Red Light traffic tickets

Laura8
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Red Light traffic tickets

Unread post by Laura8 on

Hi there, I have read through these forums and gotten some good ideas on how to proceed with my case, but my case is a little different than what has been posted in these forums so far. I will explain to the best of my knowledge.
I received a call about 2 weeks ago from a collections agency regarding 3 un-paid and overdue red light traffic violations for the city of Brampton. Now, having no idea what the gentleman was talking about because I had never received any notices in the mail, I thought it may have been a scam. I proceeded by calling the Court in Brampton to verify that the tickets were legit and it wasn't a scam. The lady on the phone looked it up for me, and indeed, I have 3 tickets dating back to April and 2 in July. Now, wondering why I had never recieved any notice about this, I asked her where the notices were sent, which she then told me the address. The tickets (and court notices) were sent to my old address in which i have not lived at for almost 3 years (and YES, i did do my change of address with the MTO, as I received my new drivers license without any issues and renewed my car stickers(registration) each year since without any problems(the notices for new stickers and prices were sent to my new address). So due to this, I never knew about the tickets and couldnt go to court to plead guilty to a lower fine or anything of the sort (the current owner of the house throws out anything that comes in our name, no matter who it is coming from).
Now i know that a red light camera ticket does not hold any demerit points so it shouldnt affect my license or my insurance (which is a good thing), but i definately cannot afford $1260 (the 3 tickets combined, $420 each).
I honestly do not remember ever running a red light and have many notions in my head as to why i may have (Rush hour in brampton, could have been unsafe to brake at a yellow, could have been behind a city bus or transport truck and didnt see the light and just followed behind the large vehicle, and all 3 tickets were at the same intersection...faulty camera?)
One of my other concerns is, had the initial ticket been sent to the proper address, I would have dealt with it right away and been much more aware on the roads and the following 2 tickets may never have happened.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

Is it possible you updated your address shortly after the date of the offence? The weird thing is that if you had outstanding fines, you should NOT have been able to renew your plates. Are you sure both your vehicle and licence have the same address? Sometimes people change one but not the other.

As for the amount owing, I believe red light fines are $320, not $420. If the collection agency is charging a $100 fee per ticket, you might be able to get that waved if you can show the City made an error and sent the tickets to the wrong address. I don't know how you'd go about getting the tickets reduced now, but you'd probably be able to make partial payments on what you owe until it's all paid off.
Laura8 wrote:I honestly do not remember ever running a red light and have many notions in my head as to why i may have (Rush hour in brampton, could have been unsafe to brake at a yellow, could have been behind a city bus or transport truck and didnt see the light and just followed behind the large vehicle, and all 3 tickets were at the same intersection...faulty camera?)
In regards to your scenarios, you wouldn't have received the ticket for running an amber light. And saying that you were too close to a large truck to see the light is NOT a defence to try in Court. :shock:


Laura8
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Unread post by Laura8 on

I moved in June 2008...and changed my address in either July or August of 2008...the tickets were from April and July 2010...so no, there's no way that i changed the address after the date of the offense.
And as for having the fines lowered, I've read many other cases on here that have had them lowered.


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

You might want to talk to a paralegal about this one. Or, you could try to work out a payment plan with the city of Brampton or the collection agency. Either way, it doesn't affect your insurance or driver record... although you cannot renew your plates until the fines are paid (as Stanton said).
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


Laura8
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Unread post by Laura8 on

I've talked to ex-copper and they don't do camera tickets...so that's out of the question. As far as not being able to renew my plates with outstanding fines...that's odd...because according to the information i was given at the courthouse, 2 were outstanding before i renewed my plates at the end of september(i did so without any problems)...and the other was the day after my birthday.

i'd like to deal with this through the city of brampton as much as possible, as i think the collections agency has tacked on a fee per ticket (hence...cheaper through city of brampton)...and if i can get it lowered at all, that would be great as well. if the first ticket was sent to the correct address, then i know to a 90-95% degree that the 2nd and 3rd would have never happened (being WAY more careful)...and it never happened before and hasn't happened since....so i'm hoping something can be done.

Yesterday...for the 3rd time in 3 weeks, i went to the courthouse to see the JP about re-opening the case...and they've either called in sick or went home sick early each time....GAHHHH!!!
The lady gave me a number to call before driving all the way out there next week(i can only go on mondays)


OPS Copper
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Unread post by OPS Copper on

I think once they are at the collections company you are S.O.L. Even if you pay through the city you still owe their fee and they will Just put that fee into collections.

I think that collection agency buys the debt from the city for a fixed price They then assume that they can collect something and the fee is to cover the ones that they cannot collect from. As far as the city is concerned the debt for the tickets is now owned by the collection agency.

GS


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

That is very odd, because you should not be able to renew your plates unless all fines are paid. Then again, given the fact that the government of Ontario is completely unfamiliar with its own rules regarding traffic tickets and fines, it is only mildly surprising.

(Case and point: There have been numerous articles over the past year complaining about the amount of unpaid fines in Ontario. The Attorney-General came out and said Ontario has "no way" of enforcing the fines on out-of-province motorists. UM... HELLO?! The reciprocity agreements signed with the other provinces and 40 states for licence suspensions for unpaid fines ring a bell?!?!?!?!)

It was probably one of those administrative goof-ups.
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Laura8
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Unread post by Laura8 on

So I have a court date set for July 15th, my case was re-opened without any issues, the JP said there were many reason's for her to OK the re-open. On the paperwork it says total fine due is $325 for each ticket, not the $420 that IQOR Canada had told me (so they did impose an extra fee). Right before i saw the JP, another person had pled guilty to a reduced fine of $170....so I would totally be good with that if i can get it.
I just wish this was all sooner than July 15th...I just want to get it over and done with.


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Unread post by viper1 on

Laura8 wrote:So I have a court date set for July 15th, my case was re-opened without any issues, the JP said there were many reason's for her to OK the re-open. On the paperwork it says total fine due is $325 for each ticket, not the $420 that IQOR Canada had told me (so they did impose an extra fee). Right before i saw the JP, another person had pled guilty to a reduced fine of $170....so I would totally be good with that if i can get it.
I just wish this was all sooner than July 15th...I just want to get it over and done with.
When you talk to Jp and change any-thing it goes back to the original charge/amount.

Without the extra taxes.

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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Talk to the Prosecutor when you go in for your court date, and you may be able to arrange for reduced fines up front. So you'd save quite a bit of money if that goes well...
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


Laura8
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Unread post by Laura8 on

A couple new questions...as I had stated before, I had never received the tickets as they were sent to the wrong address. When setting up my court date, I filed for disclosure so that I could see the tickets and photos. This past monday I went to pick up the disclosures as I had received a phone call saying they were ready. When I got there, there were only 2 of them (there was 3 tickets). The disclosure that is missing is from the very first ticket, and all the lady could tell me was "it could take up to 6 weeks for them to be ready"....its been 8 weeks since i filed for disclosure and my court date is now less than a month away. Having asked for disclosure and not receiving it...can that help me in court at all?

And my other question is...to get a reduced fine on the court date, who do I speak to and when? My court date is on Friday, July 15th at 10:30am. Do I try to reduce it that morning, or do I go earlier to try for a reduction? (it would be much easier for me to try for a reduction on the monday which is my day off, rather than take the friday off work and lose more money)

Any help would be appreciated.


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

When you show up in court, you will have to check in with the Prosecutor before the trial starts. When you do, the Prosecutor will probably offer you a reduced fine, or offer to drop one of the charges if you plead guilty to the other two, etc... something like that. Some courts (not sure if Brampton does) has "walk-in first attendance" where you can walk in and speak to a Prosecutor prior to the day of trial.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


Laura8
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Unread post by Laura8 on

What about the disclosure thing though? They said it would take 4-6 weeks for them to be ready.
I asked for disclosure on all 3 tickets on April 18, 2011. Received a call on May 31, 2011 that they were ready for pick-up. Went to pick them up on June 13, 2011 and only 2 of them were there. The lady then said it could take up to 8 weeks...at this point, it was slightly past the 8 week point. It's now June 25, my court date is in 20 days. If the last disclosure is not in my hands by then, is there anything i can do to use that to my advantage? Can i fight to have that ticket taken off completely as i asked for disclosure and never received it??


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Unread post by Simon Borys on

The remedy for lack of disclosure is a motion under s. 7 of the Charter that your right to make full answer and defence has been violated due to the lack of disclosure. That's not an argument easily made, nor is it something you're going to be able to do the first time you show up in court without all the disclosure you need. What usually happens in cases like this is that the case is adjourned and the Crown is given more time to provide you with disclosure. If it is an ongoing issue, then eventually you may be in a better position to make a s. 7 argument, or s. 11(b) argument if the time it has taken the Crown to provide disclosure violates your right to be tried within a reasonable time.




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