I was recently (Dec 28th) pulled over randomly at around midnight on the highway while driving the speed limit. The officer said that he had ran my plates and the owner of the vehicle (me) had a suspended license. I was genuinely unaware of the suspension ($120 unpaid speeding ticket). I currently live in Sudbury (student), and have my MTO mailing address listed as my parents home in Toronto. I also had a copy of both of these licenses when pulled over, as it was a recent address change and I didn't think to destroy the old one (both are my name, picture, DOB, height, etc... not meant for any sort of fraudulent activity).
I never received notice of the suspension as it was mailed to Toronto and I hadn't been to Toronto since the date of suspension (mid-November).
I was charged with two offences: driving while suspended, and possessing more than one license.
I am worried about the huge penalties (mostly the possibility of jail time) that the court can impose on the driving while suspended charge.
Should I plead ignorance and hope for the best? I've been reading that the prosecutor is often willing to reduce the charge to driving without license for first offence. The fine was paid two days after the charge, and I got my license reinstated immediately afterwards.
Also, does this charge count as a criminal offence (on criminal record)? I am going to school in the states next year for grad school and am worried about border-crossing difficulties with a criminal record.
I would very much appreciate an experience opinion.
Thanks a lot,