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    SPEEDING TICKET

    Speeding Ticket Overview

    Speeding tickets are the most common offences. We can help with speeding charges issued in Ontario, Quebec, and many locations in the United States. If you have received a speeding ticket, it is important to know your legal rights and options as well as the consequences that will be incurred if you are convicted. It is important to not simply pay the ticket. 

    Fortunately, the vast majority of speeding offences can at least be reduced to a lesser offence or we can possibly find a legal argument to have the ticket thrown out entirely. It is important to make informed decisions and protect your rights and your insurance rates.

    Types of Speeding Tickets

    There are four main types of speeding offences, depending on how many km/h you are over the posted speed limit. 

    Speeding 1-19 km/h over 

    Speeding Range

    Regular Speeding

    In a community safety zone or in a construction zone

    1-19 km/h over

    $2.50

    $5.00

    Speeding 20-29 km/h over

    Speeding Range

    Regular Speeding

    In a community safety zone or in a construction zone

    20-29 km/h over

    $3.75

    $7.50

     

    Speeding 30-49 km/h over

    Speeding Range

    Fine (Cost per km/h)

    Regular Speeding

    In a community safety zone or in a construction zone

    30-49 km/h over

    $6.00

    $12.00

    Starting from July 1, 2021 speeding over 40 km/h in a zone that is less than 80 km/hr is considered stunt driving.

    Speeding over 50 km/h

     

    Speeding Range

    Fine (Cost per km/h)

    Regular Speeding

    In a community safety zone or in a construction zone

    50 km/h or greater over

    No out of court  settlement

    No out of court settlement

     

    The worst of the speeding offences are for rates of speed 50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit. These offences carry the highest range of penalties upon conviction. Unlike smaller speeding tickets that are argued by a Municipal Prosecutor at court, these offences are issued by way of a summons and are argued by a Provincial Crown Prosecutor.

    Highway Traffic Act (HTA) Definition of Speeding

    According to section 128 of the Highway Traffic Act:

    No person shall drive a motor vehicle at a rate of speed greater than,

    1. 50 kilometres per hour on a highway within a local municipality or within a built-up area;
    2. despite clause (a), 80 kilometres per hour on a highway, not within a built-up area, that is within a local municipality that had the status of a township on December 31, 2002 and, but for the enactment of the Municipal Act, 2001, would have had the status of a township on January 1, 2003, if the municipality is prescribed by regulation;
    3. 80 kilometres per hour on a highway designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as a controlled-access highway under the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act, whether or not the highway is within a local municipality or built-up area;
    4. the rate of speed prescribed for motor vehicles on a highway in accordance with subsection (2), (5), (6), (6.1) or (7);
    5. the maximum rate of speed set under subsection (10) and posted in a construction zone designated under subsection (8) or (8.1); or
    6. the maximum rate of speed posted on a highway or portion of a highway pursuant to section 128.0.1. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 17 (1); 2006, c. 11, Sched. B, s. 6 (2); 2006, c. 32, Sched. D, s. 4 (1).

    Fight your Speeding Ticket

    The first important thing is to seek out the relevant information that you will need to protect yourself.  If you are convicted of an offence, the court will always be able to see that conviction on your driving history. 3-5 years of this history is also available to your insurance company.

    Hire a lawyer or paralegal for help

    A licenced paralegal is generally your most cost-effective avenue in providing your defence at court.  Paralegals know the law and they know the court process.  They are there to argue your defence at court on your behalf.  Many defendants are relieved to find out that their defence can be argued without their ever needing to attend court.

    Fight your ticket in court alone

    If you decide to fight your speeding ticket alone, here is what you need to keep in mind:

    • You need to file a ticket with a court in order to receive a date with a prosecutor. This is your opportunity to discuss a possible reduction of your speeding ticket to a lower reduced speed resulting in less or 0 demerit points.
    • It will take at least 2-3 court appearances in order to fight a speeding ticket. For most people, this means taking time off from work.
    • You need to schedule a trial date with the appropriate court and prepare for it.
    • Keep in mind that you will be questioned about every fact from the date that you were caught speeding. 
    • If you are late for court or miss an appearance, you will be convicted.

    Court Process

    Once you have retained a paralegal firm, that’s when the legal work starts.  One of the biggest benefits of hiring a paralegal is that they take care of the court filings and legal work for you.  A paralegal also knows exactly which prosecutor to speak with based on experience.

    Court Filings

    If you have received a ticket, that ticket will need to be filed correctly with the court and then it will be necessary to follow up with the court staff to ensure that the filing has been processed correctly.  

    If you are in the middle of a reopening or an appeal, that paperwork will need to be drafted by your legal representatives and then properly filed with the appropriate parties.  

    If you have been issued a summons, your offence notice will already have a first appearance court date set that your paralegal will attend for you.

    Early Resolution Meeting

    Once your paralegal has obtained the prosecutor’s evidence or any necessary court transcripts, they will be meeting with the Prosecutor’s Office on your behalf.  This meeting is referred to as an early resolution meeting.  The two sides will review the evidence and discuss the legal merits of that evidence to first of all determine whether or not the charge(s) can be withdrawn.  If there is a strong legal argument that the charge(s) would be dismissed at trial, the best resolution is to argue to simply have the charge(s) withdrawn without the need for trial.

    Potential Resolution Meeting

    If the Prosecutor’s evidence is sufficient for them to proceed to trial, the next step would be for the two sides to discuss potential resolutions.  If the evidence against you could reasonably lead to a conviction at trial, your paralegal will negotiate within your written instructions to get you the best resolution possible.

    Trial

    If no mutually agreeable resolution can be reached, then your case may either need to be argued at trial or it may be necessary to engage in further resolution meetings.  

    Trials can be very stressful for self-represented defendants.  They generally don’t know the law or the court process.  They have to face off in the courtroom against an experienced and trained prosecutor.  Self-represented defendants may open themselves up to being a witness that can be cross examined by the prosecutor.  Statistically, the end results are generally poor for persons who choose to represent themselves.  The idea of having to appear before a Justice of the Peace or questioning the police officer that charged them may be very intimidating.

    Speeding ticket Penalties

    If you have been charged with speeding or stunt driving, you could face some or all of the following penalties:   

    • A court fine
    • Licence Suspension
    • Imprisonment
    • Demerit Points
    • CVOR Points
    • An insurance Increase or being uninsurable

    Generally, the more severe your offence is, the more severe the penalties that you will be facing.  

    Court Fine

    Speeding fines are determined by how far over the posted speed limit you were driving.

    Speeding Range

    Fine (Cost per km/h)

    Regular Speeding

    In a community safety zone or in a construction zone

    1-19 km/h over

    $3.00

    $6.00

    20-29 km/h over

    $4.50

    $9.00

    30-49 km/h over

    $7.00

    $14.00

    50 km/h or greater over

    $9.75

    $19.50

     

    It is important to note that these fines are also subject to a $5.00 court cost plus the victim fine surcharge (VFS) as follows:

     

    Court Surcharges

    Fine Range ($)

    VFS ($)

    Court cost ($)

    0-50

    10

    5

    51-75

    15

    5

    76-100

    20

    5

    101-150

    25

    5

    151-200

    35

    5

    201-250

    50

    5

    251-300

    60

    5

    301-350

    75

    5

    351-400

    85

    5

    401-450

    95

    5

    451-500

    110

    5

    501-1000

    125

    5

    Over 1000

    25% of actual fine

    5

     

    Demerit Points

    New Ontario drivers start out with a clean driving history and zero demerit points. If they are convicted of an offence, that record of conviction is entered against their driving history. Convictions can carry a demerit point penalty that ranges from 0 to 7 demerit points depending upon which section of the law they were convicted under. For Ontario drivers with a speeding offence, demerit point penalties are as follows:

     

    Speeding Range

    Demerit Points

    1-19 km/h over

    0

    16-29 km/h over

    3

    30-49 km/h over

    4

    50 km/h or greater over

    6

    Increased Penalties based on Demerit Points

    Full Licence

    Class G

    Novice Licence 

    Class G1 or G2

    MTO Response

    2 to 8 demerits

    2 to 5 demerits

    You will be sent a warning letter.

    9 to 14 demerits

    6 to 8 demerits

    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.

    15 or more demerits

    9 or more demerits

    Your licence will be suspended for 30 days.

     

    Licence suspension

    One of the worst possible consequences for a driver is to have their licence suspended.   The ability to drive is integral to the day-to-day responsibilities of modern life whether you live rurally in a large city.  

    A suspension can occur due to accumulating too many demerit points for your class of driver’s licence.  A suspension will also occur due to having a G1 class licence or G2 class licence and receiving a conviction for any single offence carrying 4 or more demerit points (in this case being 30 km/h or greater over the posted speed limit).  

    If you received a summons under the Highway Traffic Act section 128 for Speeding 50 km/h or greater over the posted speed limit, the court can issue a driver’s licence suspension as follows:

    (a) suspend the driver’s licence of the person for a period of not more than 30 days; 

    (b) upon the first subsequent conviction where the court determined in respect of each conviction that the person was driving at a rate of speed of 50 or more kilometres per hour greater than the speed limit, suspend the driver’s licence of the person for a period of not more than 60 days;

    (c) upon the second subsequent conviction or an additional subsequent conviction, where the court determined in respect of each conviction that the person was driving at a rate of speed of 50 or more kilometres per hour greater than the speed limit, suspend the driver’s licence of the person for a period of not more than one year.  

    Imprisonment

    If you are caught and charged with Stunt Driving under the Highway Traffic Act section 172, you might face up to 6 months in jail.

    CVOR Points

    Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have to be exceptionally careful of any charges issued by the police.  Not only do they face all of the standard penalties that a regular driver would face, but their employer may also receive a record of the conviction along with a CVOR point penalty.  This could result in termination of employment and difficulty in finding new employment.  A CMV driver’s driving record is literally their resume.

    CVOR points for speeding offences increase much more quickly than demerit points do:

    Rate of Speed

    CVOR Points

    1-10 km/h over

    2

    11-20 km/h over

    3

    21 or above

    5

    5 CVOR points is the highest possible CVOR point penalty that can be issued.  Driving at 71 km/h in a posted 50 km/h zone carries the same 5 CVOR point penalty as a Careless Driving or Stunt Driving offence.

    Consequences for Novice Drivers

    Novice drivers (such as those with a G1, G2, M1, or M2 licence) can face escalated sanctions penalties from the MTO if they are convicted of any single offence that carries 4 or more demerit points. 

    In terms of Speeding offences, this would occur for any rate of speeding 30 km/h or more over the posted speed limit. The exact penalty issued against a novice driver in this circumstance is determined by whether it is a first, second, or third occurrence:

     

    • 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.

    Consequences for commercial motor vehicle drivers

    Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers, such as transport truck drivers, need to be particularly cautious of speeding offences. CVOR points escalate much more quickly than demerit points do:

     

    To provide context, a charge of speeding at 21 km/h or more over the posted speed limit carries the exact same CVOR point penalty as would an offence of Careless Driving for incidents such as colliding with a pedestrian or vehicle, or running your commercial motor vehicle into an object or off the roadway. A 5 CVOR point conviction (or a poor driving record) can result in the termination of your employment and difficulties in finding new employment.

    Insurance Rates Costs

    Speeding convictions generally impact insurance rates. Your insurance broker is your most reliable source of information on the potential impact of a conviction.  Generally they will consider the severity of the new offence along with your driving history in calculating their risk assessment and your insurance rate.  If the risk assessment is high, your current insurance policy may be canceled and you will be required to seek out high risk insurance.  

    The more offences on your driving record and the greater the severity of those offences, the greater the expense of obtaining automobile insurance.  Once your risk assessment reaches a certain point, you will no longer qualify for standard insurance coverage and will have to seek out high-risk insurance coverage that is very expensive to obtain.  

    Driving Record

    Your driving record can be impacted by a number of factors, such as convictions, demerit points or licence suspensions.

    Action

    Time on your driver’s abstract

    Speeding Conviction

    3 years after the date of conviction

    Demerit Points

    2 years from the date of offence

    Licence Suspension

    6 years

    Speeding Ticket FAQ

    Is a speeding ticket a criminal charge in Ontario? 

    Speeding tickets are not criminal charges in Ontario. However, the consequences of a major conviction for speeding can increase insurance rates to a level equal to criminal driving charges

    Should I fight a 0 demerit point ticket? 

    If you are above the age of 25 years and hold a full licence, it’s probably not necessary to defend the charge. However, other factors need to be considered. For example, if you are a professional driver or have a poor driving history, you may have no choice but to try and fight the ticket.

    Is the fine on the ticket a factor in the cost of representation? 

    The fine amount and the cost to fight a ticket are not related. The retainer, or cost to defend, is dependant on the projected amount of legal work necessary to defend that client. For example, if a ticket for speeding is $50.00 in the fine box, the cost of representation or amount of work could be identical to a ticket with a fine of $650.00.

    If I fight my reduced speeding ticket, will it get increased to the original speed?

     We have never represented a client where it was successfully increased by the police or prosecutor. We can help you and prevent that from happening. In many cases, without retaining proper and experienced paralegals, this could happen. This is a risk that you take if you represent yourself or settle for an inexperienced mass marketed company.

    How long do demerit points stay on your record? 

    Demerit points will be on your record for two years from the date of offence but will only appear once you are convicted.

    How long does a conviction remain on my driver’s abstract? 

    A conviction will remain on your abstract for a period of three years.

    Why does the cost of the ticket increase after having a trial? 

    A ticket received at the side of the road has a fine amount that is considered to be an out-of-court payment option. This amount is slightly less than the cost after the matter goes to trial. Typically, the cost is not noticeable and is not usually a factor in determining whether to fight the ticket or not.

    How many demerit points suspend a G2 driver’s licence? 

    A G2 licence holder has limited ability to sustain demerit points. If a G2 licence holder is convicted of a charge that carries 4 or more demerit points, their licence will be suspended for 30 days. The suspension will escalate for a second and third offence. A G2 driver can accumulate up to 9 demerit points before their licence is suspended, however at six accumulated demerit points the driver will be required to attend an interview at the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). The MTO may decide to suspend the driver’s licence at that time.

    What happens if I pay my speeding ticket immediately after receiving it? 

    If a person pays a ticket, it is considered a plea of guilty. This means that the opportunity to dispute or reduce the ticket is no longer available. The only remedy to fix this situation is to contact our firm immediately to file an appeal with the court as soon as possible. The sooner the appeal is filed, the better the chances of having that conviction overturned.

    Once I receive a ticket, do I have to report it to my employer or insurance company? 

    In Canada, it is your Charter Right to be considered innocent until convicted, either by pleading guilty or being found guilty after a trial. Once convicted, you have no duty to report the conviction to your insurance company. However, if your insurance company asks you if you have a conviction, you must report that conviction. If you are an employee and have an employment contract that addresses traffic tickets, you must review that contract to determine what your obligations might be. 

    Is the officer required to show me the radar gun for a speeding ticket? 

    The enforcement officer may or may not allow you to observe his or her speed measuring device. This is simply a choice that the officer makes. If you were not shown the device, this does not create a defence or loophole and will not nullify your ticket.

    Can I speed when passing or overtaking a vehicle? 

    Logically, the safest way to pass another vehicle on a two-lane highway is to make the maneuver quickly. However, from a technical perspective, any time a vehicle is travelling at a rate of speed that is above the posted speed limit, it is considered speeding.

    The officer has made a mistake on the ticket. Does this make the ticket void? 

    Under the Provincial Offences Act, the court and the prosecutor have wide powers of amendment. Minor mistakes on a speeding ticket will not get it thrown out.