Automotive

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

Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10140 posts
6442 upvotes
Edmonton
kitty911 wrote: HI Im from ontario and I got a ticket in quebec for speeding months ago and I pleaded not guilty and will be appearing in court next month. I am considering to go for a plea bargain, can you walk me through its process on how it works? am I gonna call the court clerks number to do it? thanks!
Don't know anything about Quebec specifically, but typically you show up for your trial and talk to the prosecutor before the trial starts. You'd try to work out a deal with them, and then you'd end up pleading guilty to the hopefully reduced charge, which would result in a lower fine. May not save you any money on your insurance, though, as most insurance companies are concerned just with convictions, not the details.

Do you speak French? That may be a consideration, as I'm not sure what their obligation is to offer the trial in English or any translation services, especially if you didn't request that when you requested a trial.

Just checked your post history. Because of the severity of your ticket (31 over, which translates to 4 demerits in Ontario), I see that you may be risking a license suspension, depending on how Ontario treats foreign tickets. You really want to get it down under 30 km/h over, which seems like it should be doable.

C
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
32 posts
5 upvotes
CNeufeld wrote: 1) Doesn’t matter. The pre-trial conference will let you try to work out a deal with the prosecutor before the trial, but you can do that on the day of your trial as well.

2) At 30+ over, yes, you’re getting demerits if you’re convicted. But unless you’re close to a license suspension due to multiple tickets, the demerits are pretty meaningless. Any conviction for speeding will likely have a similar insurance impact, until you get up to 50+ over.

3). Until you have disclosure, there’s no point in thinking about what to say in trial. Keep in mind that unless you find a flaw in the evidence, you will almost certainly getting a conviction, assuming the officer shows up (which he’s paid to do). Even if there is a flaw, you’ll be arguing against a system that is heavily weighted against you. The prosecution proves their case by basically having the officer testify he saw you at location XXX doing a speed of YYY. That’s all the evidence they typically need. It then falls on you to discredit their expert witness. And the prosecutor and officer have been doing this day in and day out for years.

C
Is it better to appoint a representative(paralegal) or not for my scenario as If i convicted i will get 4 demirit points and 30 days suspension.?
Thanks
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10140 posts
6442 upvotes
Edmonton
dealhntr wrote: Is it better to appoint a representative(paralegal) or not for my scenario as If i convicted i will get 4 demirit points and 30 days suspension.?
Thanks
I don’t know if that’s even possible in QB. But there’s no right or wrong answer. The paralegal can’t do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself, but they would have the advantage of experience and hopefully not being nervous. In your case, because the stakes are quite high (because of the potential license suspension and consequent insurance hit) it might be a good idea to explore at least.

C
Member
Nov 8, 2013
465 posts
170 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Hey, I was driving on LakeShore Blvd right beside the LakeShore parking lot in Toronto. I was driving at or below the speed limit I believe and saw a yellow light, proceeded normal speed assuming I would make it and looked at the light as I was entering and couldn’t make out if I entered right before it turned red or after. The light went off and here I am.

I have a few questions for anyone who has gotten the tickets before/knows about them?

1.) Is there any leeway when it comes to time exceeding the red light? For example will they discard any tickets that are less than 1 second after the light turns red, or is it a given that any millisecond after its red is an infraction?

2.) Does going to court always reduce the fine?

3.) How long does it take to get the ticket in Toronto?

4.) How does the envelope/mail look/who sends the ticket? The reason I ask is because the car is registered under my dad and I’ll be the one paying the ticket, I’d rather do it without him knowing if possible.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10140 posts
6442 upvotes
Edmonton
DreamSanctuary wrote: Hey, I was driving on LakeShore Blvd right beside the LakeShore parking lot in Toronto. I was driving at or below the speed limit I believe and saw a yellow light, proceeded normal speed assuming I would make it and looked at the light as I was entering and couldn’t make out if I entered right before it turned red or after. The light went off and here I am.

I have a few questions for anyone who has gotten the tickets before/knows about them?

1.) Is there any leeway when it comes to time exceeding the red light? For example will they discard any tickets that are less than 1 second after the light turns red, or is it a given that any millisecond after its red is an infraction?

2.) Does going to court always reduce the fine?

3.) How long does it take to get the ticket in Toronto?

4.) How does the envelope/mail look/who sends the ticket? The reason I ask is because the car is registered under my dad and I’ll be the one paying the ticket, I’d rather do it without him knowing if possible.
1) They don’t have to give you any leeway on the time. Definitely not a full second. Your “leeway” was the yellow light.

2) Around here, it’s a pretty good bet you’ll get a discount. Don’t know about GTA.

3) Don’t know.

4) So you’re going to open anything that looks like a ticket and addressed to your dad, just to avoid getting in trouble? Just tell them what happened, tell them that you’ll take care of it, and stop worrying about trying to intercept his mail. IMHO.

C
Member
Nov 8, 2013
465 posts
170 upvotes
Toronto, ON
CNeufeld wrote: 1) They don’t have to give you any leeway on the time. Definitely not a full second. Your “leeway” was the yellow light.

2) Around here, it’s a pretty good bet you’ll get a discount. Don’t know about GTA.

3) Don’t know.

4) So you’re going to open anything that looks like a ticket and addressed to your dad, just to avoid getting in trouble? Just tell them what happened, tell them that you’ll take care of it, and stop worrying about trying to intercept his mail. IMHO.

C
So, I found out in Toronto it takes around a week and a half, and they have to send the ticket within 30 days. So, now it’s time to play the waiting game. It’s not about getting in trouble, it’s my car. It’s registered under his name because I never bothered to change it, got too lazy to go to the MTO, especially since their hours conflict with mine. After this, I probably will. I already told him to let me know if he gets a ticket.
Member
Sep 21, 2015
204 posts
57 upvotes
Calgary, AB
Driving back to Calgary from Edmonton in a rental vehicle with no GPS, at the red lights, I quickly glanced at my google maps on the phone to see when I'm supposed to take the next turn. I get waved over along with a few other cars. I explained to the officer that this will be my first ticket in over 17 years, but she had no mercy. I told her my intent, since I needed to know where to turn because the Google maps seemed to go out of sync. A minute earlier, it told me to turn left, then a few seconds later, it said to turn left in 100 m. I just wanted to know what street it wanted me to to turn left on. Anyways, I got the ticket. Any suggestions on the next plan of action here? I go to Edmonton once a month, but I obviously don't want this on my record.

When it comes to disclosure, how do these sting operations work? The officer who wrote me the ticket is not the same officer who saw the phone. They were in touch by radio and asking officers up front to wave people into the parking lot and issuing tickets left, right, and center. So how would disclosure work in this case, and the officer who wrote my ticket..what will her testimony sound like, considering a colleague radioed another colleague, who asked me to pull into a parking lot, and then this officer was the only one available to write the ticket.

Please advise on next best steps. Thanks!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10140 posts
6442 upvotes
Edmonton
wickkedd wrote: Driving back to Calgary from Edmonton in a rental vehicle with no GPS, at the red lights, I quickly glanced at my google maps on the phone to see when I'm supposed to take the next turn. I get waved over along with a few other cars. I explained to the officer that this will be my first ticket in over 17 years, but she had no mercy. I told her my intent, since I needed to know where to turn because the Google maps seemed to go out of sync. A minute earlier, it told me to turn left, then a few seconds later, it said to turn left in 100 m. I just wanted to know what street it wanted me to to turn left on. Anyways, I got the ticket. Any suggestions on the next plan of action here? I go to Edmonton once a month, but I obviously don't want this on my record.

When it comes to disclosure, how do these sting operations work? The officer who wrote me the ticket is not the same officer who saw the phone. They were in touch by radio and asking officers up front to wave people into the parking lot and issuing tickets left, right, and center. So how would disclosure work in this case, and the officer who wrote my ticket..what will her testimony sound like, considering a colleague radioed another colleague, who asked me to pull into a parking lot, and then this officer was the only one available to write the ticket.

Please advise on next best steps. Thanks!
If you want to fight it, file for trial and request disclosure. You can hire someone to fight it for you, if you aren't in the same geographic region and it's not convenient for you.

As far as the disclosure goes, they'll need to provide you with the statements from both officers. I don't know what exactly each one will say, but they would likely both be involved. The one officer will presumably testify to what she saw (you using your phone), and the other officer will testify to what he saw (something about getting word from the other officer about your vehicle and ticket to be issued).

As far as a strategy goes, if I was you, I'd use your location to try to gain an advantage. They'll likely try to queue up all the "sting" operation trials on the same day, even more so than usual because it ties up TWO officers (or more) for a bunch of trials. So you try to arrange for a trial on a different day, because you're not available to take that day off to come up to court. And that way, hopefully one or even both of the officers will be unavailable for your trial.

As far as a defense goes when you do go to trial... You're screwed. You have nothing. You should have pulled over if you were uncertain of where you supposed to turn. People have managed to navigate from A to B for many years without looking at their cell phones. So your only hope is to negotiate a deal or hope the officers don't show up, if it comes down to an actual court date. If the trial starts and everyone is present, the odds are heavily stacked against you managing to discredit the officers testimonies.

C
Member
Sep 21, 2015
204 posts
57 upvotes
Calgary, AB
CNeufeld wrote:
As far as a strategy goes, if I was you, I'd use your location to try to gain an advantage. They'll likely try to queue up all the "sting" operation trials on the same day, even more so than usual because it ties up TWO officers (or more) for a bunch of trials. So you try to arrange for a trial on a different day, because you're not available to take that day off to come up to court. And that way, hopefully one or even both of the officers will be unavailable for your trial.
Wow, Thank you @CNeufeld , really appreciate your detailed response! Looks like as far as defense goes, i really am screwed. But if I follow your above strategy and hope for the best, that may work. How can I arrange a trial on a different date? Do I send in the ticket, plead not guilty, wait for them to send me a date, and then contact them to re-schedule? Does that have request have to be in person? Also, assuming the strategy above, I'm curious on a few outcomes.

Assume there are 3 officers (A,B, and C)
Officer A: the initial officer whom I never saw. He was probably sitting in a van somewhere radioing officer B.
Officer B : The officer who waved me into the parking lot
Officer C: The officer who actually wrote me the ticket, since she was the only one available to write, as officer B was already writing a ticket for someone else.

For me to get a fluke win, do I need ALL officers NOT to be present? Or, is officer C not being present sufficient enough for the charge to be dropped? In addition, suppose Officer C is present, but Officer A is not present. Can I then take it to a full blown trial and cross question Officer C and say how can she say for certain that I was on the phone? I'd assume she would say that Officer A radioed her. Then I can respond and say I challenge that officer's testimony, and that officer is not present, so this charge should be dropped?

Thank you!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10140 posts
6442 upvotes
Edmonton
wickkedd wrote: Wow, Thank you @CNeufeld , really appreciate your detailed response! Looks like as far as defense goes, i really am screwed. But if I follow your above strategy and hope for the best, that may work. How can I arrange a trial on a different date? Do I send in the ticket, plead not guilty, wait for them to send me a date, and then contact them to re-schedule? Does that have request have to be in person? Also, assuming the strategy above, I'm curious on a few outcomes.

Assume there are 3 officers (A,B, and C)
Officer A: the initial officer whom I never saw. He was probably sitting in a van somewhere radioing officer B.
Officer B : The officer who waved me into the parking lot
Officer C: The officer who actually wrote me the ticket, since she was the only one available to write, as officer B was already writing a ticket for someone else.

For me to get a fluke win, do I need ALL officers NOT to be present? Or, is officer C not being present sufficient enough for the charge to be dropped? In addition, suppose Officer C is present, but Officer A is not present. Can I then take it to a full blown trial and cross question Officer C and say how can she say for certain that I was on the phone? I'd assume she would say that Officer A radioed her. Then I can respond and say I challenge that officer's testimony, and that officer is not present, so this charge should be dropped?

Thank you!
I would register for trial and wait for a date. Then try calling in to reschedule it. If they won't do it over the phone, stop by on your next trip up to Edmonton. You'll have a few months delay.

In your scenario, I would think the important testimony would be from officers A and C. It may not be a slam dunk, even if one of them doesn't show up. The prosecutor may try to get the trial delayed, and you'd have to argue why your rights are being violated by the delay. The prosecutor could also try to go ahead with only the testimony from one officer, and then it would be up to you to demonstrate some reason why that isn't sufficient to convict you (i.e. could have possibly pulled over the wrong car, etc). You would have to think quickly on your feet in that case.

If two or more officers don't show up, then the prosecutor may try to reschedule it, and again, it may be up to you to argue why it shouldn't be rescheduled. Or they may just drop it.

Distracted driving is considered relatively severe, so you may have to endure one (or more) rescheduled dates. It's not like you got a ticket for doing 5 km/h over the limit.

C
Member
Sep 21, 2015
204 posts
57 upvotes
Calgary, AB
CNeufeld wrote:

Distracted driving is considered relatively severe, so you may have to endure one (or more) rescheduled dates. It's not like you got a ticket for doing 5 km/h over the limit.

C
Yup and this is why I'm so worried, as this was clearly not the intent. The intent was a quick glance at the map, but it is what it is. This brings me to a less aggressive solution and was wondering about your thoughts. Four years ago, I got a ticket for doing a u-turn, for which, when I went to court, they changed it to a non-moving violation ticket that doesn't show up on my record. If I be nice, show up to court in preparation for the trial, and see my officer (C) present, would it be wise to plead my case, cite my 16-years clean record, and ask to reduce it to a non-moving violation? Something like a camera ticket that doesn't report to insurance. In your experience, do you think I may stand a chance of getting this reduced to a non-moving infraction? I don't mind if I still have to pay a fine; I just don't want something that comes on my personal driving record. Thanks!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10140 posts
6442 upvotes
Edmonton
wickkedd wrote: Yup and this is why I'm so worried, as this was clearly not the intent. The intent was a quick glance at the map, but it is what it is. This brings me to a less aggressive solution and was wondering about your thoughts. Four years ago, I got a ticket for doing a u-turn, for which, when I went to court, they changed it to a non-moving violation ticket that doesn't show up on my record. If I be nice, show up to court in preparation for the trial, and see my officer (C) present, would it be wise to plead my case, cite my 16-years clean record, and ask to reduce it to a non-moving violation? Something like a camera ticket that doesn't report to insurance. In your experience, do you think I may stand a chance of getting this reduced to a non-moving infraction? I don't mind if I still have to pay a fine; I just don't want something that comes on my personal driving record. Thanks!
You can always try; it can’t hurt. But I doubt you’d get it knocked down that far.

Distracted driving seems to be considered a high priority in most jurisdictions, and a significant contributor to traffic safety. That’s why they have ads plastered all over the place to try to get people to stop, and why they run “sting” operations like you got caught in. They don’t do that for u-turns... :)

C
Member
Sep 21, 2015
204 posts
57 upvotes
Calgary, AB
CNeufeld wrote: You can always try; it can’t hurt. But I doubt you’d get it knocked down that far.

Distracted driving seems to be considered a high priority in most jurisdictions, and a significant contributor to traffic safety. That’s why they have ads plastered all over the place to try to get people to stop, and why they run “sting” operations like you got caught in. They don’t do that for u-turns... :)

C
Appreciate the honest feedback. I guess I'll take it a step at a time and see where things go. Thanks for all your help and advice :)
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10140 posts
6442 upvotes
Edmonton
wickkedd wrote: Appreciate the honest feedback. I guess I'll take it a step at a time and see where things go. Thanks for all your help and advice :)
Good luck. Just be glad you weren't in Ontario or one of the other "hard stance" jurisdictions. You could be looking at license suspensions (with subsequent larger insurance impacts), as well as significantly larger fines.

C
Newbie
Dec 28, 2018
6 posts
Hi,
I have just received my disclosure, and my trial is on May 13th. Is there any way I can fight this? Or any tips I can get to fight my case. I received 2 tickets for speed, one reckless driving and the other one for speeding. I was going 103km in a 50km zone. Reduced to 99km.
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