It's time to do my victory dance as my speeding ticket has been dropped! I arrived home this afternoon to find another letter from the court houses of Deux-Montagnes. I expected it to be a confirmation for my a new date in court (to read about my initial snail mail ordeal, click here), and I was pleasantly surprised to immediately notice that a date was missing from the letter.
It was also the ideal opportunity for me to practice my French as I had to re-read it several times aloud to my Eye Candy to finally understand that my particular court case had not made the prosecutor decide to retire, but rather to withdraw the charges (who knew retraite had so many meanings).
The letter doesn't state why the charges are dropped, but it is likely that the prosecutor reviewed my file and also realized that the police officer had not actually recorded the speed at which I was driving and the speed in which I was supposed to be driving. It is also highly likely that he stumbled upon this blog and realized that I was planning on leveraging 18 years of Law & Order viewing as my defence strategy and wasn't prepared to handle the wrath of me pretending to be Jack McCoy.
|Cue the Law & Order theme song for my |
victory dance please. Source
Regardless of what cost-benefit-time analysis the prosecutor did, I am relieved. I no longer have to handle the stress of an impending court date, do not have to take time off work to appear in court, my budget will not be hit with a $110 - $210 fine, and all my driving merit points are in tact.
I'd like to be able to offer tips & tricks on how to fight speeding tickets, but I think that my case came down to a police officer who made an administrative mistake and perhaps a prosecutor who took pity on me since I was pulled over while turning into a funeral home. That being said, if you have a speeding ticket that is legitimate, I don't recommend pushing paper simply in the hopes that your charge will eventually be dropped. The loss/pile-up of snail mail during the Canada Post strike made me realize how quickly a speeding ticket can become serious and costly. From the initial $110 charge, to $165 for failing to pay within 30 days, to $210 for failing to show up in court, and finally, to the loss of your driving licence if a fine is not completely paid within 30 days of a second written warning.
If you do plan to fight your ticket, my advice is to make photo copies of all the documentation for your own records and a copy to send in with your response. Your letter should clearly and concisely state why you are disputing the charge and attach your proof. It is also a good idea to call the courthouse or prosecutor's office and request them to send over your complete file in case the police officer recorded other information that is not on your ticket. If you don't receive a response within 14 days from sending your letter, you should also follow-up directly on the telephone to find out your case's status in order to avoid late charges.
All that being said, my best advice is avoid the speeding all together and always be extra alert for school zones. I've also realized that when I'm on route to something as emotionally draining as a funeral home, I won't be in the driver's seat.