I was hoping i could get some advice about my first ticket.
I was stopped yesterday for going 58 in a 40 zone (I was shocked as I always stick to no more than 10 above, i'm very particular about it)
In 13 years of driving, i have never been in an accident nor had a speeding ticket (no warnings either), i haven't even had a parking ticket.
I provided the police officer with the required documents, and when he came back he said my insurance card is not valid. I checked and it was my last one which had expired 3 months ago. I figured I may have swapped them accidentally when cleaning (i couldn't find the new one at home but called insurance to send a new set of my current insurance).
So as a result I received two tickets, one for speeding, the other for fail to have insurance card.
I told the officer it was my first offence and I did not know what to do, he told me to select option 3 and when i go to court he will help me and reduce the speeding ticket to 50 which would not affect demerits.
Im guessing the above advice by the officer is for the speeding ticket. How does this work? Should i do it? Do i get to talk with the officer before the seeing the prosecutor? what if he doesn't show, how do I explain why i'm there?
What do I do about the 'fail to have insurance card' offence? Does this impact my insurance? Should i do option 1 (plea guilty). do the early resolution option (2), or do a trial as well? Can you take both offences to trial at the same time and get them resolved/lowered?
Sorry i asked so many questions, this is really stressing me out.
pmasz wrote:Im guessing the above advice by the officer is for the speeding ticket. How does this work? Should i do it? Do i get to talk with the officer before the seeing the prosecutor? what if he doesn't show, how do I explain why i'm there?
It's not up to the officer. I'm sure the officer was just trying to make it easy for you to understand without confusing you. They can certainly put in a good word and let them know you were cooperative, but the decision is not up to them. That being said, yes, they'll probably offer you a speed with zero demerit points.
pmasz wrote:What do I do about the 'fail to have insurance card' offence? Does this impact my insurance? Should i do option 1 (plea guilty). do the early resolution option (2), or do a trial as well? Can you take both offences to trial at the same time and get them resolved/lowered?
You'll probably want handle both these at once. A lot of people don't realize, but failing to provide an officer with insurance upon request can impact your insurance rates. You'll hear people say things like "oh, it's a paper ticket. It's not the same as speeding". It's a minor offense. It's pretty much the same as your speeding ticket.
Bring your valid insurance card and maybe they drop it if you plead guilty to speeding. However, they are certainly under no obligation to do so.
I would recommend you plead not guilty to both and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, then you can request disclosure (officers notes, copy of speed measuring device manual). Once you receive the officers notes, black out personal/officer info and scan and post here so we can give you more help.
18 over is 3 demerits and 15 over is 0 demerits but both are considered the same by insurance as a MINOR which means they can both cause your insurance to go up the same.
Fail to provide insurance card is also a minor, so if you go to trial and lose then you will have TWO minor convictions on your record.
Before trial, you probably will have opportunity to meet with prosecutor. Take your valid insurance card and see if they offer you a plea deal... maybe they will offer to drop no insurance card if you just plead guilty to the 18 over (or maybe they will even drop if to 15 over).
The police officer has no ability to change the ticket once written. Only the prosecutor can make any changes.
Thank you both for your replies, i really appreciate it.
@jsherk, I was originally thinking to do option 2 (early resolution - meet with the prosecutor) for the insurance card. I figured it may be easier to simply provide evidence of valid insurance this way. I read somewhere (cannot confirm validity of course) that most of the time, if you can provide proof of being insured, the prosecutor will likely drop the insurance card issue (of course it depends on the prosecutor themselves), is this true?
If i do take option 3 for both, because they are separate tickets, can you deal with both at the exact same time during the court date?
I know you said to post the disclosure, which I will, but is requesting this something that will tick off the prosecutor/police officer?
Will i want to plea guilty, or not guilty?
And you said that i will probably have a chance to meet with the prosecutor and they will offer a plea deal. What happens in the case that this doesn't happen? I continue forward with the intention to plead not guilty, but what do i say then?
Option 2 meeting prosecutor may work in your case, but if they do not offer you a deal you like, then you have to go back to trial on another day as well. Setting a trial date right away means one less possible visit and you will meet with prosecutor before hand anyways.
The prosecutor has no obligation to offer you any kind of deal or to drop any charges. They might and they might not. Since not having your insurance card with you is not cosidered very serious, there is a good chance they will offer to drop it if you plead guilty to the speeding ticket. But no guarantees.
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