What to Do When You Get a Ticket

september 17, 2021 | auto
Parking ticket under a vehicle windshield wiper

Since the first reported traffic stop on President Ulysses S Grant and his horse and carriage in 1872, the most common question asked of lawyers is: how can I get out of my speeding or parking ticket? These days, you can get a ticket in your car, on your Vespa, your ATV and just about every other vehicle. Here’s an overview of some common ticket situations and how we can help.

You received a parking ticket

Although the rules vary across Canada, when you receive a parking ticket, you can either pay it or contest it. If you choose the latter, you generally have a set time limit for arguing the fine and a formal way for doing so. In Toronto, for example, you have 15 days to ask for a review, now done entirely online due to COVID. If you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can request a trial date. In Quebec, you have 30 days to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you indicate as such on the reply form and a court date will be set for you.

How we can help: Since a parking ticket does not affect your demerit points or your insurance rates, we can help you prepare your defense if you have a personal/family legal plan with us and you want to contest it. It is good to note that while receiving a parking ticket doesn’t affect anything except your wallet (and your mood), not paying it can have bigger consequences. In some places, unpaid fines can lead to your car being “booted,” or towed and impounded, and your monetary penalties will climb.

You received a speeding ticket

Things become more serious when you receive a moving violation. If you are convicted of speeding, you will likely lose demerit points, your insurance rates may go up, and of course, there will be a fine to pay. How much of each will depend on factors such as how fast you were going and where (a school zone, for example), your class of driver’s license, your driving history and previous demerit point deductions. In some cases, if you get caught speeding with a novice driver’s license in Ontario for example, your license can be suspended, the car impounded and we won’t even talk about your insurance rates… let’s just say, they will skyrocket for years. The good news is that if you were caught by speeding by a camera, there is generally no impact on your demerit points.

How we can help: We will let you know if having a lawyer represent you is in your best interest or not. If your situation does warrant a lawyer, we may be able to help you negotiate the points down which can sometimes reduce your fine. And we can help you with your defense, which can include: advising you to write down all the details of the event soon after it occurs, gathering any evidence that will support your case (photos, etc.) and asking for disclosure of the police evidence, plus a copy of the report. Sometimes subpoenas have to be sent to witnesses, as well.

A word about out of town tickets

The days of tossing your out of town tickets in the trash have long passed. Many provinces and territories have deals with each other, and most are part of the Canadian Driver’s License Compact, which means a ticket issued in another province will have the same impact on your license as if it was issued at home, including demerit points. Plus a number of provinces, including Quebec and Ontario, have deals with American states, so be careful wherever you are!

The take-away

Of course, the main take-away is not to speed and be careful where you park, whether you are in your home province or territory or elsewhere. But if you do receive a fine and you have the appropriate plan at LegalShield, we can advise you as to how to best move forward. We are here to help:


Articles on the website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or opinion in any manner. Laws mentioned in the articles vary from province to province. Any links to third-party sites in our articles are for general information purposes only and LegalShield is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, the content of linked sites. It is always advisable to seek legal counsel—and LegalShield can help.

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