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.

If you need legal advice about fighting the ticket or otherwise minimizing the consequences, an ICBC personal injury law firm is a valuable resource. At Preszler Law, we can explain your options and suggest the most effective measures for moving forward.

Court is required for a Summons or Appearance Notice

It is a good idea to consult with an experienced lawyer after receiving an Appearance Notice or summons, as the potential ramifications are dire. This type of ticket is reserved for much more severe violations, such as fleeing the scene of a hit and run accident.

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. You, or your lawyer, must appear in court on the assigned date, or a warrant can be issued for your arrest.

Assistance disputing a ticket 

If you believe that a violation ticket was unfairly issued, you have a limited time frame to dispute it. In British Columbia, you have 30 days from the violation date to dispute a ticket via mail or in person. This time limit also applies to red-light camera tickets.

After disputing your ticket, you or your legal counsel will need to appear in court on the date outlined by the Provincial Court Registry. If you miss the hearing, you’ll be required to pay the ticket in full. If you are found guilty of the offence, you are usually asked to pay the original fine listed on the ticket. Those with a history of traffic infractions may face more severe penalties.   

Trust your ICBC dispute to Preszler Law 

While an occasional traffic offence is a common part of driving in British Columbia, it’s important to take these tickets seriously and talk with a reputable ICBC law firm before taking action.

If you are uncertain of your next steps or need sound guidance about disputing an alleged traffic violation, Preszler Law is here to help. We have in-depth experience handling ICBC disputes and are poised to assist clients in obtaining the most favourable outcome.

Our lawyers can represent you in court and ensure your interests are protected. For dedicated advocacy, you can rely on, reach out to us and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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