If you’ve recently received a traffic ticket in Ontario, you don’t have to worry about a traffic ticket going on your record if you’re able to fight the charge, and beat it. The process is lengthy, including months of court appearances in a lower court before the entry of an appeal. An appeal only happens after a conviction.
Here, we’re going to discuss how to appeal a traffic ticket in Ontario.
What Is an Appeal?
If you’re convicted of a speeding ticket, you may be interested in appealing that conviction through the courts. A professional, such as OTD Ticket Defenders and Legal Services, exist to help you through this process.
If you think that there’s been an error in law or judgment, you may have grounds to overturn any guilty conviction that you receive.
Traffic ticket appeals can help to keep your driving record clean. There is no fee to appeal a traffic ticket in Ontario. Multiple violations can lead to the revocation of your license or denial of plates for your vehicle.
If you win your appeal, the courts will strike the traffic violation in question from your record. They will also order a new trial in some cases. The end of your appeal doesn’t mean it’s over.
How to Appeal a Traffic Ticket in Ontario
- Pay your fine.
- Prepare appeal – this may be time consuming, and your licence may be revoked during this time. Appeal should include:
- Your transcripts of the original court hearing,
- A list or explain the grounds for the appeal,
- Your affidavits where necessary,
- Proof of the fine payment.
- File appeal.
- Any appeals must be filed within thirty (30) days of the conviction. If the thirty (30) days have passed, the defendant must apply for a “Motion to Extend the Time to File an Appeal”
- The fine must be paid before an appeal will be accepted, or you must file a motion to appeal without paying the fine.
- Court transcripts will be required where a trial has been held.
- Get your appeal date.
- Explain to the appeals court where the original Justice made an error in law or judgement.
- Any transcripts from the original court hearing must be provided.
Appealing a ticket conviction can be a confusing process. Without a background in the law and an understanding of the court systems, it’s all too common for individuals to either provide weak arguments or accidentally convict themselves.
What Are the Grounds for an Appeal?
After getting a speeding ticket, drivers want to know how to fight the ticket and avoid conviction. Or, in the case of a conviction, seeking an appeal is the next step, but if possible it’s best to win your case instead.
If you think that the Justice has made either an error in law or an error in judgment, you can file an appeal. Doing so gives you the chance to overturn your conviction and go back to a clean driving record. This might lead to a new trial ordered.
Errors in Law
If there is an error in law, it may invalidate any Ontario traffic tickets that you receive. Courts have to follow strict procedures for a conviction to be legal and valid.
The court has to offer the defendant a reopening request, as refusal could be grounds for an appeal. The judge must also allow you to make submissions before your sentencing.
During proceedings, the judge has to ignore hearsay evidence and uphold valid defenses to a charge. If you make any statements, they must be given voluntarily and not under pressure. Otherwise, you may be able to appeal your charges.
The judge must also give valid reasoning for their decision to convict. If her verdict is unreasonable or has no legal grounds, you may be able to overturn your conviction and keep your driving record clean.
Sometimes, you may see bias in judgment on the part of the court. If you can provide sufficient evidence that there was a bias against you, then you can file an appeal and request a more impartial hearing.
Errors in Fact
If a party presents false evidence during your court proceedings, it may also be grounds for an appeal. The courts are required to take into account all the necessary evidence that you can bring to your case.
If the court considers false evidence or ignores information that could exonerate you, you will have a good chance of appealing their decision. Eyewitness accounts, camera footage, and testimony from officers could all potentially help to strengthen your case.
Rules for Traffic Ticket Appeals
If you plan on pursuing an appeal for a traffic ticket, you need to make sure that you follow the rules to give yourself the best chance of winning your case.
You have to file your appeal within 30 days of your conviction date, or you’ll lose eligibility to overturn your guilty plea. However, you may be able to give yourself more time by applying for a Motion to Extend the Time to File an Appeal.
There is no fee to appeal, and you don’t need transcripts to begin the process. When the time comes, you should be able to explain your grounds for filing an appeal, any necessary affidavits, and file a motion to appeal without paying the fine, such as a motion to extend time to appeal. Aside from there being no fee, transcripts are not necessary and there is no mandatory deposit amount.
Seek Help to Fight Your Ticket or Appeal Your Conviction
Whether you’re fighting a ticket or appealing a conviction, it takes time. While you fight your ticket your insurance rate won’t go up because your insurance company will only find out about a conviction if it ends up on your record.
It’s a good idea to examine all your options after receiving a traffic ticket. A legal agent can use their expertise to help you get the best possible results under your charge, and they will review your circumstances. If you do get a ticket, contacting a legal professional such as OTD Ticket Defenders and getting a free consultation will open up your options to have an agent fight your ticket.
Traffic Ticket Appeal Delays
Sometimes, appeals can get held up when it takes longer than expected to collect all the necessary paperwork. Transcripts can take months or even years to complete.
The average time varies by jurisdiction. For example, in Toronto, it often takes around 24 to 30 months to receive a copy of your court transcript. If obtaining your transcript leads to significant delays, you may be able to get a refund on your deposit fee.
We hope that our guide has given you a little bit more insight into how to appeal a traffic ticket in Ontario. You can fight your ticket. An appeal is not an easy or straightforward process. An expert agent at OTD Ticket Defenders can help you fight all kinds of traffic tickets. The benefits of expert legal advice are numerous. A professional agent can walk you through every aspect of the process and show you how to avoid your fines or deal with your conviction.