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How to deal with unpaid tickets

Question:

I have a few tickets that are probably convicted…am I suspended?

Response:

If you are concerned that you may have a suspended driver’s licence, the prudent course of action would be to not drive until you have determined the status of your licence. Driving on a suspended licence is a very serious offence with fines in the thousands of dollars, a mandatory 6 month licence suspension, and possible imprisonment.

If you still have your tickets, you can either attend your local court or call by telephone to speak with a POA court clerk. The clerk can look up your ticket numbers to determine their status. If you do not have your tickets still, the court clerk can use either your driver’s licence number or your name and date of birth to look up your pending charges. While various jurisdictions differ on the period in which you may file a ticket, it will generally be between 15 and 45 days after the offence date at which time you will be convicted for non-response. The court will then set a number of days in which you must pay the outstanding fine. If you have been convicted you should have received a Notice of Fine and Due Date by mail. However, if you haven’t receive such notices by mail you should still undertake your due diligence by calling to court to verify the status of your tickets.

If the deadline for fine payment has come and gone, then the Court may have already updated the Ministry of Transportation to have your driver’s licence suspended for non-payment of fine. You will need to pay the court fines as the first step in correcting the issue. Once the fines have been paid, there will be a delay of around 5 days until the MTO has received the updated information. Your licence is still suspended at this point. Once the MTO has received notice of your paid fines, you will need to pay a reinstatement fee (this should be $180) to remove the suspension on your driver’s licence.

If you are unable to pay your fines outright immediately, you can speak with a court clerk about applying for an extension of time to pay your fines. If the court approves your application for the extension, you will be able to follow the same process in reinstating your licence. One of the unfortunate situations that I have seen clients in over the years are individuals who falsely believe that ignorance is a legal defence. If you have any concerns regarding the status of your licence, avoid further legal and financial problems by not driving and following up with the court and MTO immediately.

The best advice is always to deal with a ticket as soon as you receive it. We offer a no cost, no obligation review of matters and can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Most Highway Traffic Act and Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act charges require relatively minimal legal work and cost and are a cost-effective means of protecting your ability to remain licenced and reasonably insured. It is an unfortunate situation to see an otherwise responsible and good driver set aside their ticket and forget about it, only to end up stopped by the police for driving on a suspended licence. These situations take a simple ticket that could have been quickly addressed at court and spirals the situation into a very serious set of legal, licencing, and financial problems.

I would be happy to be of whatever assistance I can to you in this matter. Either myself or one of my staff can be reached via our toll free number 1-844-647-6869 or by email at info@otdlegal.ca.

Posted under Suspended Licence, Traffic Ticket Defence

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