So I have a few questions before the trial date:
1) It's my first offence in 16 years of driving. I'm concerned about the demerit points. I was busy looking for pedestrians and noticed the police officer before turning. I couldn't understand why I was being pulled over, that's how convinced I was that I had stopped. I proceeded very slowly through the intersection. Is there any lesser charge that may apply that doesn't have demerit points?
2) The total payable is $110.00. If I go to trial, is there any way that I need to pay more?
3) Is there any difference in insurance if I plead guilty ahead of time, vs. being found guilty in court?
4) I do not have childcare options. Can I bring my 8 month-old?
2. Unlikely. It's not like a sorting ticket where the speed was reduced.
4. Yes but if you are going to trial they sing want a babe in arms in the stand with you.
If there's video evidence you are going to have to find something pretty extraordinary to win at trial. Just pay it and move on ?
1) At early resolution or before trial, you may be offered a deal for "disobey sign" under section 182 of the Highway Traffic Act, which is 2 demerit points compared to 3 for disobey stop sign (there's really no difference for insurance purposes, it's still a minor offence either way). You may also be offered a fine reduction to $60. There's no lesser charge with no demerit points.
2) If you go to trial and accept a plea deal (such as the one above) or if you plead guilty to the ticket as it is, the fine payable will not be more than $110. However, if you decide to plead not guilty and proceed with a full trial, and at the end of it you are found guilty, the justice of the peace is not bound to the set fine of $110 as that is considered an out-of-court settlement. The justice of the peace may impose a higher or lower fine depending on the circumstances.
Ultimately, the only thing you might get is a fine reduction. Regardless of demerit points, it is a minor conviction - you may see a slight increase in insurance or none at all considering your clean record of many years. If you don't have the time, paying it may be the best option.