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CaptanLaw
CaptanLaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  I'm a criminal defence lawyer, who assists individuals charged with crimes.
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Can you beat a speeding ticket in BC

Customer Question

can you beat a speeding ticket in BC
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  CaptanLaw replied 8 months ago.

Hello:

If your question is whether it is possible to "beat" a speeding ticket (in BC), the answer is certainly yes. However, speeding tickets are not easy to "defeat", short of fighting it on some sort of technicality.

There are three types of offences - (1) Absolute Liability (2) Strict Liability and (3) Mens Rea (Intent). Absolute Liability offences are easier to prove for the Prosecutor's Office, because all they have to prove is that the prohibited act was committed. The intent or state of mind of the accused is not relevant.

Speeding is an Absolute Liability offence. All that the Prosecutor has to prove is that the accused was operating a vehicle at a rate of speed higher than that which was posted in the area [Note: there is one type of defence that can be raised in some (rare) cases, called Necessity]. The Prosecutor proves this by introducing evidence from the police officer who conducted the traffic stop. The officer usually will measure speed by way of a radar gun or by "pacing" another vehicle.

To defend against the offence on the merits, the accused would have to raise a doubt that s/he was speeding. This is very difficult. There may be other, more technical ways to try and get a ticket "beaten". For example, if the accused decides to set a trial on the ticket, and the trial date that was given was not one that was within a "reasonable period of time" from the date of the infraction, an application can be brought to ask the Judge to "stay" the offence, in light of a violation of s. 11(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms - which entitles everyone to a trial within a reasonable amount of time.

I hope this helps.

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