5 Myths about Speeding Tickets in Ontario
Speeding tickets – Everyone knows someone that has gotten one at one point or another. Go out for a drive on a long weekend, you will often witness several unfortunate drivers parked on the side of the road with a police cruiser behind them and their lights flashing. You do not want to be one of these cars. No encounter with the police will always be a good encounter with the police.
However, if you ever happen to be one of the unlucky ones to receive a ticket, you will usually have no lack of information being thrown at you by your friends, family or significant other who “knows what to do”. This is where you want to be careful. Some tickets may seem like minor offences with low fines, but you could face serious consequences if convicted of a ticket that appeared to be “minor”. Therefore, it is always important to follow sound legal advice. This blog will be the beginning of a series where we explore common myths regarding traffic tickets. The first part of this series will focus on speeding tickets.
1) The officer must be wearing his hat to give me a ticket.
This is not true. The officer does not have to be wearing his hat to give you a charge, in fact, the officer does not even have to be wearing his uniform. The officer could even charge you if they are off duty.
2) The OPP can only lay tickets on the highways.
This is not true. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have jurisdiction across Ontario. Although we commonly see the OPP only on our urban and rural highways, the OPP can follow you off the highway and enforce the law anywhere in Ontario.
3) A police officer from a different city cannot charge me outside of the city limits.
Like #2, a sworn police officer in a municipality in Ontario has the jurisdiction to lay a charge anywhere in Ontario. This is a common occurrence when an officer from a bordering city is attending court in a different jurisdiction. The officer can lay a charge in the other jurisdiction if he has witnessed an offence.
4) The officer must show me the radar device.
The officer does not have to show you the radar device or speed measuring device they have used. Some officers will do so out of preference, some will dependent on the safety of the environment they are in, where other officers will outright refuse. The officer has no obligation to provide a reading to you and failing to do so will not make your speeding ticket go away.
5) The officer told me to fight the charge. There must be something wrong with it!
This is incorrect. It is a common occurrence for an officer to encourage “fighting the ticket”. This does several positive things for the officer. It usually safe to assume you are upset by receiving the ticket in the first place. By giving you this “hope”, they are trying to create a more positive atmosphere. You will usually hear “I don’t want to charge you with this, but I have to. Don’t worry, the prosecutor will help you”. This is also an attempt to cheer you up. As a former prosecutor I can surely tell you that prosecutor will not just help you. Certainly not because the officer told you that. If an officer is charging you, they are charging you because they want to. If an officer tells you to fight your ticket, it is because they want you to leave the scene.
If you have been charged by the police, I highly recommend obtaining a free consultation from a licensed paralegal. You can submit a copy of your ticket here for a free consultation.