What happens if I’m caught driving more than 50 km/h over the speed limit?

What are the expected outcomes?

The worst-case scenario is being found guilty — the presumed minimum fine is $2,505.00 (after various costs are added), and it can go as high as $12,505.00. You can also potentially receive a jail sentence (but for various reasons of law this is almost never given), or you may get a licence suspension of up to two years (lower ones of 30–90 days are more common in the rare cases where they are imposed). There would be six demerit points (unless a suspension is imposed, in which case there are 0 points, assuming you have a full G licence) and very significant insurance rate increases for a prolonged period of time.

A slightly better outcome is some kind of negotiated outcome to a major offence. It essentially has the same consequences as above but certain things are taken off the table (i.e. no jail, and no suspension), and fines can be reduced from the presumed minimum fine. In some cases, this can even involve changing the charge to speeding (more than 50) which is still a major offence, but it is rumored that in some insurance regimes it’s not considered to be as serious and the fines can be dropped substantially.

A better situation would be to negotiate the case to a minor speeding ticket of 49 km/h or less. That means the points would be fewer (four, or fewer in some rare cases), the fine would be $450 or less, and most insurance companies would treat it as a minor offence (to my knowledge).

The second-best outcome would be to beat the charge completely after trial. That is where the court has a reasonable doubt as to whether all the elements have been proven or not. This is effectively the best outcome, but since it involves an element of risk (of losing and getting one of the first two options) and since it is more expensive for legal representation to go to trial, then I consider this second best.

The best outcome would be if I found a major obvious error, or used other skills or elements of my experience to persuade the prosecutor to drop the charge, sometimes in exchange for you doing something like making a donation. This rarely happens, but it does happen sometimes.

Are the policemen equipped to record voice conversations between driver and the police on the highway?

Most of the time, the answer is no. There are some exceptions we can discuss, but in my experience over 95% of cases involve no recording other than those made by the client, if any.

Speeding car

Can court dates be changed or trial rescheduled if I have work or a visit to a psychologist or other commitments that isn’t a doctor’s?

The Court date you received is a “first appearance” date. You need to appear, but if you have a lawyer or paralegal, they can go for you.

Can this date be pushed gradually for up to a total of three years?

It’s technically possible, and we’ve done it before, but it is unlikely to occur. Also, why would you want to do that? Generally, insurance companies take convictions into consideration for 3–5 years from the date of conviction. This means that no matter how long it gets pushed back, it won’t shorten any consequences there. Demerit points are another story, though; if we push the case past two years then they will never accumulate on your record and so the effect will be the same as zero points. That said, a two-year push-back is rare, but we’ve done it either using our own tactics or with agreement of the Crown.

How true is it that if the officer doesn’t show up in court, the charges get dropped?

At a very theoretical level this is true, but in practice it is not. Firstly, the officer does not need to show up at the first appearance date since nothing will happen in Court. The matter will simply be proposed to allow you or your lawyer to receive the information about the case from the prosecutor and to negotiate with the prosecutor. The next few court dates are the same, and are not considered a trial date. If a trial is set (which assumes you reject any offer made, and might never be able to get that offer back) then all essential witnesses to the prosecution will need to be present. This means, in a case like yours, the officer. If the officer is not there the charge would be rejected if it proceeds; however, the prosecutor can ask for a postponement and, if granted, then the case would be postponed. If the officer missed the next date, they could do the same thing but they would likely not receive that adjournment.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call David or Matthew at David Anber’s law office for more information.

David Anber

David Anber

David Anber has been a trailblazing legal practitioner since 2006. His early entry into law practice during his studies marked the beginning of a distinguished career. As a member of both Ontario and Quebec’s bar associations, David excels in defending traffic and criminal cases across both provinces. David contributes to legal discourse through articles for the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa and the Criminal Lawyer’s Association of Ontario.