If you have a charge with a fine on the face of the traffic ticket, it is a proceeding under Part 1 of the Provincial Offences Act (POA).
There should be two amounts shown on the face of the traffic ticket, a “set fine” and a “total payable”. This typically ranges from $65.00 for a Fail to surrender insurance card to $490.00 for a Careless driving offence.
Fast fact – if the set fine is wrong, a charge can be successfully disputed. It requires a delicate two step dance, as showing up in Court can allow the prosecution to amend the error. Representation is strongly advised in these instances and should be successful.
If you’d like to skip to your particular traffic ticket, please select the one that is closest from the list below:
Fail to Stop for School Bus
Fail to Report
Other Moving violations (Speeding, stop signs, lights, etc)
Paper Offenses (Fail to surrender *type* card, plates, validation, etc)
Multiple Offenses (If you have more then one ticket check here!)
Careless driving is a serious offence, even as a Part 1 charge. It carries six demerit points from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and that is sufficient to get your attention.
Insurance Impact: BIG! With a careless driving charge on your record (clean as it may be), your insurance may be immediately cancelled or your premiums increased to facility insurance prices (think house payment, nice house!).
Recommendation: Representation is strongly advised because of the potential implications of a conviction regardless of your circumstances. This is one of the heaviest penalized traffic tickets both in demerit points and in insurance impact.
Fail to stop for school bus
When a school bus is stopped, stop arm extended and lights flashing, all of us have to be aware of the possibility of children running across the road. We have to stop, but sometimes we miss the bus, so to speak. Typically we see this on larger streets, with 4 lanes or more, and relatively high traffic volumes. This charge carries six demerit points and that is certainly enough to get your attention.
Insurance Impact: Large. This might not be careless driving but it isn’t far behind and it can quickly move you to facility insurance.
Recommendation: Representation is strongly advised because of the potential implications of a conviction regardless of your circumstances.
Fail to report
Each driver of a motor vehicle has obligations, including the obligation to report any accident he/she is involved in. The obligation consists of several parts and contains words that are legally interpreted, such as forthwith. There are some exceptions. The charge itself has a minor fine ($110.00, total payable) and three demerit points. The demerit points can have an impact, depending on your current driving abstract, but typically are the minor issue with this charge.
Insurance Impact: BIG! The insurance industry charges a heavy penalty for failing to report any exposure they may have and they punish offenders with high rates if convicted of this charge.
Recommendation: Seek representation and advice because of the insurance implications of a conviction. More than many cases due to the fact it is all about insurance, it is a difficult one to self-represent as the crown is typically unable to consider insurance.
Other moving violations as part one offences
This area covers a lot of offenses worth between 0 and 4 demerit points. Some of them (there are too many to list here) are:
- Stop signs
- Red lights
- Amber lights
- Follow too closely
- Fail to drive in marked lane
- Fail to move to the left for emergency vehicle
- Illegal use of HOV (High occupancy vehicle) Lanes
- Illegal Turns
- Seat Belts
- Use Hand Held Device ( Cell Phones)
All of these have implications for your driving abstract. Exactly what that impact is depends on your record, occupation and/or type of license. These are typically considered minor offenses by the system (Some offences, such as speeding, can be more serious depending on the speed).
Insurance Impact: These charges normally count as a single minor conviction on your insurance rates each.
Recommendation: Consultation is strongly advised, to discuss your particular circumstances and to help you figure out what the best solution is in them. For some situations, we may advise you to consider simply paying the traffic ticket, and in others representation will be strongly recommended. A third option, our “Faint Hope” representation pilot project is offered as an alternative to simply paying the traffic ticket or filing it yourself.
Factoid: Yes, we do tell people how they can handle the situation themselves or to simply pay the charge. Our job is to help folk and to provide honest advice. From a purely coldblooded perspective – we want you to come back when you do need our assistance. When we say we can assist – it is because we believe that we can add considerable value or aide to your defense working with you.
There are a litany of administrative, paper traffic ticket charges that carry 0 demerit points though may have other consequences. Some of them are…
- Fail to surrender insurance card/driver’s license/permit
- Expired validation
- Improper ownership
- Expired plates
- Unattached plates
- Use plates not authorized by the Ministry
They typically are minor ones related to vehicle ownership, insurance and/or registration.
Insurance Impact: Insurance companies count these as convictions, typically on par with the other moving vehicle offenses. A charge for failing to surrender your insurance card for $60 may be considered the same as a minor speeding at 25 km over the posted limit.
Recommendation: Consultation is advised to discuss the particulars of your case and what options you may have. Insurance and number of convictions are primary considerations for most of the cases here. For some situations, you may be advised to consider paying the traffic ticket, and in others representation will be strongly recommended. As above, the “Faint Hope” representation pilot project may be an alternative to simply paying the traffic ticket or filing it yourself.
Fast Fact – two or more minor convictions of any kind will typically cause an increase in your insurance rates, even without any demerit points, accident claims or major charges.
TWO OR MORE CHARGES WITH FINES – danger zone.
DO NOT PAY THESE TRAFFIC TICKETS. Even without demerit points, you are now firmly in a position that will likely impact on your insurance. It is not an unusual situation, but it requires you to take an active management role in your defense.
Insurance Impact: Potentially big. Insurance company’s count number of convictions, not demerit points, as well as particular ones. This means that multiple charges will almost certainly raise your rates to some extent.
Recommendation: Consultation is strongly advised, to discuss your particular circumstances, and the options you have. For some situations, you will be advised to consider handling the matter yourself for a simple BOGO (buy one, get one deal) , and in some situations representation will be strongly recommended. A third option, our “Faint Hope” representation is offered as an alternative to defending or filing the traffic tickets yourself. Typically you are facing at least some insurance issues (in the case of two minor ones), or with larger ones a more serious issue. Typically an improvement in your personal circumstance is available.
Fast Fact – early resolution options will typically result in an offer to plead to one charge and have one charge withdrawn. Come see us and we will tell you exactly what to ask for, no charge to you. And if you don’t want to take time of work to attend court, we offer a limited retainer through our Faint Hope pilot program. Things do get better with a little knowledge.