I Got A Traffic Ticket! Now What Do I Do?
Most people, approximately 96 percent, think there is nothing they can do about a speeding or other traffic ticket and simply just pay for it.
There are several things you can do to win a favorable decision in a battle with the courts over a Canadian traffic ticket. You don’t have to pay the high fees associated with traffic tickets any longer. It’s highway robbery what some municipalities are charging these days.
First thing you need to do is to plead not guilty, no matter the circumstances, always plead not guilty because you are innocent until proven guilty. So have them prove you guilty, make them work for it, don’t do their job for them. There are countless ways they can screw up, and you can get your ticket dismissed.
Next is to ask for a court date. There are quite a few ways to obtain a court date; you can go to the courthouse, the clerk’s window or by a certified letter to the ticket office or courthouse. With a little help and preparation, you can win the hearing or even before that, get your ticket dismissed.
The next thing you need to do in order to win against a traffic ticket in Canada is to delay the court proceedings. Get as many continuances as you possibly can. This will almost guarantee the officer who issued you the ticket will not be available and, increased the chances of a dismissal. Tell them you are sick, you can’t get off work, a family emergency; you are going out of town, etc. It is fairly simple to get a continuance from a traffic ticket court date.
If the ticket issuing officer does not show up, the court might dismiss the charges. This happens in about 30 to 50 percent of the cases.
Don’t be afraid to fight in court. Speed traps are not illegal, however, some manipulates will fold under pressure from the media if you blow the whistle hard enough. Bring the press into court with you; have them investigate exactly how many people are ticketed at that same spot every day, every week, every year. The media loves this kind of thing. You can also call into the local radio stations to alert other drivers of where the police have set up their radar guns so that others don’t ‘feed’ the police “piggy bank.”
Prevention is a better way to get out of a traffic ticket and the first thing to do when pulled over is to be nice. Don’t smart off. Cops are sometimes just pulling you over to give you a warning, but if you smart off or are unpleasant, they will go ahead and write the ticket.
Don’t answer questions such as “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or “Do you know how fast you were driving?” Just answer these with “I don’t know, officer.” Open-ended questions leave room for error and allow you to remain innocent until they can prove you are guilty of something.