When you receive a traffic ticket, it’s tempting just to pay it and move on with your life. However, sometimes, it is worth the effort to challenge the ticket and avoid not just a fine but other penalties like a license suspension.
In this article, we will explain what it means to challenge a traffic ticket, the reasons you should consider it and how a criminal lawyer can help.
What Does It Mean to Challenge a Traffic Ticket?
Many people don’t realize that when they are issued a traffic ticket in British Columbia, whether for speeding, a parking violation or operating a vehicle while prohibited from driving, it can be successfully disputed and overturned.
To dispute a ticket, you must first register your dispute and plead your case during a hearing. If successful, you may be able to have both the penalty and the charge overturned.
Traffic Tickets You Can Dispute
While technically, you can dispute any traffic ticket, the infractions that are most likely to be overturned following a dispute include:
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Stop sign or traffic light infraction
- Driving in a bus lane
- Failure to use seatbelts
- Driving without an out-of-date inspection sticker
Keep in mind that the more serious the infraction, the more difficult it may be to have it overturned by a judge.
Reasons You Should Dispute a Traffic Ticket
In the province of British Columbia, you are legally able to dispute a traffic ticket for any of the following reasons:
- You don’t believe that you should have been given the ticket
- You disagree with how much you were fined
- You want more time to pay your fine
However, there are additional reasons you should consider disputing a ticket. We have listed a few of these reasons below.
It Helps Keep Your Insurance Rates Low
A traffic violation can sometimes cause your auto insurance provider to increase your insurance rates, costing you hundreds of dollars a year more than you were paying. Your insurance rates will stay the same if the traffic violation is removed from your record.
It Ensures You Maintain a Clean Driving Record
Many employers require you to have a clean driving record, particularly if your job requires driving. That means having a traffic violation on your record could potentially affect your career.
You Can Avoid a Licence Suspension
If you have already accumulated points on your driving record, something as simple as a traffic ticket could lead to a licence suspension, which can have a devastating impact on your life.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Dispute a Ticket
While many people who dispute traffic tickets choose to represent themselves at their hearings, working with an experienced criminal lawyer will improve your chances of success. You don’t want to take any chances when something as important as your driver’s license is at risk.
A lawyer will explain the process of disputing a ticket and represent you in court during your hearing. They will also advise you on what to do during your hearing to improve your chances of having the ticket overturned.
Dispute A Traffic Ticket in Vancouver
Tom Doust is one of Vancouver’s leading criminal defence lawyers. He has over 20 years of experience and can help achieve a favourable outcome. If you are a Vancouver resident facing a suspended license due to a traffic violation and are looking to dispute it, contact the office of Tom Doust today.