- Step 1FIGHT THE TICKET
If you don't want to fight your ticket or go to court, read this section!
- Step 2REQUEST A TRIAL
We show you what to do. It only takes 15 minutes. How easy is that!
- Step 3PREPARATION
Preparation is the key to success. Do your homework.
- Step 4PRE-TRIAL STRATEGIES
Your trial has been scheduled. Now the fight begins. Here's what you need to do.
- Step 5TRIAL STRATEGIES
What to do, what to say, and what not to say.
A fatal error is an error on your traffic ticket that is sufficient to get your case thrown out. It is quite common for people to receive a traffic ticket with errors on it. Unfortunately not all errors are fatal. If the right person is standing in court and the police officer can identify you, then the error could not have been fatal. In fact, under Section 34 of the Provincial Offences Act the justice can amend the traffic ticket to fix the error so that it is correct.
The following errors are not fatal and won't get your traffic ticket thrown out:
- misspelled name, incorrect address, wrong driver's licence number;
- incorrect location;
- incorrect date or time;
- wrong licence plate;
- wrong vehicle color or description;
- incorrect set fine or total payable amount. (You can make this a fatal error, see Incorrect Fine Amounts.)
The following errors are fatal and will get your traffic ticket thrown out:
- no offence date;
- no defendant’s name (if your name is misspelled, the traffic ticket still counts);
- no location;
- missing officer’s signature;
- unknown offence (e.g. speeding 70kh/hr in a 64km/hr zone);
- the filing date is beyond seven days.
For a full discussion on errors, how to make a motion to have your traffic ticket thrown out and how to take advantage of errors during your trial, see Quash the Trial.
For an alternative approach to trial that can get your traffic ticket quashed for a non-fatal error, see How to Force a Fatal Error.
Prosecutors Who Act in Bad Faith
Some prosecutors will pursue a conviction at any cost. You must be very careful not to discuss the error with the prosecutor before the trial or at First Attendance. Some people mistakenly assume that if they show the error to the prosecutor, he will drop the charge. Instead, they have given him a heads up to correct the error before the trial begins.
This is also true for fatal errors. Showing the prosecutor the fatal error does not mean you will beat the charge. The prosecutor can drop the charge and then issue a summons for the same charge within six months of the offence. He avoids the fatal error and still gets to convict you.