Traffic Ticket Lawyer | Highway Traffic Act Offences
Charges under the Highway Traffic Act may not necessarily be considered criminal charges, but depending on the charge they can disrupt your life as much or more than a criminal charge, especially if your job involves driving, or relies on driving to some significant degree. Our law office has experienced lawyers to advocate your case and a strong support staff of paralegals. Our law firm fights anything from criminal driving charges such as Driving Under the Influence ("DUI") and impaired driving, to fighting speeding tickets. Regardless of the driving charges, we will attend your court date and do whatever we can to keep your driving record as clean as possible. We know that some people count on their driver's licence to sustain their employment and livelihood and treat every case extremely seriously.
The charges can involve a wide variety of driving violations such as speeding, careless driving, unsafe lane changes and running a red light. We pride ourselves on providing sound legal advice and fighting traffic violation tickets at all costs. Our legal services include researching case law, legislation, investigating the scene, and advocating your case whether with the Crown alone during resolution discussions, or in court at trial.
Bernstein Law Group's lawyers will start by taking a thorough look at the circumstances of your charge, arrest, record and needs. Then we will do whatever is best for you in terms of keeping your driving record clear and getting you back on the road as quickly as possible. With our plethora of knowledge in criminal law and highway traffic law, we know how to find the weaknesses in the prosecutor's case. Our lead lawyer, Stephen Bernstein, has been defending serious criminal cases and fighting traffic tickets since 1982. Our law office does what it takes to achieve the best possible outcome by providing exemplary legal advice and professional service.
It's Not Just A Traffic Ticket
For many of us, traffic tickets are simply something that we grumble about and pay without considering the consequences or the possibilities available to us. Many other people who get tickets simply try to fight the tickets themselves. There are a number of reasons why either might not be a good idea:
- Insurance rates: Depending on the charge, pleading guilty may drive up your insurance premiums significantly.
- Ability to drive: If you rack up enough demerit points, you may lose your ability to drive for a period of time, especially if you are a new driver. Failure to stop for a police officer or remain at the scene of an accident, careless driving, and street racing, can all result in massive demerit points, but even turning violations and small infractions can add up if you get enough of them.
- Familiarity: If you go to traffic court, you will be dealing with people who do this all the time and who are familiar with every aspect of traffic law. You may not be able to find the right arguments to defend yourself. We can point out which defences will not help you, and which unexpected defences might, such as unhelpful placement of stop signs. We can also find any potential errors made by the police when giving out the tickets or using the equipment used to measure your speed.
A Non-Exhaustive List of Offences
As you can imagine, there are a number of ways you can be charged on the road. Some tickets are more common than others, but one thing we can be sure of is that all traffic tickets are not fun to receive and they are not all equal. The following are a list of some of the traffic tickets that exist today:
- Disobey Stop Sign: If you have been convicted for failing to stop for a stop sign, it could result in 3 demerit points and $110 fine.
- Failure to Stop at a Red Light: These tickets come with a fine of $325 and 3 demerit points.
- Failure to Move Over for Emergency Vehicle: Law enforcement takes these tickets very seriously with fines from $490 up to $2,000 and 3 demerit points. The “Move Over” legislation was enacted in 2003 and requires drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the highway with its lights activated. If the road has two or more lanes, you must move over and provide at least a lane space.
- Careless Driving: This is a very common and serious charge. In a lot of ways, it is used as a catch-all for bad driving offences that typically involve an accident. A conviction results in a fine from $400 to $2000 and you may lose 6 demerit points. When your demerit points reach 15, you may lose your license. The conviction will be on your record for at least 3 years and your insurance premiums could be increased for several years.
- Driving Under Suspension: This is another serious category charge. These offences can carry severe penalties if convicted such as high court fines, further suspension, and even jail. The most popular reasons for a driver’s license to be suspended are unpaid court fines, court-ordered suspension, roadside suspension from stunt driving or alcohol-related offences, discretionary or mandatory suspension, and medical suspension. For the first offence, the fine is between $1,000 and $5,000 with up to six months imprisonment. Often times, there is no jail ordered unless you are a repeated offender.
- Fail to Remain: This carries 7 demerit points and the possibility of jail time. There are charges under the Highway Traffic Act as well as a separate but similar charge of “Failure to stop after accident” as part of the Criminal Code.
It is important to note that oftentimes highway traffic tickets are associated with car accidents. If you are convicted of a highway traffic offence, it will likely play a role in any civil action that follows the accident.
Contact Bernstein Law Group
Our criminal defence lawyers, personal injury lawyers, and traffic ticket lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to navigate the court process and achieve the best results possible. Our law firm provides free consultations and service Toronto, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oakville, Brantford, Stoney Creek, Burlington, and the surrounding area in southern Ontario.