If you have received a traffic ticket, chances are you are doing your research on how to try and defend yourself from the charge(s). So what factors should you consider when hiring legal representation?
Do some research
Find out if the legal service provider is qualified & specializes in defending the charge(s) you are facing.
Know who will act for you
Ask to speak directly with the Court Agent who will be acting for you, when you contact the firm you are considering hiring. You need to know who is going to be acting for you in Court! You need to know what their qualifications are and what actual experience they have!
It is always best to insist on speaking directly with the actual person who will be defending your charge(s) in Court.
Keep in mind that some Companies have Sales staff working in their offices who may answer the telephones and will accept you as a Client. But, they have never actually been in Court themselves defending a client. They may not be the person who will stand up and defend you in Court. Their role is administrative only.
You should understand fully what services the firm will be providing to you and what steps you’re Representative will be undertaking on your behalf, in order to effectively fight your traffic ticket(s) for you.
Check Google Reviews. Look for authentic testimonials.
In order to properly gauge the satisfaction level of the customer experience with each legal firm that you speak with. You can also ask your family, co-workers & friends who’ve used the services of a specific Traffic Ticket firm or representative previously. Take the time to check out who you feel will work hard to defend you.
Lighthouse is proud of its reputation. We value all of the heartfelt Thank You’s & the many positive testimonials we receive.
It can be stressful when you receive a Traffic Ticket. At Lighthouse we prepare thoroughly and always aim to win for you. We continuously strive to improve our services and our Clients customer service experience(s).
Trust your choice
Hiring a legal representative, is like choosing a new family doctor. You should feel comfortable, and trust your legal representative. A licensed lawyer or paralegal owes you a fiduciary duty, so make sure you feel comfortable with the legal firm and the representative you choose.
If you are looking for a Competent, Capable and Confidential personalized service you are invited to Call “Lighthouse Legal Services” at 647-528-5422
When hiring a legal service provider, keep in mind that your cost will depend on what type of service you are seeking or need, as the prices will vary.
For instance if you need to hire a representative to handle the filing of a ticket; obtaining disclosure and appearing in court on your behalf, perhaps it’s on a speeding charge, then the cost for that service alone , would be different than the cost to also conduct a Trial.
Running a Trial results in higher costs because the legal services firm you choose (such as Lighthouse) will need to also devote greater resources from start to finish to thoroughly research & vigorously defend your case.
Also some firms may offer Flat fixed fees (one single price). Or they may offer a retainer fee (you pay them for each billable hour). This is where the fee for legal services can ultimately increase beyond your initial down payment (retainer deposit) depending on the amount of work undertaken and the number of hours that the firm works on your behalf.
At Lighthouse we always take the time upfront, to explain to our Clients their options. We also provide clients with a clear explanation as to how much a service will cost them, before our Clients need to make decision.
We value the trust our Clients place in us when they retain our services. You can count on us to always strive to ensure that our Clients get the best value for any fees they pay for us to represent them.
The Lighthouse Legal Services Difference:
Our firm handles all types of Ticket Defences and Appeals. However, we specialize primarily in Careless Driving accident defence. Which is a very serious charge. Brian Morris is expert in representing clients in the Ontario Traffic Courts and has a proven track record in fighting the charge of Careless Driving at Trial
If you are interested in learning more about how “Lighthouse” can help you achieve the very best results possible with any of your Traffic Ticket(s) … Contact us now for a FREE initial consultation.
Our system of Justice in Ontario stems from the British common law system of Stare Decisis (Latin for previously decided cases). Not many people enjoy reading case law. But having the right case law to reference in your defence, could prove to be the determining and deciding factor.
Why is case law important?
Previously decided cases can “bind” lower courts to follow their previous decisions. So if you were facing a careless driving charge in Newmarket, Ontario, or in any other Court, you or your representative may want to research case law decisions focused on careless driving.
These previously decided case may or may not help you with your defence. But it’s important to research and review them for similarities.
Plus, there are case law decisions, that cover disclosure, charter right violations, officer’s evidence, hearsay evidence, and the list goes on. So case law can certainly assist with preparing a strong defence, if the case law is properly researched, interpreted and applied.
Having a representative with education in law, or a Paralegal program is an asset, as they will have been taken classes dedicated to legal research.
Can I do my own case law research?
Yes you absolutely can. However, understanding the content and referencing & applying it in Court is a different story.
I have witnessed others trying to present case law but they were at a disadvantage as they lacked the proper legal training. While it is admirable that unrepresented individuals try to do it themselves, their application of case law rarely succeeds, as they will often choose the wrong case law or misinterpret the case law they use when presenting a defence.
While doing some research on your own is fine, consider this, if your plumbing pipes in your kitchen were to burst, would you try and fix the problem yourself? Or would you hire an experienced and qualified plumber?
When it comes to your driving licence and record, you may be much better served by retaining someone trained and experienced to answer the charges and competently present appropriate and focused defence(s).
Making case law ?
Not all legal representatives ( Paralegals ) will have successfully presented defences for their Clients that led to Case Law, in the Justice’s ruling. Some representatives may be concerned at the risk of creating an adverse case law decision, against future defence arguments.
It is advisable, if you are considering launching an Appeal, against a conviction, that you seriously consider retaining someone who has the prior experience of defending Clients that led to the creation of case law before.
Experience, and a proven track record are two important factors when considering who to retain. In an Appeal setting, if you are thinking of going it alone ( which we do not recommend ) just keep in mind, that you will be arguing before a Judge, who will have had a minimum service of at least 10 years as a lawyer before becoming a Judge. Whether you are appearing before a Justice of the Peace or before a Judge to answer to charges or for an Appeal hearing, you are always better off, if you put forward the best defence you can. That’s where Lighthouse Legal Services can help……
Why Hire You?
It’s important to hire someone you can TRUST, and feel comfortable that they have your best interests in mind at all times.
Choosing the right Paralegal, one who is experienced, dedicated and hard-working is a good start. You may also want to ask around, and retain someone who others have retained previously and can recommend. Personal experiences and recommendations may be the best deciding factor.
There are many individuals and companies to choose from. Lighthouse Legal Services likes to pride itself on exemplary personalised customer service.
Brian Morris is the owner of Lighthouse Legal Services. As a licensed Paralegal, he has successfully defended thousands of Clients. Brian is extremely dedicated and works hard to provide the best defence possible for all of his Clients.
Some of his clients Trial decisions and successful outcomes have led to the Courts creating case law, for Careless Driving.
Brian put forward arguments and evidence that was ultimately relied upon by the Court to define what a “Driver” is in Ontario. He has also successfully appealed amber light convictions.
If you are wondering who to hire, to help you to Appeal a conviction. Hiring a Paralegal who understands Appeal strategies is an important consideration,
Not knowing or utilizing the correct strategy can make a huge difference. Brian has the proven experience to know what cases to take forward to Appeal, and which cases to turn away.
An equally important consideration to bear in mind, is Brian’s honesty and ethical approach. He only accepts those Clients he genuinely feels he can successfully help.
If after speaking with you, Brian determines that your appeal is in his opinion, frivolous and /or without merit and is unlikely to be successful, he will tell you. And he may determine not to let you hire him.
However, if he considers that you do have sufficient grounds to go forward with an Appeal, he will do all he can to help you succeed.
Brian is always happy to consult with you if you are unsure as to whether or not you have sufficient grounds to proceed.
There are several exceptions that exist in law, which can exempt you from having to wear your seat belt. While, it is advisable to wear your seat belt, ( as it can protect you from serious injury ) some individuals are just not in the position to wear it for a variety of reasons. The following conditions may exempt you from wearing a seat belt. For example:
If you have a medical condition that prohibits you from wearing it, or due to your build, size, and physical characteristics . (Backed up with a Doctor’s Note/certificate advising your inability to wear a seat belt)
While you are in the course of business, making frequent deliveries while travelling under 40 km/hr
If you are unable to wear it for a valid medical reason, please ensure that you visit your doctor first to enquire if you qualify for an exemption.
106(2) Driver – Fail to Properly Wear Seat Belt
Wearing it properly
Remember that you are required to wear the seat belt assembly “properly”. If you have a shoulder strap, you cannot tuck it away under your arm. You can be issued a seat belt ticket for not wearing it properly.
Passengers Under 16 years Old
Make sure that if you have any passengers under the age of 16 years old, travelling with you, that they are also wearing their seat belt. If you do not, don’t be surprised if you get a traffic ticket.
Passengers 16 years and Older
Anyone 16 years or older is responsible for their own seat belt being worn properly. Passengers 16 years and older can receive their own traffic ticket, as a result of not wearing a seatbelt properly, even if they don’t have a driver’s licence.
If you have any other questions or concerns regarding this post, or have a seat belt ticket, please contact us at Lighthouse Legal Services for a free consultation.
Many people we encounter, don’t always understand why they were charged with Careless Driving, for a minor fender bender.
Careless Driving, after all is a very serious traffic ticket. But it is best not to despair if you have received a Traffic Ticket charge for Careless Driving.
The following information may answer some of the questions you may have about Careless Driving.
To begin with, Careless Driving is laid against driver’s for a variety of reasons. From simple fender benders, to serious fatal collisions.
The charge can also be laid for a variety of minor to serious accident scenarios. But, it can also be laid against you even when you haven’t been involved in an accident.
So, now you may be wondering, how can that be? How can a charge of Careless Driving be laid against a driver for everything from a serious, or a minor collision, to no accident at all?
The short answer is, the Police can charge drivers for accidents they perceive to have been caused by a lack of due care and attention. Or where they perceive you were driving without reasonable consideration for others using the highway, or for both reasons.
Think of Careless Driving as a blanket charge, that can be used in a variety of different scenarios. An accident does not need to occur, for you to be charged with this offence.
However, it is a charge that is regularly laid against the majority of drivers, whenever they are involved in collisions in Ontario.
I do not think I was Driving Carelessly!
Sometimes accidents are just accidents, and no one is to blame. In other situations, accidents may well have been caused by a driver. But that doesn’t automatically make you guilty of Careless Driving.
There are so many factors and variables to consider in each situation or accident, and those factors will need to be assessed & considered to the most relevant & leading Case Law in Ontario and Canada.
So while you may have been involved in an accident, and you may think you could be found to be at fault. You may not actually be at fault, for violating the Highway Traffic Act, relevant to a charge of Careless Driving.
It really comes down to a case by case analysis, but you would be wise to consult with a an experience & Licensed Paralegal.
Lighthouse Legal Services would be pleased to offer you a *FREE consultation, so that you can learn more about your options.
Should I Speak to the Police?
That is entirely your hoice. You have a Charter Right to Remain Silent, but if you choose to speak to the police, you should know that anything you say can be used against you in Court.
In my experience, the majority of Defendants who give a statement, without first obtaining advice from a trained and licensed Paralegal, can end up receiving a ticket for Careless Driving.
The Officer told me to fight my Ticket?
It can be a confusing process if a Police Officer hands you a ticket, and also advises you to go to Court fight it. I can’t give you an explanation as to why this occurs, but in my opinion, I believe that the Police Officers understand the seriousness and potential consequences of laying a Careless Driving charge.
And simply paying the amount on the ticket, and not successfully defending against the charge could result in you being dropped by your insurance provider, and also possibly placed into high-risk category for future vehicle insurance.
During most traffic stops, the Police Officers do take the time to explain to you the options laid out on the back of the Traffic ticket. But be mindful, that no Defendant should be taking legal advice from the Police, since they are in the business of law enforcement and will be trying to convict you if they charged you.
It is important that you Seek proper legal advice if you have been charged with Careless Driving to explore what your legal options are available.
Why should I Hire You if I’ve been charged with Careless Driving?
Your Traffic Ticket charge(s) could be quashed, stayed, acquitted, or dismissed by the Court, depending on a variety of factors.
You are going to have a much better chance of successfully defending, or winning at Trial, against the very serious charge of Careless Driving, if you have retained an experienced and qualified legal representative.
Knowing how to get a positive result can be the key to preparing, presenting & achieving a successful defence against a charge of Careless Driving, or appealing a conviction.
At Lighthouse Legal Services, Brian Morris is considered the Best Advocate for Careless Driving Trials, and Appeals. His defence arguments and successful Trial decisions in Traffic Court have previously led to the Court creating case law for Careless Driving cases throughout Ontario.
Those case law decisions are binding on the lower Courts to follow in the appropriate circumstances.
At Lighthouse Legal Services
We know the laws, procedures, and rules of the Court
We know how to develop the best possible strategies to achieve success
We know what questions to ask, & how to ask those questions
We have Case Law expertise, and will thoroughly research all major rulings that relate to Careless Driving, and the case law that relates to Provincial Offences Trials
We strive to capably represent & protect your Charter of Rights
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.