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Fight Your Ticket

So, you are caught.

What do you plead? You have been pulled over. You can see clearly from the mirror that the red and blue lights are flashing on the cop car. Your hands are sweating, and your heart is pounding. A lot of things are going on in your mind. So finally the cop hands you the ticket, and he conveniently included an envelope, too (so you can more quickly pay up). What do you plead? Guilty or not guilty? There are three options:

  1. Plead guilty - payment out of court
    This option is for those who enjoy random forms of taxation, as if they haven't paid enough income tax (starting from 17%), property tax, sales taxes on almost everything from candies to houses, liquor tax, air tax, you name it.

  2. Plead guilty with an explanation
    Essentially the same as option 1. But you get to explain your situation to a justice of the peace, and hopefully if you face a sympathetic one you will get your fine reduced a bit and have more time to pay. However you should realize that the judge cannot reduce the number of km/h over on the charge nor change the charge.

  3. Plead not guilty - trial option
    Why should you plead not guilty? Because:
    • if you appear on trial, the cop might not show up, and the ticket is automatically dismissed
    • if the cop does show up, with some preparation, you have a chance to win the case
    • in the worst case, if you lose, it is good education to learn how court works. Just think of it as a legal course fee

DON'T JUST PAY UP! At least, if you chose option 2, you can reduce the fine a bit and have longer time to pay. However, if you care about insurance premium surcharges after the conviction, don't even think about pleading guilty (option 1 or 2).
The insurance industry don't care how many km/h over you commited, nor do they care how much fine you paid. All they care is the NUMBER of convictions on your driving record.
If you have been convicted for speeding 1 km/h over and paid $60 fine, you are classified as a "high risk dangerous driver" same as the other guy who is 30 km/h over and paid $200.

Choosing option 1 or 2 means that you agree with what's being charged against you, and a conviction will be entered.
Note that even if you choose option 2, the judge can't reduce the number of km/h over on the charge nor change the charge. Considering the insurance premium increase, you have no reason why you shouldn't plead not guilty.

The stain stays on your record for 3 (three) years. (Demerit points on your license stay for 2 years.) If you are faced with JUST a $100 increase in premium per year, you are paying over $300 extra for this ticket alone. Of course, insurance companies aren't THAT generous.

>> Request Fight Your Ticket PDF file

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Total messages: 1

I agree
posted by: Craig on Monday, October 20, 2008 at 8:01 PM
I agree with the author - if all af us would go to court when we feel being not guilty - it'll make the difference and system would have to adjust.
Add to that guilty parties and the system will choke.