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If you are charged by the police with a traffic offence don’t worry. Remember. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The presumption of innocence also applies to traffic tickets. It’s the law of the land and you are entitled to your day in court where your guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you receive a ticket, here are your options:

1.  Pay the ticket

This is an admission of guilt and guarantees conviction that may attract demerit points and affect your insurance rates.

2. Plead guilty with an explanation

Every day people choose to represent themselves in busy courtrooms and enter a ‘plea of guilty with an explanation’. Be aware, there is no such option under the Provincial Offence Act. By doing this the prosecutor does not have to present their evidence. But be aware. This will not be enough to win your case. In most cases the Justice of the Peace will accept your guilty plea, but the only thing that the JP has control of is the fine. They have no influence or control over the loss of demerit points. Therefore, you may still be faced with the loss of demerit points and the possibility of higher insurance rates.

3. Plead not guilty and defend yourself

You will go to court, the crown will present its case first, call their witness( s) (police) who will give evidence. You will have the opportunity to cross examine the witness (s).

If you are one of the few that have the knowledge of court proceedings, this will be your chance to cross examine the witness(s).

This is usually where cases are won or lost!

Once the crown closes its case, you will have the opportunity to call your witness(s) in any. At the conclusion of your evidence the crown will have the opportunity to cross examine your witness(s) or yourself.

You and the crown make final submissions and the court decides on innocence or guilt.

 

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