g. You're not guilty. You might be thinking, "I'm guilty. What's the point of fighting the ticket?" You may think you are guilty but you're not. Right now you are innocent. That's right, innocent. Because the Canadian constitution clearly states in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 11 (d):

Any person charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.

Most people who plead guilty or pay the fine are abandoning that right. Until you are in a court room and a justice says you're guilty, you are innocent.

You are exercising that right to be proven guilty by requesting a trial. Doing this, at the very least, defers a conviction for a few months to well over a year and a half in Toronto. A lot can happen between now and then, including other court cases similar to yours that can set a precedent you can benefit from.

For example, in Waterloo v. Yan the judge ruled that the photograph from a red light camera was inadmissible as evidence. This meant anyone with a red light ticket could have their ticket tossed out.[1] But if you pleaded guilty and paid the fine, you missed your chance.

Remember O.J. Simpson? What did his guilt or innocence in the murder of his wife and her friend have to do with the justice he got? Absolutely nothing. Remember David Milgaard? He spent 23 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. He's not the only one.[2]

What has your guilt got to do with the outcome of your trial? Very little. Remember, the judge has to presume you are innocent until the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. It doesn't matter whether you are innocent or guilty. What matters is that the prosecutor has to prove it. And in order to do that...

previous pagenext page

1. See "Cameras Hit Roadblock", Lisa Lisle, Ottawa Sun, March 8, 2003; and "Lights, camera but no more action - City's red-light cases on hold until appeal", Ian Mcdougall, Toronto Sun, March 7, 2003.

2. See "Wrongfully convicted", CBC News, March 14, 2008.