Traffic tickets can have long-term negative effects. If you are convicted of a traffic violation, it can result in points on your driver’s licence and fines. Ultimately, these points will increase the cost of driving in BC. The government also has an option to garnish your wages or bank account if you fail to pay the fines imposed. You can also be punished by being unable to renew your driver’s licence and vehicle insurance as well. Your insurance premiums may also increase.
With all of these negative side effects, you should do everything in your power to avoid getting a traffic ticket. If you are cited, you may want to seriously consider fighting the ticket to prevent these types of repercussions.
Serious Traffic Offences
The procedure for traffic offences will vary depending on whether the ticket is considered “serious” or not. Serious offences include things like careless driving or a hit and run. For these types of offences, the process will begin with receipt of a Summons or an Appearance Notice. If you receive a Summons, it will be personally delivered to you at a later time. An Appearance Notice, on the other hand, is provided to you at the time of the offence.
Both of these documents will provide information about the offence about which you are being charged. They will also provide information about when and where to appear in court for your hearing.
It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer about the offence. That conversation will help you decide whether you should hire a lawyer to help you fight the ticket.
Your First Court Appearance
You should be sure to go to your first court appearance as set out in the Summons or Appearance Notice. At your hearing, you will plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against you. You can also often request more time to decide what to do at the hearing as well.
If you fail to attend your hearing after receiving a Summons, the judge can, and often will, issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
Pleading Guilty or Not Guilty
If you plead not guilty, you will receive a trial date. At your trial, witnesses, and police officers will describe what happened. You will also have a chance to submit evidence as well. Then, the judge will decide at the time if you are guilty of the offence.
If you plead guilty, then the judge will immediately issue a fine. The fine can be up to $2,000. The judge can also order you not to drive for a specificperiod of time and even order that you be imprisoned for up to six months. Penalties increase as the seriousness of the offence increases.
Less Serious Traffic Tickets
The police officer will issue an ordinary traffic ticket, or Violation Ticket, for less severe traffic offences. These are for violations that may involve things like overtime parking or driving without insurance. The ticket provided to you will describe the type of violation for which you are being cited. It will also usually set out a specific fine amount as well.
You should go ahead and pay the fine specified if you do not want to fight the ticket, and the ticket will provide instructions on how to do that. If you pay the fine, there is no need to go to court, but by paying, you will automatically be convicted of the offence for which you are charged. If you do not fight the ticket within 30 days, a conviction will be entered automatically.
If you would like to fight the ticket, you should let the government office know that is listed on the ticket by the specified date. You should request a trial, and one will be set. Even in these minor traffic disputes, it is a good idea to have an experienced lawyer on your side. The team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond will help you gather evidence and present your case in the best light possible.Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.