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Your Questions Answered – Part 1

An average day at OTD Ticket Defenders Legal Services is always interesting.  We get to meet drivers not only from all over Ontario, but from across Canada and even the entire world.  Regular drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers that have gotten into trouble with the police and need our help.  The details of their legal troubles can range from common place offences into the barely believable.  Regardless of how simple or how complex a case is, we’re always here to help out and to answer questions.

Over the years there are certainly patterns in questions that we get asked or in the information that people need to know in order to make informed legal decisions.  Let’s take a look at some of those most frequently asked questions.  If you have a question that isn’t answered here, why not ask it and we’ll try to answer it for you!

What Is The Difference Between a Ticket and a Summons?

This is both one of the first and one of the most important differences that you need to know about when a police officer issues you an offence notice at roadside.  Let’s take a look at what these are.

A ticket generally includes the following information:

  • Your full legal name
  • Your address
  • Your driver’s licence number
  • Your date of birth
  • The  date and time of offence
  • What offence you are charged with
  • The location of your offence
  • Your set fine and total payable fine
  • Your legal options

What a ticket doesn’t tell you is:

  • How many demerit points the offence carries
  • How many CVOR points the offence carries
  • Whether a conviction will suspend your driver’s licence
  • How a conviction will impact your insurance
  • What evidence the Prosecutor has or has not got to prove the offence
  • How strong or how week the evidence against you is

A summons is similar to a ticket, but has some important differences:

  • Does not show a fine as the fine must be determined by the court
  • Does not show other pending court penalties such as imprisonment or licence suspension
  • Has a mandatory ‘first appearance’ court date that you or your legal representative must attend

A ticket is alternately called a ‘part 1’ offence notice and goes to a Municipal Prosecutor at court.  A summons is alternately called a ‘part 3’ offence notice and goes to a Provincial Crown Prosecutor at court.  Provincial prosecution cases are generally much more involved and result in more court appearances than municipal prosecution cases.  Offences issued by way of a summons are generally much more serious offences and carry much more serious consequences if convicted at court.

How Do Demerit Points Work?

In Ontario licencing and demerit points are dealt with by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).  New drivers begin with a clean record and no demerit points.  If you are convicted at court, that record of conviction goes to the MTO that then places the record of conviction against your driving record and applies the appropriate number of demerit points.  Demerit point penalties can range anywhere from 0 points for very minor offences up to 7 demerit points for very serious offences.

For Ontario drivers with a full licence, the consequences of demerit points are as follows:

2 to 8 points:
You will be sent a warning letter.

9 to 14 points:
Your licence could be suspended. You may have to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. At this meeting, you will need to provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended.

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend, your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario Centre. You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview. Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.

15+ points:
Your licence will be suspended for 30 days.

When your licence is suspended, you will get a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. It will tell you the date your suspension takes effect and that you need to surrender your licence.

If you do not surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to two years.

If you are a novice driver with a class G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L licence, the consequences of demerit points follow a more strict schedule:

2 to 5 points:
You will be sent a warning letter.

6 to 8 points:
Your licence could be suspended. You may have to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. At this meeting, you will need to provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended.

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend, your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario Centre. You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview. Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.

9 or more points:
Your licence will be suspended for 60 days.

When your licence is suspended, you will get a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. It will tell you the date your suspension takes effect and that you need to surrender your licence.

If you do not surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to two years.

What Are Escalated Sanctions Penalties?

Escalated sanctions penalties are additional penalties that apply to novice drivers such as those with a class G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L licence.  The penalties are on top of any other court penalties that a driver with a full licence would be issued.  These addition penalties are applied in the following circumstances:

  • convicted of breaking graduated licensing rules
  • convicted of a Highway Traffic Act offence that results in four or more demerit points (e.g., street racing, careless driving)
  • subject to a court-ordered suspension for a Highway Traffic Act offence that would have otherwise resulted in four or more demerit points

You can also trigger escalated sanctions penalties for being convicted of specific offences such as driving with a handheld communication device.

The consequences of escalated sanctions penalties are determined by whether it is the first, second, or later time that they have been triggered:

For a first offence: your driver’s licence is suspended for 30 days.

For a second offence: your driver’s licence is suspended for 90 days.

For a third offence: you will lose your novice licence.  You will need to re-apply for your licence and start all over, taking all tests and paying all fees. You will also lose any time discount you earned, any time you were credited, and any fees you have paid.

I’d Like To Know More!

That’s great to hear!  Our team is comprised individuals with a wealth of knowledge and experience on both the legal and administrative elements of Highway Traffic Act and Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act charges.  Even when we think that we have seen and learned everything to do with these areas of law, we run across something new and interesting to research and learn from.  That’s what allows us to help out our clients so effectively.

If you enjoyed this first quick foray into some of the most frequently asked questions that we answer, make sure to catch next week’s article with even more.  If you have a question that you’d like answered, submit a blog question and we’ll answer it for you!

When it comes to legal matters and protecting your personal interests, it is important to ask questions.  The answers to those questions are how you make informed legal decisions.  Uninformed legal decisions can lead to unnecessary convictions or poorer outcomes at court.  If you are charged by the police, you need those answers as quickly as possible.

OTD Ticket Defenders Legal Services is here to help you.  We offer a no-cost, no obligation initial consultation to go through your case history and details with you.  Our friendly staff can be reached via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869, by email at info@otdlegal.ca, or by text at 226-240-2480.  You can also submit an online consultation request any time of the day or night and one of our staff will contact you during regular business hours to assist you. 

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Your Questions Answered - Part 1
Article Name
Your Questions Answered - Part 1
Description
Everyday our firm is asked questions regarding speeding tickets, everything from minor to complex questions. We have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions with answers from the experienced staff at OTD Legal.
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OTD Ticket Defenders Legal Services
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