mode3sour, any suggestions on such a country?
It's hit or miss some countries are worse than Canada in this regard, and many are more reasonable. My bike and sport car insurance are a fraction of what they were in Canada, and even more services (road side assistance here makes CAA a joke). They took into account that I've never made an insurance claim, and ignored the petty tickets. I got a ticket when I first moved.... for $30 and no record!
That is off topic. If you read the auto forums, all the young Canadians are getting away with their tickets nowadays by going to court. Our justice system is becoming more convoluted than the US
Slacker: Thanks. I hang out with a lot of bad drivers apparently...
Sherlock: I'm not sure of every single province, but in Ontario, rates are basically calculated by various formulae involving all sorts of criteria such as tickets. Some companies don't increase rates for one ticket, some do, but it's totally dependent on the company and the rules they've filed with FSCO. Though in my own experience, the majority of them will ding you if they get the opportunity to do so.
Some bad news for you:
For a stop sign violation you wont be able to plead to a lesser charge. You can't change the charge to one that is not relevant to the offence that took place. The reason you sometimes hear about the charge changing is usually due to the fact the orignial charge was Careless Driving or Speeding and the defence agreed to plead guilty to a lesser but still relevant charge. (ie. you had a rear ender and were charged with careless but agreed to plead guilty to follow to close).
No one can reduce the points on a ticket. The ministry controls the points program and the police and the courts have no say in the matter.
The Justice of the Peace can reduce the fine but in most cases you will need a very compelling reason to get him/her to do so.
Betting on the cop not showing up to court is a long shot. Most police officers face disiplinary action by their service if they do not show up to court. You are basically rolling the dice and hoping that the cop just happens to get hung up on another emergency on your court date. It does happen but not as often as the internet would make you think. Even if the cop isn't there the crown can request a remand and then you have to take more time off work at a later date to come back.
Now for the good news:
Just fight the ticket in court the worse that can happen is you lose and have to pay the full amount. Try hiring one of those Points or Ex-copper paralegals they can help a great deal at trial. They know exactly which facts to cast doubt on, and all it takes is some reasonable doubt for the Justice to rule in your favour.
In the future come to a full stop
I can only speak for AB, but you can go and negotiate the ticket. If you were really not guilty, you can fight it. If you were guilty you can make a plea. You can ask for the ticket to be to the 'registerred owner' which is no demerits and no insurance increase. However, this is rare. They will often give you a reduction of points down to two which is more common, and a little off on the ticket. I used to be reall heavy footed, and got a lot of tickets. I have gotten at least a reduction on every one I have ever fought.