traffic ticket

Charged by the police with a traffic violation? You are not alone. The Ottawa Police Service issues more than 130,000 traffic tickets each year. Add to that those issued by the Ontario Provincial Police, RCMP other municipal police services and your chance of receiving a traffic ticket has never been better.

You are not guilty.

The presumption of innocence also applies to traffic tickets. It’s the law of the land. You are entitled to your day in court where your guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


  • Pay the ticket.

    This is an admission of guilt and guarantees demerit points associated with the charge.
  • Plead guilty with an explanation.

    Daily in courts we see people who chose to represent themselves stand at the front of a packed courtroom and declare themselves “guilty with an explanation”. This declaration absolves the prosecutor of having to present any evidence, but be aware: while the Justice of the Peace may and likely will accept this guilty plea, the only thing the Justice of the Peace can affect is the fine on the face of your traffic ticket. The Justice of the Peace has no influence whatsoever with regard to the demerit points associated with the traffic ticket violation.

    For instance: Section 144(18) of the Highway Traffic Act (Ontario), Red Light – Fail to Stop, carries a fine of $155.00 plus a victim’s surtax of $35.00, a total of $190.00. This particular charge has 3 demerit points attached to it if convicted. The Justice of the Peace can maintain, reduce or suspend the fine depending on the explanation, but because of the guilty plea, 3 demerit points are added to the driver’s licence record (accessed by insurance companies) by the Ministry of Transportation.

    Prosecutors love people who plead “guilty with an explanation”. It makes their job easier and their day go faster. They also love those who simply just plead guilty, for the same reasons.

    You should be most concerned about the demerit point accumulation regarding your traffic ticket; it is in your best interests to plead not guilty.
  • Plead not guilty and defend yourself.

    Should you be one of the few with the knowledge to conduct a trial – obtain a trial date, obtain disclosure, cognizant of pertinent Charter issues, question the officer(s), question prosecution witnesses, subpoena, know when to bring a motion, call and question your own witnesses, give evidence on your own behalf, be questioned by the prosecution, make a final submission with regard to the evidence admitted and if found guilty, make a submission as to penalty, then in all sincerity, the very best of luck to you.

Remember, in most instances of a conviction or a “guilty with an explanation” plea, there are demerit points attached to the offence. These points incur insurance implications that can be horrendous and may result in a driver’s licence suspension. Depending on the points you accumulate and assuming your insurance provider continues to provide you with coverage, your rates may increase significantly, usually in the range of $600 - $1,000 per year for three years.

If convicted of Careless Driving, (6 points in Ontario) you can expect an annual increase in your insurance rate of between $4,500 - $6,000 for a period of at least 3 years. Should your insurance provider decline to provide coverage for point accumulation, your only alternative in Ontario is Facility Insurance, which will apply a maximum 250% surcharge to your already steep rates.

Note: reciprocal agreements are in place with all Provinces and most States in North America. Regardless of the jurisdiction in which you receive the traffic ticket to which you plead guilty or are convicted, it will reflect on your driver’s licence.

As you can see, convictions can carry huge financial consequences as well as the possible inconvenience of a driver’s licence suspension.

Ottawa Traffic Tickets can help

Our agents are former police officers with decades spent issuing traffic tickets, investigating accidents and conducting criminal investigations. We are specialists in traffic ticket defence. Don’t struggle with the stress and worry of fighting your traffic ticket. Know you are in good hands with the experts at Ottawa Traffic Tickets. It is what we do and we are very good at it. We are your best defence.

contact Ottawa Traffic Tickets for your driving related offence
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