Hi guys, I'm still a little in shock of getting my first traffic ticket...
On Monday afternoon, I was returning from Toronto to Ottawa on HW416, I was driving about 15 over 100 like always. Then a car came very close to me on the left lane and made me nervous, I speed up unintentionally to pass the car and change lane, but while doing that a police car pull out of the median. He was hiding in between some trees thus I didn't see it before passing.
So I stopped, in a panic of course because this is the first time I'm getting pulled over for 9 years. The police didn't say much just telling me I was doing 133km/h on radar, but I couldn't verify that because I didn't look at my speed while passing. He asked for my documents and left, about 5 mins later he came back with a ticket. He said because I had a clean record so he reduced it to 115km/h thus no points and only $52.5 fine. Then he left without giving me a chance to explain. I drove home in shock and shame still can't believe I received my first ticket.
I was originally going to pay the fine right away but people have been telling me about the increased insurance fees and this record on my file. I've done some research and a new finding on the ticket gave me hope.
It's a hand written ticket issued near Brockville, everything is accurate except the officer signature box is empty! From my research I have 3 options:
1. Do nothing, then appeal if convicted (Risky, thus I'm scared to do this)
2. Trial, request disclosure and prepare defence
3. Trial, then don't show and appeal if convicted
I would appreciate any advice from you guys because I don't know what to do now, and if I ever decide to fight the ticket, I have to go to Brockville(100km away)... thanks.
Congrats! You have a fatal error. Either option #1 or 3 that you described will work. Option 1 would be ideal as you do not need to make a trip to brockville unless convicted. Whereas you would need to go to brockville to request a trial, and then to not show up for it, and if you get convicted, it would require another trip up.
Short and sweet answer, don't respond to the ticket.
I don't believe that is correct. The portion issued to the driver does not need a signature. The part sent to the court does.
In fact the signature box says that it is certifying that the officer served the driver so it shouldn't be signed until the offence notice has been issued.
Thanks for all your replies.
So if the original ticket (certificate of offence) was also not signed, it must be a fatal error right?
It's been 5 days since I got the ticket, how do I find out if the ticket was submitted to court or not?
If I request a trial and then request disclosure, do I need to give my ticket to the court? it has hand written note(just on my ticket in ink, not from the carbon copy) from the police officer saying it was reduced from $238 + 4 points. Does it mean I will be charged with the higher speed and fine?
The copy of the ticket you get is called the Notice of Offence. The original that the officer files with the court is called the Certificate of Offence.
My opinion is that, yes your ticket (the notice of offence) must also be signed.
PROVINCIAL OFFENCES ACT
COMMENCEMENT OF PROCEEDINGS BY CERTIFICATE OF OFFENCE
Certificate of offence and offence notice
3. (1) In addition to the procedure set out in Part III for commencing a proceeding by laying an information, a proceeding in respect of an offence may be commenced by filing a certificate of offence alleging the offence in the office of the court. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33, s. 3 (1).
Issuance and service
(2) A provincial offences officer who believes that one or more persons have committed an offence may issue, by completing and signing in the form prescribed under section 13,
(a) a certificate of offence certifying that an offence has been committed; and
(b) either an offence notice indicating the set fine for the offence or a summons. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 4, s. 1 (2).
So section 3(2) says:A provincial offences officer who believes that one or more persons have committed an offence may issue, by completing and signing in the form prescribed under section 13,
And then we add section 3(2)(b) which says:either an offence notice indicating the set fine for the offence or a summons.
So I read this to say that the only way an Offence Notice (your copy of the ticket) can be validly issued, is if it is signed and has the correct set fine.
I stand corrected. I read it the same as jsherk. I always pulled the Offence Notice off and signed both parts separately.
Ah that's very helpful jsherk.
But can I go to the courthouse right now and ask the clerk to void this ticket? Or do I have to wait for an automatic conviction? If I request a trial now, does it affect my case? I don't mind going there twice, I just want to do it right.
I'm not sure it's going to be that simple. If the actual certificate of offence isn't signed then that would be one thing. I don't think not having a signature on the Offence Notice is necessarily a slam dunk. It may be but the court may not see it that way. The notice is to advise you of the charge, which it does even without the signature.
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