Like any charge, be it criminal or quasi criminal (traffic tickets) the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense. This means that the officer’s evidence must show that there is no doubt that you did commit the act you’re being charged with. This is very different than being involved in a civil case where the main objective is to show that the evidence is more probable then not (balance of probabilities).
In other words, a traffic matter puts the Defendant in a better position to win at trial as the prosecution must prove that you did it without any doubt, which isn’t that easy to do, if you can raise any doubt about the facts the officer is presenting the matter gets thrown out or withdrawn by the prosecutor, for example if the officer makes some kind of mistake regarding details of the event, you win vs a civil trial where both parties are trying to convince the judge who is more likely to be right, the fact is that no one will ever know 100 percent who is right and who is wrong, instead based on the evidence at trial the judge will put his best foot forward and pick a side he believes should win because that parties case is more probable to be true vs the other.
This is a major advantage to any Defendant who is being tried beyond a reasonable doubt and should not be taken lightly, when talking specifically about traffic matters there are some very negative impacts a traffic conviction can have on your life like the following;
Not being able to drive your vehicle due to a License Suspension;
Not being able to insure your vehicle due to extremely high rates;
Losing your license due to too many Demerit Point against your license;
Having to pay fines up to $10,000 for various convictions; and
Being jailed for up to 6 months in a provincial prison.
Here at NG we understand what the impact of such a conviction can have and that is why we fight every traffic charge the same as any Criminal charge. Most people in Canada watch real or fictional Criminal trials usually involving murder and/or any high crimes and have an idea of how the Criminal court system works, traffic matters are similar.
In order to understand what im saying, the next time you’re watching a criminal trial, real or fictional consider yourself the defendant and rather than trying to defend yourself from a murder and/or whatever the trial is about, simply replace it with a seat belt ticket and remove the jury as juries are not available for traffic matters, now visualize what that would look like, the charging officer would be examined on the stand, witnesses would be examined on the stand and if advisable the Defendant himself.
This is why its important to remember that these tickets are no joking matter, in the U.S.A for example, traffic matters are handled only by lawyers and can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 in legal fees for someone to fight a simple seat belt charge. In Ontario your lucky enough to have the option of selecting a Paralegal to represent you where the costs are dramatically lower giving you the ability to “Fight” and challenge the evidence, this alone should be enough to fight every time.