Should I fight my ticket?
In British Columbia, you have the right to a trial if you choose to dispute a traffic ticket, and it is common to say “fight a ticket.” As lawyers, we don’t consider it a fight but an opportunity to rely on a right we have in our legal system. When you are asking yourself, should I fight my ticket, you should consider the short and long-term impact of a ticket conviction on your driving record.
Here are some of the reasons you might want to consider disputing a ticket:
1. To Avoid Points on Your Driving Record: In British Columbia, most traffic tickets result in points being added to your driver’s license. Accumulating too many points can lead to a driving prohibition. By contesting the ticket, you may be able to reduce the number of points assessed or have the ticket dismissed.
2. To Avoid Increased Insurance Rates: ICBC is not transparent about insurance rates but they have been clear that more than 3 points on your driving record will trigger increased ICBC insurance rates. ICBC uses your driving record as a way to assess the risk of insuring you. If you have a history of traffic violations, ICBC will view you as a higher risk, resulting in increased insurance rates. By contesting the ticket, you may be able to reduce the number of points or have the ticket dismissed, thereby avoiding an increase in your insurance rates from ICBC.
3. To Challenge the Evidence Against You: When you receive a traffic ticket in British Columbia, you have the right to challenge the evidence against you. This means that you can question the accuracy of the evidence, such as the speed readings or the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. By challenging the evidence, you may be able to have the ticket dismissed.
4. To Preserve Your Good Driving Record: A traffic ticket conviction goes on your permanent driving record, affecting you for years to come. The government discloses the 5-year record to you, but they keep the record forever. By contesting the ticket, you may be able to reduce the impact it has on your driving record.
5. To Save Money: Traffic tickets in British Columbia can be expensive, with fines, driver point premium, driver risk premium and increased insurance rates from ICBC adding up. By contesting the ticket, you may be saving money in the long run.
6. To Protect Your Rights: Finally, contesting a traffic ticket is a way to protect your rights as a driver. Receiving a traffic ticket can often feel like an infringement on your rights, and by contesting the ticket, you are taking a stand and defending your rights as a driver.
Contesting a traffic ticket in British Columbia can be a wise choice for financial and moral reasons. You have the right to a trial in Canadian law and it’s not something you should give up when there are so many reasons that you should fight your ticket.
We’re the original BC Driving Lawyers. We handle tickets from all over the province for drivers just like you. If you have a ticket, contact us right away.