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Dealing with Traffic Tickets During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Dealing with a Traffic Ticket during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Why is everything closing?

We have found ourselves in unprecedented times with the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and with the recent news from all levels of government, preventative measures are being put in place to try and limit the spread of this virus.

Among many recommendations is “social distancing” and practicing safe sanitary conditions. As a result of these recommendations, closures are taking place across the world; conferences, sports leagues and schools are among many large institutions which are closing their facilities during the outbreak.

As each day passes, the focus is now on any large public gathering that may pose a high risk to have the virus spread and to limit these gatherings if they are deemed “non-essential”.

Parents are left to find childcare while they continue to work. Large employers are tasked with implementing “work from home” polices with limited notice. Educational institutions are tasked with implementing online learning initiatives with limited time.

Day by day, drastic change is being implemented by public and private organizations as they try to exercise proactive measures, rather than reactive measures once there is an outbreak within their facilities.

Now, the courts are starting to take notice that proactive measures must be put in place within their facilities to prevent a further spread of the virus. Efforts such as postponing jury selection, or postponing jury trials has taken place. Some tribunals in Ontario have made the decision to entirely postpone hearings until further notice. An impact that could have lasting consequences for the parties involved.

Are any courts still open?

Despite closures in tribunals and restrictions in jury trials and selection, the Ontario Court of Justice – Provincial Offences court remain open to the public and is still operating as if nothing has changed. If you have received a traffic ticket, this is very important for you as this is the body of court that will determine if you are guilty or not, or simply convict you if you fail to respond to your charge within the time period allotted.

Are the courts going to close?

Please check back to our website daily as we will be posting regular updates regarding the Provincial court operations and closures if they take place. Considering the flurry of closures that we have received notice of in the prior days, it would be reasonable to assume the courts follow suit to protect the safety of the public.

What happens if I get a traffic ticket during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and what happens if I don’t go?

As of this writing, the Provincial courts remain open and the charge should be taken very seriously. If you do not exercise your right to dispute the charge within the time allotted, you will be convicted and face the consequences of the charge. For example, if you fail to dispute a cell phone ticket and you are convicted, in addition to the monetary fine, there is a 3-day licence suspension. Avoid this surprise by exercising your right to fight the charge.

If you have received a traffic ticket, contact our office for a free consultation. We are happy to announce that you can retain our services over the phone or through e-mail, with no physical interaction required. You can take the stress away from receiving a traffic ticket by having our firm handle the matter, all while not having to leave the comfort or safety of your own home.

What if I am afraid to attend court during the outbreak?

This is an understandable feeling as we strive to exercise “social distancing”, it makes sense that one may not wish to sit in a small courtroom filled with members of the public. If you have concerns regarding this, our office can appear on your behalf and speak for you as your representative.

If you would not like to attend court and seek a legal representative, our office is happy to provide a free consultation over the phone or through e-mail, taking away the risk of even having to leave the comfort and safety of your home.

I have a court date scheduled during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Can I change my court date?

There are options to change your first court date by way of an administrative form, however, this may require you to attend the courthouse to physically file the form. This essentially cancels the purpose and benefit of delaying the matter in order to not have to attend the courthouse physically.

Our office can attend the courthouse and make a formal motion to adjourn your court date to a future date where you will feel more comfortable to attend. If you are seeking to have a court date changed, please contact our office for a free consultation.

How can I get help with my traffic ticket?

Our office specializes in traffic tickets and its what we do very well. However, in these times of uncertainty, our client’s safety is of the utmost importance to us. To receive help with your traffic ticket, you will not even need to leave the safety or comfort of your home. Our office will handle everything, from filing the ticket to attending court on your behalf. To receive a consultation from our team, please fill out a consultation request, text a picture of your ticket to (226) 647-6869, or send a photo by e-mail to info@otdlegal.ca.

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