What To Do If You Get Caught In A Speed Trap

Getting caught in a speed trap always seems so unfair. Police officers conceal themselves or the police car just to catch you when you’re not ready. That’s entrapment, isn’t it?

No, it isn’t. Entrapment means coercing you to do something illegal and using radar or laser speed gun to enforce speed limits does not qualify as entrapment. Entrapment is one of the myths of fighting a speeding ticket that many drivers believe when they get caught speeding. Another one is that the officer must show you the reading on the radar or laser gun.

Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding what to do after you get a speeding ticket. If you don’t learn the realities, it could end up costing you a lot of money   

3 Steps to Take if You’re Caught in a Speed Trap

The real cost of traffic tickets is often not the fine on the ticket, but the ticket’s impact on your driving record and, subsequently, your insurance rates. So it pays to do everything you can to minimize the charges and fines, or have the ticket dismissed

  1. Accept the Ticket – Don’t argue with the law enforcement officer who gives you the ticket. It is highly unlikely to work. It also runs the risk of reducing the chance that the officer will not lower the speed listed on the ticket to save you fine costs and/or demerit points, which happens relatively often.

  2. Always Take the Trial Option – After getting a speeding ticket, you have three options, which are listed on the back of the ticket.

    1. Option 1: Plea of Guilty – This option means you admit that you didn’t obey the speed limit and you pay the ticket. Do not choose this option if you want the ticket to be reduced or dismissed.

    2. Option 2: Early Resolution – Meet with the Prosecutor sometimes called Plea of Guilty – Submission as to Penalty – This option can sound enticing because it often means your fine and/or demerit points may be reduced due to your explanation. Don’t fall for the “Early Resolution” marketing speak. You will still be found guilty and your insurance rates may still go up.

    3. Option 3: Trail Option – Choose this option. The reasons are many. At worst, it gives you the most time to pay, even if the fines and demerit points are not reduced at trial. At best, it gives you time to check your options, seek advice and do everything you can to have the ticket dismissed.

  3. Hire A Lawyer or Legal Expert Who Specializes in Defending Against Speeding Tickets – Unless you are specifically trained, it is impossible for you to know the laws, the court procedures and methods of law enforcement well enough to successfully defend yourself in court. Yes, it will cost you a legal fee, but the savings in a reduced or eliminated fine, and lower insurance rates for years to come, are more than worth it.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article about how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in Ontario.




How Long Do Demerit Points Stay on Your Record in Ontario?

The system of demerit points in Ontario and how long they’re on record has confused the province’s drivers for as long as anyone can remember. You get demerit points when you are convicted of breaking certain driving laws, and when you’re convicted of more serious infractions of other driving laws. 

For example, you can expect to get demerit points every time you are convicted of racing. But you will generally only get demerit points for speeding when you are convicted of driving at more than 15 kms over the speed limit. 

Demerit points remain on your driving record for two years from the offence date. A conviction will stay on your record for three years from the date that you are convicted. Insurance companies calculate any increases to your insurance based on the number of convictions and the severity of the convictions on your driving record.

3 More Things You Should Know About Demerit Points

In a video game world where you need mega gazillions of points just to survive, 15 points doesn’t seem like much. But they’re enough to get your driver’s license suspended for 30 days. Then you’ll have to make arrangements and pay for alternate transportation during the license suspension, and potentially face higher insurance premiums when you get back behind the wheel. 

  1. You Start with Zero Points – Again, drivers in Ontario earn points for being convicted of breaking driving laws according to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. If you have no demerit points, that’s as good as it gets.

  2. How Many Points Do You Get When Convicted? The number of demerit points you get for any conviction depends on the seriousness of the offence. It is also up to a police officer’s discretion to reduce the charge on a traffic ticket so that you won’t get any demerit points if you are convicted. Here are some examples of offences and the demerit points they can add to your record.
    1. Failing to Signal a Turn – 2 demerit points
    2. Exceeding the Speed Limit by 30 to 49 kms – 4 demerit points
    3. Failing to Stop When Signalled or Asked by a Police Officer – 7 demerit points

  3. You Should Get Legal Advice – As we pointed out above, the implications of demerit points on your driving record can have a serious impact on your ability to get around (how are you going to get to work now?) and finances. It pays to invest in qualified legal advice and representation to avoid any convictions that involve demerit points.

X-Copper can help fight for the best possible outcome for any case. If you’ve been convicted of an infraction and received demerit points, let our team fight for you.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article about how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in Ontario.




Got a First Offence Stunt Driving in Ontario? Here’s What to Know

If you’ve received a stunt driving first offence, Ontario laws and penalties can be quite strict and severe. For example, if a police officer stops you for exceeding the speed limit by 50 km or more (the most common offence that’s classified as stunt driving), You will get a drivers licence suspension for seven days and your vehicle will be impounded for seven days – even if you were never convicted of stunt driving or racing in the past. 

If you are convicted, you can face fines of up to $10,000, get six demerit points, or be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail. On top of that, the conviction can have a lasting effect on your life, including a license suspension of up to 10 years and increased insurance premiums.  

The seriousness of being charged with stunt driving means you should learn as much as you can about the offence to minimize the impact of a conviction. 

4 Things to Know if You Got a First Offence Stunt Driving in Ontario

There are lots of myths about what is considered stunt driving and the implications of receiving a stunt driving ticket.

  1. You Should Get Legal Advice – Again, due to its gravity, the most important step you can take if you are charged with stunt driving is to get legal advice and representation in court from lawyers and experts well-versed in how to fight a stunt driving ticket.

  2. It’s Not Just for Speeding – While exceeding the speed limit by 50 km or more is the most common reason for a stunt driving ticket, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines many more, including:
    1. Doing burnouts, drifts or donuts
    2. Driving while you’re not in the driver’s seat, or with someone in the trunk
    3. Jumping the green light at an intersection to make a left turn before oncoming traffic begins to move.

  3. The Costs of Getting a Ticket Are All Yours – If you are stopped and given a traffic ticket for stunt driving, the consequences are all your responsibility, including the financial ones.
    1. If your license is suspended and/or vehicle impounded, you must find and pay for your own transportation (police officers are only obligated to take you to a safe place).
    2. You are responsible for the costs of towing your vehicle to the impoundment lot and the cost of storage for the duration of the impoundment.
    3. You must pay a $180 fee to get your driver’s license reinstated. 
  1. You Will Likely need to Make More Than One Court Appearance – When you get the ticket, you will also get a summons to appear in court. You or your licensed legal representative must appear in court or face a bench summons for your arrest. If you do not intend to plead guilty at that first court appearance, another court date will be set for your trial.

If you’ve been charged with stunt driving, make sure to get the right legal team to fight for you. Our team at X-Copper is ready to fight your stunt driving offence to get you the best possible result. Contact us today to get our team behind you.
If you found this post helpful, check out our recent article about how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in Ontario.




Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

You may have heard differently, but Ontarians have never been able to refuse a breathalyzer without facing a consequence of one form or another.

What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

The reasons for confusion around whether or not you can refuse to comply with a breath sample request includes the laws as they were up until late last year. Before new laws came into effect last December, police needed to have reasonable suspicion of impaired driving before demanding a roadside breath test.

Today, police no longer need to have reasonable suspicion to demand an on-the-spot roadside breath test. And refusing a breathalyzer can result in criminal charges similar to those of being convicted of a DUI charge.

What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer?

The government was forced to eliminate the need for reasonable suspicion because studies showed that up to 50% of impaired drivers were not being detected by police officers at roadside stops.

In Ireland, authorities credit mandatory roadside breathalyzer tests with a 40% reduction in the number of road deaths due to impaired driving.

Here are just some of the minimum penalties a driver can face for a first-time conviction for refusing a breathalyzer. You can also face these penalties for refusing to give a breath sample at a police station, mobile police station and/or hospital.

  1. Drivers license suspension for one year.
  2. Pay a fine of $1,000 or more
  3. Mandatory participation in a Provincial counselling program at your own expense
  4. Installation of an ignition interlock system, also at your own expense, for one year

If you found this post helpful, check out our recent article about the law for drinking and boating.




Charged With Credit Card Fraud? Here’s What You Should Know

One of the first things that people charged with credit card fraud don’t realize is how seriously the Crown treats the charges against them. Victims of credit card fraud can face serious, long-term consequences. These can include low credit report scores that can affect their ability to buy a home, a car or start a business. So federal laws are particularly severe in an effort to prevent more people from becoming victims.

What to Know if You’re Charged with Credit Card Fraud

In addition to stiffer penalties, anyone charged with using stolen credit card information can face a number of other consequences they may not be prepared for.

  1. Who Can Be Found Guilty – The Criminal Code of Canada says that anyone who steals a credit card, forges or falsifies a credit card or knowingly possesses, uses or traffics an unauthorized credit card, or credit card number, can be found guilty of an offence. This can even include using your own credit card number, knowing that it has expired, been revoked or cancelled.

  2. You May Be Charged with More than One Offence – The offence(s) you can be charged with include credit card theft and trafficking credit card data.

  3. You Don’t Need to Steal or Possess a Stolen Card to Be Guilty – If you possess, use or traffic credit card account data, or other personal data of a victim that can be used to illegally get credit cards or other credit card data, you can still be found guilty of credit card fraud charges. That data includes illegally possessing a credit card account number and expiration date.

  4. You Don’t Need to Use a Credit Card or Credit Card Data to Be Found Guilty – You can be found guilty of credit card fraud merely by illegally possessing personal information from a credit card, even if you don’t make any unauthorized transactions.

If you found this article helpful, check out our recent post about how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in Ontario.




How Long Does A Speeding Ticket Stay On Your Record In Ontario

While “how long does a speeding ticket stay on your record in Ontario?” sounds like it should have a fairly straightforward answer, it can have many answers.

For a number of reasons, tickets for exceeding the speed limit are among the most common driving tickets issued by Ontario police. Primarily, speeding is a leading cause of road fatalities in Ontario, so police forces are eager to prevent it. Secondly, radar makes it comparatively easy to enforce speed limits compared to detecting other Highway Traffic Act violations, like following too closely.

Three Different Records of Your Speeding Ticket

It’s important to know that the speeding ticket you get today does not appear on any record of your driving until you are convicted of the offence. If you’re wondering how long a ticket stays on your record, you’re probably most concerned about how it impacts your insurance rates. Speeding convictions can stay on your record in three different ways and they can affect car insurance rates for differing lengths of time.

  1. Your Driver’s Abstract – This is what’s commonly known as your driving record. Convictions can affect your auto insurance rates more than anything else on your abstract.

  2. Your Demerit Points – While they are included in your driver’s abstract, demerit points stay on your record for only two years. Demerit points generally don’t affect your insurance coverage by themselves. The main exception being if your license is suspended due to the number of demerit points on your record.
  3. Your Insurance Company’s Records – To set the rates they charge each driver, insurers will check driver’s abstracts on a semi-regular basis. Depending on your driving history and how long you’ve been a customer, they may not check your record for two or three years. Your insurance rates are not affected by traffic tickets until your insurance company checks your driving record and discovers a conviction. In some cases, if the conviction expires on your driver’s abstract before it appears in your insurance company records, your rates may not be affected.

Up next, here’s what you should always have in your car’s emergency kit.




Demerit Points Aren’t What You Should Be Worried About. Here’s Why.

There’s no feeling quite like it. The combination of nervousness and fear you suddenly get when a police officer appears in front of you motioning you to pull over, or when you see the cruiser lights go on behind you. A million things flash through your mind. What did I do? Are they going to arrest me? And, the big one: will I get any demerit points that’ll make my insurance rates go up?

While it’s common to feel some anxiety when you’re pulled over for any reason, it shouldn’t just be about the number of demerit points you might get.  

Demerit Points & Why They Shouldn’t Be Your Biggest Concern

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation uses a demerit points system to penalize severe and/or repeated traffic violations. Here are a few demerit point’s facts.

  • You don’t lose demerit points. You start with zero and they are added to your driving record for some traffic violations.
  • They stay on your record for two years from the date of the offence.
  • You can get points for traffic convictions in other provinces and territories.
  • Penalties range from receiving a warning letter for two to eight points, to a driver’s license suspension of 30 days for 15 or more points.

Why Convictions Matter Most to Insurance Companies

There’s a misconception that you should be most concerned about your demerit points when you get a ticket. While points may affect your insurance rates, they are impacted more by the number and/or severity of the convictions. Here’s how:

  1. The Number of Traffic Tickets & Infractions
    Tickets and infractions are a sign to insurance companies of increased risk to re-offend. The more you have, regardless of demerit points, the higher the risk you represent to insurers. And the higher your insurance rates will go.

  2. The Severity of the Conviction
    Generally, insurance companies have three categories for convictions: minor, major and serious. Minor convictions include making an improper right turn (two points) or disobeying a stop sign or railway crossing signal (three points). Major convictions include exceeding the speed limit by 50km/hour or more (six points).

    You might accumulate six points from a series of minor convictions, but the major conviction of exceeding the speed limit by 50km/hour or more will likely have a greater impact on your insurance rates.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article “5 Ways to Be a More Defensive Driver”.




5 Ways to be More of a Defensive Driver

Why Defensive Driving is Important

5 Ways to be More of a Defensive Driver | X-Copper

Defensive driving is a way of driving that increases your level of safety while on the road regardless of the road and weather conditions and the actions of other drivers around you. The goal of defensive driving is to predict and avoid dangerous situations.

You can do this by following guidelines, reacting to potential situations in a certain way, and taking specific steps while driving.  

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What Should You Have In A Car Emergency Kit?

Many of us don’t think about having a car emergency kit. It’s one of those things we don’t need until one dark evening when we find ourselves stranded on the side of an empty road. Especially in Canada, where it is not unusual to end up in a bad situation in the dead of winter, it’s good to have a kit passively in the trunk that you have on hand should you need it.

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Responding to Stationary Emergency Vehicles on the Road

emergency vehicle The Move Over law was enacted across Canadian provinces in order to better protect emergency workers after they pull over on the shoulder of a road in response to a traffic collision or related emergency. Once emergency vehicles are stationary and the workers are outside their vehicles (this includes police, fire fighters, EMTs, paramedics, and tow truck drivers in Alberta), they are dangerously exposed to the traffic still driving by the scene. Continue reading