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N driver with a ticket?

Court delay until you get your Class 5 license

If you’re a class 7 driver in BC and you get a conviction for even one Violation Ticket, you can expect a letter from RoadSafetyBC telling you that they intend to prohibit you from driving. It seems almost cruel. The government provides no leeway to make a mistake. And it seems even meaner because New Drivers are more likely to make a mistake or two as they gain experience driving.

Even if you manage to delay the Ticket trial, the prohibition is still coming your way if you’re convicted.

Most “N” drivers know full well that they’re facing a driving prohibition if they pay a Ticket, so very often we get phone calls about trying to adjourn or delay the process until the “N” driver has got their Class 5. So it’s time to discuss the possible court delay until you get your Class 5 license.

Adjourning the case until you get your Class 5

If you hold a Class 7 license and you get a Violation Ticket, you should consider disputing it. There is a 30-day limitation period and whatever you do, you want to make sure that you get the Violation Ticket filed in dispute in time. When clients hire us to challenge their Violation Ticket, we file it in dispute immediately.

Soon after, the Violation Ticket Center will schedule a date for the trial (also known as the “hearing”). It might be 4 months away or 10 months away, depending on court schedules and witness availability. If there is a legitimate and truthful reason to change the date of the trial, you or your lawyer can apply to adjourn the hearing and schedule a new date.

If your reason to adjourn your trial is to try and put the trial far enough in the future so you can first get your Class 5, that is not a legitimate reason for the court to grant an adjournment. Whatever reason you propose to ask for the adjournment, it’s up to the court to determine whether you meet the legal test.

The practical effect of delaying your trial

Interestingly, if you think you can avoid a prohibition by delaying your case until you get your Class 5, you are wrong. RoadSafetyBC knows all about this attempted trick. It should come as no surprise. It’s not exactly a novel strategy.

If you already have your Class 5 and you get a conviction for a ticket that you received when you had your Class 7, the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles applies the same criteria to assessing the imposition and duration of the prohibition as they would if you still had your Class 7. And they have the legal basis to do so.

In a BC Supreme Court decision from September 2016, the court ruled that:

“The Superintendent’s decision to assess Mr. L in accordance with the “New Drivers” chart applicable to the licence he held at the time he incurred the violations and at the time the Notice was issued was reasonable, as was the Superintendent’s decision to impose a three-month driving prohibition on Mr. L.”

So even if you manage to delay the Ticket trial, the prohibition is still coming your way if you’re convicted.

It’s better to succeed in court

If you’ve received a Violation Ticket, it’s much better to succeed in court than to try and come up with some reason to delay the trial, particularly when the delay won’t help you avoid a prohibition.

Our job is to defend people who have have Tickets. It’s what we do every day, so we’ve become very good at this particular area of law.

When it comes to guilt or innocence, we have the expertise to find the defence in the facts of your case that can get you off the Ticket. That’s our job.

If you have a Ticket, call us now to speak to a BC Driving Lawyer about how we can help you succeed in court and avoid a driving prohibition.