Rage Against Suburban Zombie-ism
Friday, April 27, 2012

How to fight a speeding ticket in Toronto

So you got a speeding ticket?  Yeah, it sucks, but after recently navigating through the Toronto traffic court system (again), here is the lowdown to prevent your hard-earned dollars from flying outta your wallet...

1.  After receiving the ticket, you have 14 business days to either pay or fight it.  If you had time, I urge you to always fight it - unless you really don't care about your money/maintaining your good standing of your license;

2.  Unfortunately, in order to contest your ticket, you have to physically go to the location as stated on your ticket.  If you were caught speeding in Toronto, the building is usually downtown, near the bus depot, right around the corner from Eaton Centre.

This is sorta a nightmare for people who live in the 'burbs 'cause that means commuting down there just to let them know you wanna go to court!  The court system wants to make things as inconvenient as possible, so you just pay instead of actually fighting...;

3.  A few months later, you will receive a notification in the mail about your court date.  They will give you LOTSA notice like 2-3 months.

(This advance notice is both a good & bad thing:  Good because it allows you to plan your schedule and Bad because sometimes with too much notice, you tend to forget things.  Again, I believe that this advance notice is on-purpose, so that you don't show up!  <-- EVIL.) ;

4.  Once your court date arrives, show up approx. 30 minutes prior to the time as indicated on your summons.

5.  Outside your courtroom, again indicated on the letter that you initially received, there'll be someone sitting at a small desk with a line-up in front of him/her.  This person is the Prosecutor.  Sounds scary, but his/her job is to make a deal with you, immediately lowering your rate of speed/cost of your ticket off the bat!

You can ask the Prosecutor if the charging officer will be in court.  If not, and chances are good that the popo won't show up, ask for the charge to be WITHDRAWN;

6.   Once the courtroom opens up, take a seat, turn off your mobile device, and wait for your name to be called by the Prosecutor.

7.  As you approach the bench, the Prosecutor will call your name and present to the Judge your plea, as discussed prior to the proceedings.

8.  You'll probably have to spell out your last name to the Court Clerk (a young'un who is seated in front of the Judge).  All you do is confirm your plea, with the Judge, in which he'll remind you that you're pleading guilty to the charge.*

9.  After your plea, the Judge will tell you how much your fine is and give you the option to pay now on in 30/60 days.  Personally, I want to get all this over with, so I always opt to pay immediately.

10.  The Court Clerk/Judge will ask you to take a seat so that they can prepare the paperwork, i.e. your invoice.

11.  Once they call your name again, you'll have to approach the bench, take your "receipt" and pay at the location as stated.  If your case is taking place at 60 Queen St. W., the payment office is in the basement.  Again, this will be stated on the "receipt".

And that's it!  Before you know it, the day will come and go without much pain at all, so I wish you luck.  ;)

*  If you're lucky enough to have the option to ask to have your charge withdrawn, chances are good that the Judge will comply.  Again, this of course depends on the Judge, the nature of the charge, etc.


posted by Stephania at 2:21 pm
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