I received my first red light camera ticket. It says my options are:
Option 1 - Trial Option (Plead Not Guilty)
Option 2 - Plea of Guilty (Submissions as to Penalty)
Option 3 - Plea of Guilty (Voluntary Payment of Total Payable)
Option 2 allows me to appear before a justice and make submissions as to penalty amount or time to pay. Given that I have had a clean driving record up until this point, would this be the best option to take to see if I can get the fine reduced?
I read through other posts and the consensus seems to be that Option 1 is the best bet by trying to negotiate with the prosecutor before the trial. However, I couldn't find a post where someone had the same Option 2 as me. (everyone seems to have an Option 2, but worded differently).
I would request the trial for this charge.
I have seen the prosecutor offer everyone $175 fine if they agreed to plead guilty and the JP reduce it in the interest of "fairness" to $125 for everyone regardless of circumstance. One person who was elderly was not fined at all.
I have also seen the prosecutor not have the photos with them and withdraw the charge altogether.
Its almost always reduced by the prosecutor. And, as ynotp indicated, its usually reduced to $150-$175 (depending on the jurisdiction). Plus, if your financial circumstances are pretty dire, JP's will sometimes issue a 'suspended sentence'--meaning you get no fine (but that's only in rare cases).
lfc wrote:Given that I have had a clean driving record up until this point
You still have a clean record. Red light camera offenses don't follow you once they are paid off.
lfc wrote:I read through other posts and the consensus seems to be that Option 1 is the best bet by trying to negotiate with the prosecutor before the trial. However, I couldn't find a post where someone had the same Option 2 as me. (everyone seems to have an Option 2, but worded differently).
Different areas may have a different ordering of the options.
Here's the way it works in Ottawa;
It used to be you could negotiate a reduction in the fine on a guilty plea, no more. There is no defence and no one defends them.
Get your trial date by selecting the trial option. Attend on the date and plead guilty - once you're found guilty you can ask the JP to reduce the fine to whatever amount. However, be prepared to explain why.
This will take most of a morning or afternoon. So, if you're prepared to spend that much time to get a reduction, go for it.
Otherwise, pay the 325.00 - if you attend your trial date and actually have a trial, you will lose and there will be no fine reduction. I will not be increased though.
By pleading not guilty and having a trial you simply annoy everyone from the clerk to the jp.
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