Do I Have to Go to Court for a Ticket?
Every year, thousands of British Columbia motorists get tickets for traffic infractions and violations. Whether the alleged driving offence is minor or more serious, the consequences can mean hefty fines, penalty points and possible driving restrictions.
Is a court appearance necessary?
There are two types of traffic tickets that can be levied, and once you are cited, you should receive a written notice detailing the nature of your charge. If you receive a Violation Ticket, you do not have to go to court. This type of ticket is used for less serious offences, like speeding, running a red light, or an unsafe lane change. Fines and penalty points will be assigned based on the infraction.
The following are some examples of fines and penalty points assigned by the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act:
- Emailing/texting while driving – 4 points — $368 fine
- Speeding in a playground zone – 3 points — $253 fine
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian – 2 points — $167 fine
- Driving without a driver’s license –3 points – $276 fine
- Disobeying a stop sign – 3 points — $167 fine
As of September 2019, convictions for multiple driving offences that took place after June 10, 2019, may increase your rates for Third Party Liability auto coverage. Once you pay a fine for a Violation Ticket, you have—for all legal purposes – admitted guilt. All pending tickets must be paid to the ICBC before you can renew your driver’s license or auto insurance unless you are planning to dispute the charge.
Court is required for a Summons or Appearance Notice
A police officer can issue an Appearance Notice at the time of the infraction, while a summons can be mailed or delivered in person. The ticket will list the violation you are being charged with and your court date.