Addict wrote:
May 18th, 2012 6:40 pm
If you don't have your pink slip on you and get a ticket for it (and eventually get convicted), will that affect your insurance rates?

No. That type of conviction will not affect your insurance.

Though you could have got that ticket dropped if you would have showed up with it later with in a certain time after receiving the ticket. The police officer usually mentions this too.

Djino
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Very informative :)

Fight your tickets!
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REASONS TO "STAY" YOUR TRIAL OR HAVE YOUR CHARGES DROPPED BEFORE YOUR TRIAL BEGINS

1) You do not receive disclosure of the evidence against you

2) Your disclosure material is lacking the requested information

3) There has been 10 months or more since you received the ticket to your trial date

4) There is a Fatal Flaw on the ticket itself

5) The Police Officer is not present at your trial

6) The city did not file your parking ticket with the court within 75 Days

7) The Police Officer did NOT affixed a parking ticket to your vehicle nor hand it to you in person

Parking Infraction - During Trial

Before the prosecutor rests his case during your trial, he must present ALL 3 of the following pieces of evidence against you to the Justice:
1) Evidence of the ownership of your vehicle
2) Certificate of parking infraction
3) Notice of Trial (The letter they sent to you informing you of your trial date) - This is usually forgotten by the prosecutor

IF ANY of the above is NOT presented during trial (specifically before the prosecutor rests his case, ie, he has no further evidence to present), you can then make a motion of NON-SUIT. You are basically arguing that the prosecutor hasn't proven his case and your charge should be dismissed since he did not provide the minimum amount of evidence for a conviction.

djino
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Making a right turn on a Red light, does this affect your insurance if convicted?
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