You may think that after you get a traffic ticket and pay the fine, the consequences are over. This cannot be further from the truth. Traffic tickets can have serious and long-term effects. Certain traffic offences even carry the punishment of jail time.
It is important to understand these consequences of traffic tickets in order to determine if you need to defend yourself against your traffic ticket. Even one ticket can end up costing you several thousand dollars each year.
Here is a brief overview some of the consequences of traffic tickets that you may experience:
Driver Penalty Point premiums are one of the main consequences of traffic tickets. Driver Penalty point premiums are assessed annually based on the number of Driver Penalty Points you accumulate. Most traffic tickets carry with them some Driver Penalty Points. If you have three or more Driver Penalty Points in a one-year period, you will have to pay the premiums. The more points you accumulate, the higher the premiums are. Defending against a traffic ticket will help prevent you from paying these premiums.
Consequences of tickets can include cancellation of your insurance because certain tickets can cause your insurance to become void. For example, failure to remain at the scene of an accident may void your insurance coverage.
The Driver Risk Premium is assessed if you have a cell phone ticket, a ticket for excessive speeding, a Criminal Code conviction related to driving, a 10-point traffic violation, and/or two roadside suspensions. Driver Risk Premiums go back three years and the fines are very high. Defending against a traffic ticket will help prevent you from paying these premiums.
If you are convicted of driving-related Criminal Code offences, your license can be suspended. Suspensions last for one year, three years, or an indefinite period of time. The length of the suspension is determined by the number of convictions you have and when you received them. Defending against these charges will help reduce the risk of your license being suspended.
As of September 2018, ICBC began to raise the cost of car insurance for convictions on your driving record. This practice was common in other parts of Canada but it is new to British Columbia. ICBC’s insurance rates now increase with tickets on your driving record. A single traffic ticket can now cost thousands of dollars in associated fees and premiums.
Certain tickets and Criminal Code charges carry with them driving prohibitions. If police believe you are driving while your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by alcohol or a drug, they can issue a 24-hour driving prohibition. These are usually followed by 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibitions. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles can also issue a driving prohibition if he considers your driving record to be “unsatisfactory”. Defending against traffic tickets can reduce your risk of serving these driving prohibitions.
Offences like driving without a license and street racing can carry with them the consequence of vehicle impoundment. Vehicles can be impounded for 48 hours, 30 days, 60 days, or longer. The more impoundments you receive, the longer each impoundment period will last. It is possible to appeal a vehicle impoundment. A Vancouver traffic lawyer can assist you in this process.
Certain Motor Vehicle Act offences can carry jail terms as part of their consequences. These include driving while prohibited, failing to stop for a police officer, driving without insurance, driving without a license, and several others. Defending against a ticket can prevent you from spending time in jail.
Driver Penalty Point Premiums are in addition to your insurance and the cost of any tickets you receive. See Driver Penalty Point Premiums…