Step-by-Step Guide to Fight Your Ticket

Receiving a speeding, parking ticket or any other ticket can be a very emotional experience. In Ontario you have a limited amount of time to decide how you’ll deal with the ticket. In the case of a speeding ticket the decision you make could have long term financial consequences, through increased insurance rates and demerit points. During this time, using the information on this site, you should weigh your options and make as unemotional a choice as possible about how to deal with the ticket.

Successfully fighting a speeding or parking ticket is not easy, especially if you actually have to engage in a trial, although many times you will not; as described on this site. The steps listed below will help you decide if it’s worth your time (from the time of the ticket to a final resolution could be 12 months or more) and effort to fight a speeding or parking ticket. If you decided it’s not then you may seek the help of qualified legal representative or simply pay the fine. In either event you’ll have a better understanding of the process and the steps involved in successfully fighting your speeding or parking ticket.

Make-believe trials for $30 Parking tickets: We discovered last summer (2008) that the City of Toronto has stopped issuing trial dates for $30 Parking tickets. Anyone who gets one can still request a date for trial to contest the ticket – and will be told a trial date will be coming in the mail – but the letter never arrives and no conviction is registered. The City of Toronto figured out it’s far less costly to pretend to offer people a trial, then just forget about it, than it is to actually administer justice (see article).  If you don’t take your parking ticket to one of the four (4) locations on the back of the ticket and request a trial, you will then be convicted and will have to pay the forty five dollar fine; fightyourtickets and win.

If you’ve decided to fight your speeding or parking ticket follow this step-by-step guide for best results:

  1. You’ve received a speeding or parking ticket.
  2. In Ontario you have 15 calendar days (from the issue date on the ticket) to file a Notice of Intention to Appear form at the nearest Ontario Court of Justice office in your city.

    Photocopy or scan both sides of the ticket, for your records, prior to going to the court office.

    For a more detailed explanation see: Options When You Receive a Ticket

    At the Ontario Court of Justice office you may directed to a “First Attendance Meeting” to meet with the Prosecutor, where you’ll be pressured  to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Demand your right to a trial and avoid this meeting, if at all possible. You might suggest that you have an appointment or your away from work and don’t have time to attend such a meeting. You just want to request a trial.

    When completing the Notice of Intention Form to appear you should also indicate if you want the trial in French or if you require a language or sign language interpreter to be present in court during the trial.

    For a more detailed explanation see: Requesting a Trial

  3. The Notice of Trial
  4. Often, after you have filled out your Notice of Intention to Appear and you present it to the clerk at the office you are submitting it, the clerk will speak to you. The clerk will tell you that if you don’t receive a Notice of Trial within 2 months of requesting a date, then you are obligated to contact the office where you filed the notice and remind them by telephone, that you have not received your Notice of Trial in the mail yet and that you are seeking trial date, to contest the  alleged offence.

    You are not obligated to contact the office at which you requested a trial, to remind them to do their jobs or to remind them to set a date for your trial.  Do not contact them, as this is not in your best interest to do so.  Be patient and wait.  You will eventually receive a Notice of Trial in the mail and if you don’t, then the City or Province has abandoned the matter.

    Or you requested a trial and you followed the correct procedures, by filling out a Notice of Intention to Appear but instead of receiving the “Notice of Trial” in the mail, you receive a Notice of Fine and a Due Date (meaning you were tried and convicted in absentia and you must pay the total fine by a specified date).   You only have 15 days to request that your case be Re-Opened.

    For a more detailed explanation, see: Conviction Notice

    Once you receive the notice of trial, note the date of the hearing. If it is set within 10 months of the date of the alleged infraction then you will immediately have to prepare for a trial.

    For a more detailed explanation see: The Players- Plea Bargaining- The Trial

    If the trial date is more than 10 months from the date of the alleged infraction you should begin preparing an Application for a Stay of Proceedings to halt the action against you for violation of your Constitutional Right to a speedy trial.

    In either case you should also make a disclosure request to obtain all necessary information the Crown has about your case.

    For a more detailed explanation see: Disclosure

  5. The Trial
  6. By this point the trial date has been set. If it’s been more than 10 months since the date of the infraction you should have filed your Application for a Stay of Proceedings with the appropriate Offices. You’ve also made extra copies for the Judge or Justice of Peace as well as for the Crown and yourself. Your prepared to present your first motion in court to have the proceedings against you stayed due to the violation of your Constitiutional Rights to a speedy trial.

    For a more detailed explanation see: Reasons for Dismissal

    You’ve received disclosure from the Crown regarding your case. If not, then you’re prepared to make a motion to have the charges dismissed.

    For a more detailed explanation see: Reasons for Dismissal

    You’re at the trial and the police officer or the person who issued the ticket is not present, you move a motion to have the charges dismissed.

    For a more detailed explanation see: Reasons for Dismissal

    The trial is less than 10 months from the date of the alleged infraction and is proceeding. Prior to this you’ve prepared your list of questions for the person who issued the ticket. You prepared your witnesses (if any) and your list of questions. You’ve prepared your own explanation as to what happened and why.

    For a more detailed explanation see: The Trial

    You make your closing arguments and the trial concludes.

    For a more detailed explanation see: The Trial

    The Judge or Justice of Peace renders the verdict and you won, congratulations.

  7. Appealing Your Conviction
  8. Or you were found guilty. At this point you must decide whether you’ll accept your conviction and the sentence (fines and associated costs) imposed on you.

    The conviction will be registered and your insurance company will be made aware of your guilt. Demerit points will remain on your file for 2 years from the date of the infraction, while your insurance company will keep a record for 3 years.

    Before you can appeal you must pay any fines and associates, at your local Provincial Offences Act office. Make sure you get a receipt for your payment.

    In Ontario you must file your appeal within 15 days of the date of conviction.

    For a more detailed explanation see: Appealing a Conviction or Sentence

The above steps are only intended to give you an overview of the entire process of fighting your speeding or parking ticket. Each section has links to more detailed information on this site. This guide has been kept as concise as possible to allow for a general understanding of the process involved. There is, however,  much more involved in the process and if you intend to represent yourself or others,  then you must carefully read the sections noted above,  as well as those dealing with the specific laws you’ll be relying upon in your defence.

Please leave comments to help make this guide better and the best of luck,  in fighting your tickets.

fightyourtickets.ca Is Now Offered in over 30 Languages

Update:

fightyourtickets.ca is now offered in over 30 languages, with instant translation available.  Upon visiting this website, you’ll notice the calender on the top-right hand corner and under the calender, Translator appears with the flags associated with the different countries and their languages.  Click on the flag and it will translate the page to the language associated with that particular country.  Although the site was constructed in English, it can be translated into the following languages:

Listed Alphabetically:

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fightyourtickets.ca will continue to improve upon and update the site with posts and pages with up-to-date and important information.  If you want to receive the updates as they occur, click the Orange RSS Icon  (the Orange circle with the lines running through it) at the top right hand corner of the page, and you will receive updates as they occur.

Ontario Provincial Offences Act Courts (Ontario Court of Justice)

Update:

Please find a new page Ontario Provincial Offences Act Courts (Court of Justice) which lists the Provincial Offences Act (POA) courts in your area.  These courts are found throughout Ontario and they are listed alphabetically from the CIty of Barrie, up to and including, the City of Woodstock.  It is important that you know the court closest to you, not only for the purposes of requesting “Disclosure” but also to know where to serve your Application for Stay of Proceeding documentation and attend a Trial.

I want to thank everyone that has supported this site and to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2009.

Remember “Fight Your Tickets”

Appealing a Conviction or Sentence and Green Alternatives – Motorcycles, Mopeds and e-Bikes

Update:

In the Tickets section, following the “Conviction Notice” a new page has been added, called Appealing a Conviction or Sentence. This new addition describes the process and procedure of launching an appeal of the ruling of the Justice of the Peace.  This can be done by the defendent (you) or by the Prosecutor, who disagrees with the Justice of the Peace when the ruling is in your favour.

In the Law section, following the “Demerit Point System in Ontario” a new page has been added, called Green Alternatives – Motorcycles, Mopeds and e-Bikes. This new addition speaks to Green transportation alternatives, namely Motorcyles, Mopeds and e-Bikes.  e-Bikes are power assisted bicycles.

This new page speaks to the Free Parking in Toronto for all motorcycles, motor scooters and mopeds. You’ll find the laws surrounding e-bikes in Ontario (and the other provinces) and fines for traditional bicycles and e-bikes in Ontario.

A thanks again to all that have supported this website.  It is encouraging to know that people have utilized this site and are happy with the results.  Hoping everyone enjoys the holiday season and has a healthy and happy 2009!