I'm new to this site and so far I'm really impressed with it - thanks to everyone who has/is contributing... it's really helpful for someone like me, who has a lot of unanswered questions.
I know this topic has been covered before, but I couldn't find the answer to my specific question in any of the threads, so I thought I'd start a new topic and see if anyone can help me.
I received a ticket from a red-light camera in Hamilton, Ontario the other day - I suppose I have no excuse for running the red light... I guess I misjudged my point of no return and entered the intersection after the light had turned red. After beating myself up about it for about 24 hours, and then starting to think more rationally again, I started to wonder about my options. In looking into it online, I discovered that many people recommend just paying the $180.00 without making any fuss, so that there will be no 'court record' of it and my insurance rates will not be affected. However, I have also read some conflicting information that says that if I DO decide to go to court/police station and plead 'guilty with an explanation', my insurance rates will still not be affected because the info still won't be available to my insurance company.
Does anyone know definitively which of the above is true? I figure in both cases I'm technically pleading 'guilty', since if I pay the $180 I'm still agreeing that I ran the red light. So why would showing up at the police station to plead guilty with an explanation be any different in terms of records that are kept (and are thus available or not available to insurance companies)? I'd actually like to plead guilty with an explanation and try to get the fine reduced, since I don't really have $180 to 'throw away' (of course, who does?), but if it could possibly affect my insurance, I'd rather just pay the $180 because it'll probably be less in the long run... right?
Just another note: Apparently the process for pleading guilty with an explanation in Hamilton is to just 'show up' at the police station between certain hours of the day and tell them what you're doing there and then they take you to see a Justice of the Peace (so it's not really 'formal court', I guess) - just thought this info might help anyone who potentially has an answer for me.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some light!
http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca