h. The cop has to show up. Parking ticket officers are expected and paid to be in court so the likelihood of them attending court is almost 90%. But private sector officers, the ones that give you a ticket in shopping malls, condo buildings or on private property almost never show up.

Police officers are a completely different story. There are many factors that can contribute to whether the officer shows up. [1]

For example, in Guelph it's almost 100% the cop will be there. In part because the time between getting the traffic ticket and the trial is roughly four months in Guelph. The OPP officer is likely to remember what happened and can accurately testify.

In Toronto, however, it takes almost 14 months to go to trial. How many hundreds of traffic tickets has the cop written since then? Will he remember every single one or what happened a year and a half ago? Of course not. That's why the chances of the cop showing up in Toronto is less than 50%. In fact Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair admitted that most officers fail to show up in traffic court.[2]

If the cop doesn't show up, then there is no evidence against you. The prosecutor has to withdraw the charge. The absolute minimum you have to do is request a trial by writing your name and address on a form. It couldn't be easier. So let's do it...

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1. The traffic ticket fighting strategies on this site are written with the expectation that the cop will appear in court. So if he does show up, you still have an excellent chance of winning if you follow the steps on this site.

2. See John Duncanson and Phinjo Gombu, Toronto Star, Oct 29, 2005, p A.04.