Don't Just Pay Your Traffic Ticket!
If you are caught speeding, don’t offer any information other than what is required. If you are asked “How fast do you think you were going?” or “Do you know why I pulled you over?” answer with a simple “No, officer” or “I don’t know officer,” and be nice about it. Don’t be smart because sometimes the police officer is only pulling you over to give you a warning or for another reason other than speeding. You just never know. If it is a speeding ticket, and you don’t say anything, you are not admitting guilt and that is the first thing you want to stay away from. Do not admit guilt.
Ask for a court or trial date. You want to be proven innocent so let them do their job, don’t do it for them. You are innocent until proven guilty. Once you have a court date set, keep asking for continuances, this is so that there are more chances your case will be dismissed. Continuances are easy to get, say you are sick, going out of town on business for your job, family emergency; anything you can think of will work. This also increases the chances that the ticket issuing officer will not be available for your court date and then the ticket will be dismissed.
You can ask for a court date by selecting option 3 on the back of the ticket. Then you can either mail it in to the courthouse or drop it off in person. The mailing address for the ticket is always printed on the back of the ticket. Option 3 is what you want to select.
If you can not get the ticket dismissed because the ticket issuing officer will be there, you might think about hiring a Paralegal. There are some tickets that come with high demerit points and hefty fines and you might be better off handing over the case to someone with more experience.
If you find yourself in court over a traffic violation, you might want to accept a plea bargain from the prosecutor. This process is called First Attendance. You would have the opportunity to do this process before a trial is conducted. A plea bargain is where you plead guilty to lesser charges while pleading not guilty to the stiffer or higher penalty charges. For example, if you were charged with careless driving, you could plea to a speeding charge and avoid the more serious offense. This will not only save you money, but it will save you demerit points on your abstract and save on your insurance as well.
Many people feel that the Canadian police are just setting up a ‘cash cow’ with the speed traps and feel victimized by their system. One thing you can do to ‘fight back’ is to get the media involved. They can find out how many tickets have been given at any particular place on any given day or days in a row. They have investigators who will be glad to shed some light on the subject of how many speeding tickets the police are giving out.
Another place to turn to is a local radio station if you see where a cop is planted, waiting for other ‘victims’ and ask the DJ to announce where people should slow down a bit. It’s not illegal for them to promote safe, slow driving.