Author: Bruce Parsons, Paralegal
Date Posted: July 08 2014
Announcing a New Free Service - Hamilton Court Only
Can a Red Light Camera Ticket Be Fought and Won?
Update: As of December 2018, I am continuing with this free service in the Hamilton Court only.
Receiving mail these days is rarely a mixed blessing. Fifty (50) years ago, one could hope to receive a letter from a friend or family member but today’s mail is almost exclusively one of three categories, Junk mail, Official Notices, and Bills.
One of the more unpleasant surprises can be the arrival of a Red Light Camera Ticket, complete with a picture of your car caught “in the act” and including a notice to pay $325.00 to the City forthwith or make arrangements to attend Court to dispute the charge. Many thoughts run through your mind but eventually you come to the spot where you have to decide on how to handle the ticket.
The Good News
Information is the currency of the realm, as they say. What your ticket actually is may not be what you think. For starters, it is just a fine. A nasty fine, but it is not near the end of the world. Worries about demerit points, convictions and insurance premiums are natural, but are thankfully groundless. Red Light Camera tickets are not assessed against your personal driving record but rather recorded against the owner of a vehicle, hence they are more akin to a parking ticket than a normal traffic ticket.
You can revise your thoughts now. You are deciding what to do with a $325 fine. If you don’t pay the fine, it does not suspend your license though it will be applied against your plates and will, like parking tickets or the 407 ETR (electronic toll route), need to be paid before you can obtain a new Sticker or VAL tag and/or renew your plate registration.
What are your options?
1) Pay the ticket – has no implications for insurance or your driving license
2) Pay part of the ticket and apply for an extension of time to pay the balance – because you don’t want to destroy your budget – attend at court and apply for an extension of time to pay your ticket.
3) File the ticket and attend court. At Court, you will be able to speak with a prosecutor and you will likely be offered a reduced fine, typically $240.00 total payable, and be given an opportunity to ask for time to pay the fine, typically 30 to 90 days. So just be filing the ticket and showing up, you save $85.00
4) “Hire” Bruce Parsons Paralegal to “defend” you. WE DON’T CHARGE FOR HAMILTON RED LIGHT CAMERA TICKETS. We file your ticket and attend at Court to enter your plea for the reduced fine. In rare instances, where the Crown refuses to allow a reduced fine, we plead guilty and get you time to pay the fine but you don’t have to take time off work.
What is the Catch? After all, no one works for free….
Very true. However we all advertise, what better advertising than to have you walking around saying what a great bunch of folks we are? We do you a favour, in return, we ask you to think of us fondly. In today’s world, advertising is expensive and it is hard to target a group of folks to get your name out there, to make people aware of your company and to build trust. What better way to service an existing client or to introduce yourself to a potential new client than by doing them a favour?
We are at court pretty much every day, filing a ticket and entering a plea is what we do. So adding a few tickets is easy and very low cost. Cheaper, in fact, than any other form of advertising and it is the most effective form of advertising, Word Of Mouth.
We do more than fight traffic tickets, we do Small Claims actions and we do Landlord/Tenant matters. If you don’t have a need for our services, odds are you know someone who will need us at some point, and we hope you remember us fondly.
I want to fight my red light camera ticket! Can I hire you?
• Defences to red light camera tickets are few and far between. My vehicle was stolen or my vehicle was in another province or country at the time (with proof) are about it. So my suggestion is that if you have one of these defences, you bring your proof to your court appearance and provide it to the Crown to see if you can reduce or eliminate your $325 fine. It makes no sense to hire anyone to present your defence, because it will cost you more than your fine to hire competent representation. Remember, your only consequence here is a fine. No worries about insurance or demerit points. So actually, if someone is willing to take money from you to “Defend” you on a red light camera charge, see above. COMPETENT representation costs about what the ticket charge is, which only makes sense if there are other benefits to be had, like demerit points and/or insurance consequences to be dealt with.
• Someone Else was Driving! You are not charged with driving, just with being the owner of the vehicle. As such, unless the vehicle was reported stolen, you are responsible. You may well have a claim against the driver for the cost of the ticket. But it is not a defence to the charge.
Don’t be that Guy or Gal!
Sometimes, folks are upset and just want to dispute their charge. Even if you have a valid defence to a red light camera charge, how much sense does it make to pay me a substantial amount to defend your charge? Note: the fee can go higher. If you have a valid defence, I’ll help you set up and present that defence, briefly. But no, you cannot retain me to fight a red light camera ticket outside of very exceptional circumstances that I have yet to envision.
This is a free service we provide for your convenience.