There are a number of steps to take in deciding what to do about a traffic ticket.
Determine the type of ticket you received.
- You will receive a ticket from the municipality.
- You will receive a Parking Summons if the ticket issued by the municipality is not paid within the set time.
- This can be mailed to the registered owner’s address.
- You may receive an Offence Notice if you are stopped for a traffic violation, such as speeding.
- An Offence Notice can also be served on you at your home (or left with any adult there if you are not home) or sent by registered mail.
Red Light Camera or Photo Speed Enforcement Tickets:
- These are mailed by ordinary mail.
- They are sent to the address that is on the vehicle registration.
- For some traffic offences you may receive a Summons.
- These are usually issued in-person by a police officer at the time you are stopped.
- A summons can also be can served on you at your home (or left with any adult there if you are not home) or sent by registered mail.
Some tickets will not have a payment amount. In this case you must appear in court on date stated on your ticket. Instead of appearing on your court date, you may be able send in a plea of not guilty before your court date. You can only do this if this option is outlined on your ticket.
Pay the ticket before the court date.
- In some cases there may be a voluntary payment option. You have until the court date to pay the ticket. For parking tickets you may be able to pay a reduced amount if you pay before a certain date. Paying a ticket means that you acknowledge guilt for the offence set out on your ticket.
Plead guilty but ask the court to lower the fine or give you more time to pay based on personal circumstances.
- If you have an Offence Notice you can send in your guilty plea and ask for a court date to request more time to pay the ticket or a lower fine. You make this request to the court at least 30 days before the court date on your ticket. You can also appear in court on the date and at the time stated on your ticket to ask for more time to pay or a lower fine.
- For a Parking Summons you do this by appearing in court on the date and at the time stated on Parking Summons.
- For a Summons you do this by appearing in court on the date and at the time stated on Summons.
Plead not guilty.
- You can enter a plea of not guilty when you appear in court on the date and at the time stated on your ticket.
- You do need to appear for your court date to plead not guilty, if your ticket states that you can send in your plea of not guilty prior to the court date. Your ticket will state how long before your court date you need to do this.
- Once you plead not guilty a trial date will be set. This will be weeks or months away. This gives both you and the prosecutor time to prepare and arrange for any required witnesses. You can talk to the prosecutor’s office at 306.787.5490 about your case.
Doing nothing has consequences too.
- If you do nothing about a Parking Summons you can be convicted and required to pay a fine without being there.
- If you do nothing about an Offence Notice you can be convicted and required to pay a fine without being there.
- If you do nothing about a Summons you can be convicted without being there and required to pay a fine. A warrant can also be issued for your arrest. If you later pay the fine, even though you did not appear on your court date, the court can cancel the warrant for your arrest.
Errors on a Ticket
Many errors on a traffic ticket can be corrected by the court if a ticket is challenged. This includes things like your name being misspelled, incorrect address, wrong drivers’ license number or license plate. The ticket does however have to clearly state what offence you are charged with.