Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Scam! or I Fought The Law And I Won (Well, Sort Of...)

I want to start off by saying fight every traffic ticket you get.
Because the court system is a scam!
So today I finally went to court for my illegal U-turn ticket I got back in March of last year.
Court time was scheduled for 1:30pm. But about 10 minutes before that, the crown prosecutor calls everyone into the courtroom. And then one by one, he proceeds to ask everyone who has a court date today to step forward. He finds out what the traffic offence is that you have been charged with and then asks, "What would you like to do?" And before you can answer, he continues, "Would you like to plead guilty to a lesser charge?" And then based on what you are charged with he works out a deal with you.
Today there were only two types off traffic offences before the court, a speed trap that had been set up at Kingston road and Beechgrove avenue one night, and my lonely U-turn offence.
The fastest was a young girl caught doing 98 in a 60. The next fastest was a soccer mom doing 89 in a 60. (mmm, do you see a pattern emerging?) And the rest were all people caught at that same speed trap doing slightly more than 15 over. All who were close to that magic 16 over and two demerit had their charges dropped to 15 over, which is no points, just a reduced fine. The young lady doing 98 was dropped to 89 which was 3 demerits plus fine (instead of four). And the soccer mom got dropped to 79 in a 60 which which is two demerits points plus fine.
And then there was me. I got my charges dropped from an illegal U-turn (2 points plus $120 fine) to illegal lane change, no points, just the $60 fine.
After everything was agreed upon with the crown, the judge came in. The crown then called each person up before the judge, revealed what they were charged with and what was agreed upon during the plea bargain.
I noticed a few times someone would be called and then the prosecutor would call out for a witness. Now this is where it gets fishy. I believe that that witness being called was supposed to be the police to dispute the charge. But each time this happened the witness did not come forward and the case was dismissed without any charges at all.
Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with the outcome of my case. But it leaves me wondering what would of happened if I choose to fight the ticket instead of pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Whatever the case, traffic court quite frankly is a scam. I say the next time you get a ticket, take the time to fight it. It really will be worth your time and effort. It is almost guaranteed you can plead to a lesser charge which will save you money and demerit points.
And if you choose to roll the dice and go all the way and fight it, from what I saw today, there is a good chance you will walk away free and clear with no charges or fines.
Bing, bang, bong, I was out the door and in the line to pay my fine in less than an hour.
Paying the fine was another story, (maybe another day)
In the end my day in court took a little less than 3 hours. As far I am concerned, it was 3 hours well spent!


purple said...

If the case was dismissed without any charges at all why did you still have to pay a fine. Yes, Canadian courts are a scam.

Mad Mal and Hobbes (and calvin too!) said...

The cases that were dismissed did not have to pay a fine. Those of us who pleaded to the lesser charge still had to pay a fine.