Save Costs on Traffic Tickets

by Mike Holman

Ever get a traffic ticket and just paid the full fine and accepted the points? If you wanted to try fighting or reducing the ticket, there’s always been the option of booking a court case and showing up and either pleading down the ticket with the assistant DA or actually going to trial and hope the cop doesn’t show up. Both of these methods can be successful but they can take up a lot of time and be somewhat stressful – especially if you’ve never been on trial before.

Well my wife got a ticket last year and decided to take advantage of the City of Toronto Court Services process in which you can “plead guilty with an explanation” and basically plead down the ticket with the assistant DA. Actually the cop who gave her the ticket told her to go and plead it down.

According to the website it sounds like a quick easy process, but in practice she showed up and got a number (you have to line up to get the number first). The room was hot and crowded. After about a one hour wait she talked to the customer service rep. Then she went into another room (through security) and waited longer to talk to the assistant DA. Once that talk was over she waited some more and then got a sheet from the assistant DA with the new deal – then she went back to the first room and got another number and waited to pay – this was a different line so it didn’t take long.

Bottom line is that she was there about 2.5 hours, got the ticket reduced from $110 to $80 but she paid $20 for parking so net savings (not counting gas & lunch) was $10. The two points were removed which apparently is the main thing. I’m not sure if two demerit points has any effect on your insurance but I guess if you keep getting them then your insurance will go up.

Tip #1- If you are doing this and are going to the downtown Toronto court then go before nine in order to get the early bird parking which is only $10. It gets crowded later in the day as well so earlier is better

Tip #2 – Don’t bring your young child with you (if you have one).

Tip #3 – Since you have to go through security, don’t bring any knives or Swiss army knife key chains.

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