One of the most common traffic ticket violations given to drivers is Ontario is speeding. Speed enforcement conducted by the police can include radar device, laser speed device, aircraft speed enforcement of pacing.
Local and Provincial Police, commonly use radar devices to conduct speed enforcement. Generally, these devices can be used by police in a stationary position, or while in motion.
So, if you see a police cruiser approaching you from the other direction, chances are they may have an active radar device in “approach” or “away” mode, which can register your speed. It is also important to note, that these devices have testing procedures. The procedures guide & instruct the operator in how to properly work the device, and how to ensure that the device is in proper working order.
Unlike radar, Laser speed enforcement is used in stationary positions only. Similar to radar devices, the laser speed devices also have setup procedures to ensure the Police officer is using the device properly, and to see if the device is properly functioning.
Aircraft Speed Enforcement
You often see road signs warning motorists on 400 series highways about aircraft speed enforcement. It’s true that the police do patrol and enforce speeding laws by aircraft. The process of speed enforcement with aircraft is not too sophisticated. The police officer simply uses a stop-watch to time a motor vehicle between highway road markers. Then simple math is used to calculate speed through distance over time.
This method of speed enforcement is the least familiar to drivers and defendants.
The police can charge you with a speeding offence, if they are able to pace you at a constant speed for a given period of time. This method of speed enforcement has been known to happen primarily on 400 series highways, but can also occur on regional roads. Unmarked cruisers are more suited and used for this type of speed enforcement for obvious reasons.
Beware of phony auto insurance policies. I have met Defendants who were not my clients, that claimed they purchased vehicle insurance from someone at a coffee shop. Now this is problematic for several reasons, as you are most likely not insured legally. And in the event of an accident you may be personally liable. So our advice to you, is to avoid purchasing insurance policies from strangers at coffee shops.
What happens if you don’t pay for legitimate auto insurance?
For a first offence, you are facing a minimum $5,000 fine plus court costs and victim fine surcharges, which totals approximately $6,185.
Remember, that is the minimum you can be facing, as a maximum fine of $25,000 plus court costs and victim fine surcharge, can surpass a total of $30,000. On a subsequent second offence, the fine doubles!
So it is your responsibility to ensure that any Insurance you purchase is from a legitimate Insurance Company
Many people believe, that since No Insurance charges do not carry demerit points, it won’t affect their insurance rates and premiums?
That belief is incorrect. Since Convictions; the frequency of how many convictions you receive, and the nature of your convictions can all affect your insurance rates and Premiums.
There are numerous other factors that insurance companies use to determine insurance fee adjustments. To fully understand those possible increases to your insurance rates, you are advised to check with your insurance company directly.
As only your Insurer can provide you with correct answers
Fighting and Defending No Insurance
If you believe you have a defence to the charge of No Insurance, or you are not quite sure, but think you may have a defence to the charge, you are invited to contact us.
We can help guide you through the legal process, and can help to understand your options and also defend you against the charge(s).
We have had great success in defending thousands of No Insurance charges, and have saved our Clients thousands of dollars.
How do you define what qualifies as a Clean driving record?
When first meeting with Clients, many have the impression that having a clean driving record means that they have simply had no convictions in the last 3 years.
But that alone, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a clean driving record.
It all depends on the circumstances in which you use the term.
When you are purchasing new insurance coverage, or renewing insurance, the common practice is for insurance companies to request a copy of your driving record for the previous 3 years. But, having no Traffic convictions in the past 3 years, does not necessarily mean that you have a clean driving record.
When you are dealing with the Prosecutors, they look at your entire driving history, and driving infractions do remain on your driving record further back than just three years.
So, while for insurance purposes, you may be considered to have a clean driving record for the past 3 years, when it comes to dealing with the Prosecution, any conviction you have obtained will have stayed with your driving record and may have an effect of how your case is handled in Court.
There is also another factor to take into consideration, as some charges, like Driving While Under Suspension can have additional penalties, if you have been convicted of the same offence before.
So what does that mean?
It means that if you were convicted of Driving While Under Suspension previously, and are subsequently charged with the same offence again; you will be placed into a higher penalty bracket than before.
Meaning, you are now facing greater fines, and the Prosecution may seek for a potentially far worse penalty,i.e. a term of imprisonment.
Subsequent offences like Driving Under Suspension, will never leave your record, and if you rack up numerous convictions in your lifetime, don’t be surprised if Crown Prosecutors are seeking a 6 month term of imprisonment.
But not every accident has to be reported, as there are minimum requirements that must be met before you are compelled to report an accident.
Simply put, if you are directly or indirectly involved in an accident, which causes personal injury, or property damage exceeding $2,000 as defined by regulation, then you must report the accident.
So you have called the police, so now what?
Under the Highway Traffic Act, you have to furnish the particulars of the accident to the Police officer.
But it is recommended that you speak with a Licensed Paralegal first, as you have a Charter Right to remain silent.
Reporting accidents to the police is the law in certain circumstances, but it may be prudent to understand what consequences you may face before doing so.
Remember, you can be charged with an offence under Provincial law at any given point for up to 6 months after an incident. But, since there is no Statute of Limitations for criminal offences to be charged against you, it means, you can still be charged with a serious offence at any time in the future.
So the basic premise is, while you may have to report an accident, and give details as required by law. By in doing so, it may incriminate you. So, you have a right to remain silent to avoid incriminating evidence being held against you.
You may now be thinking, is there a way to furnish the information required by law to report and accident, while evoking my right to remain silent?
Yes, there is a way to comply with the law, while evoking your Charter rights.
Can you prevent me from being charged?
While we can’t guarantee that you won’t be charged.
We can do our best to help avoid a charge being laid against you.
If you have been involved in a collision or accident, we can accompany you to a collision reporting centre, or police station to assist you with reporting an accident.
We have had great success in assisting our Clients with reporting accidents, and have been able to avoid traffic ticket charges from being laid against drivers.
Many drivers who have reported their own accidents, have been charged with offences such as Careless Driving. The ultimate decision whether to lay a charge rests with of the investigating or reporting office.
Remember, we are here to help you, and we have the knowledge and expertise to guide you throughout the legal process.
Don’t be afraid to call, as we are duty bound to keep your information confidential, even if you do not hire/retain our services.
In 2015, while I was working for Ontario Government, The Attorney General of Ontario introduced a consultation process dealing with Provincial Judicial Reform.
Why? Because the Ontario Courts are experiencing lengthy time delays for hearing trial matters.
The Attorney General’s Office notes that over 3 million Canadians have a criminal record. That is roughly 1 out of 10 people in Canada.
So if you have made a mistake in your past, and you believe that you have already paid your debt to society…. You may want to be assured that you can move forward with your life, without it holding you back in any way
But, a criminal record could affect your ability to gain employment, travel outside Canada, and prevent you from pursuing some educational opportunities.
So how can you clear the record from the past and move forward, fully reintegrated with society?
To give yourself the best opportunity of fully reintegrating in society, you can apply for a pardon (record suspension).
Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to apply for a record suspension in 5 or 10 years after a conviction.
Many criminal records are Summary Offences, and if you have been convicted of a Summary Offence you may be eligible to apply for a record suspension in 5 years from your conviction date.
A record suspension can set aside your criminal record, and remove the conviction from Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database.
If you were convicted on an Indictable offence, you will have to wait 10 years before applying.
It is important to note, that there are some restrictions and limitations in applying for a record suspension.
If your case, is postponed or delayed, you are welcome to contact us for a FREE consultation to learn more.
Lighthouse Legal Services receives a lot of questions about, “How early I should arrive at the Court?”
We suggest arriving 30 minutes in advance of your scheduled Court time, just in case you are delayed by traffic, or can’t find parking.
Plus, if you are meeting with a Lighthouse Legal representative/Paralegal (If you have hired us of course), they always prefer to speak to the Client just prior to proceedings starting in Court.
Another question we always get asked from unrepresented Defendants is, “Do they call the Court List in alphabetical order.”
The short answer is, “No”. The Prosecutor or Crown Attorney can call the Court Docket as they see fit. Generally, the quicker / simpler matters will go first, and Trials will be heard last.
So try to be patient, if you arrive early, you may also get out early depending on if you plead guilty vs. not guilty.
There are three A’s you should consider when attending Court. Attitude, Awareness, and Appearance.
If you go into Court with a poor attitude, or expect to be catered too, think again.
Traffic Court is not a Court of Convenience. While Court Staff will do their best to expedite your matters as quickly as they can, please do not expect to be catered to.
You need to attend on time, and be respectful to everyone that is in attendance in the Court building and Courtroom.
Awareness is another thing to consider. When you are in a Courtroom, do make sure your phone is turned off. Don’t bring a book inside with you to read. And don’t talk loudly with others in Court while sitting and observing other matters that are being heard by the Justice.
The presiding Justice may single you out for a few choice words if you are noisy and interrupt proceedings or start having casual conversations with those next to you. You could even find yourself charged with being in Contempt of Court.
The best way to act, is with respect and quietly.
Finally, make sure you are dressed appropriately for Court. Don’t dress for the beach or a costume party. It’s best not to wear flip flops, tanks tops or anything else that could be considered offensive or inappropriate.
Over the years, I have seen a number of Defendant’s get into trouble inside the Courtroom for issues that don’t even relate to their charges. Just consider that if you dress or act inappropriately, it could end up delaying your matter from proceeding or concluding.
So just remember, that if you do plan on attending a day in Court, keep the following in mind,
Plan ahead, and make arrangements to be there all day
There are no guarantees, as to when you matter will be dealt with
Do not have a bad attitude, and try to stay positive
Be aware you are in a Courtroom (When Court is in session – Turn off Cell Phones, No Reading, & No Talking – unless called upon)
142 (1) The driver or operator of a vehicle upon a highway before turning to the left or right at any intersection or into a private road or driveway or from one lane for traffic to another lane for traffic or to leave the roadway shall first see that the movement can be made in safety, and if the operation of any other vehicle may be affected by the movement shall give a signal plainly visible to the driver or operator of the other vehicle of the intention to make the movement. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 142 (1).
Answer: Yes, it is always prudent to indicate when making a lane change, especially if any movement you make may affect the operation of any other vehicle. If there are no other vehicles in your proximity, you may change lanes without indicating, as long as your movement doesn’t affect the operation of any other vehicles around you.
For safety reasons it is always advisable to always use your indicator, especially at night even when there is no other traffic around you, to help ensure that you are visible to other motorists.
Section 142(1) can also be used to charge Drivers who allegedly Fail To Signal for Turn, or Turn – Not In Safety.
All of these traffic offences carry 2 Demerit points, and can possibly lead to increases in your auto insurance premiums, if you are convicted
Contact Lighthouse Legal Services if you have been charged with Section 142(1) of the Highway Traffic Act, and learn how we can help defend your charge for your Change Lane – Not In Safety, Turn – Not In Safety or Fail to Signal for Turn traffic ticket.
Do you have to stop for an amber light? The legislation states you SHALL stop your vehicle if you can do so safely. But if you cannot stop your vehicle safely, you are allowed to proceed through the amber light with caution.
(15) Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular amber indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle if he or she can do so safely, otherwise he or she may proceed with caution. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (15).
Many motorists are shocked when they receive these types of offences, because they are under the impression that you can always proceed through an amber light.
But clearly, the legislation would like you to stop if you can, and allows you to proceed through, if you have to, and only if you can do so, with caution.
Amber Light – Fail to Stop charges carries 3 demerit points, and it can potentially increase your auto insurance premiums, if you decide not to defend a Traffic Ticket charge and just pay the ticket automatically
Before you consider just paying the ticket, why not contact us for a FREE consultation.
We have experience defending fight Amber Light charges across Ontario in all the Courts.