FIGHTING YOUR SPEEDING TICKET GUIDE
Submitting a NIA form
If the court office does not offer you the option to mail your speeding ticket in to request a trial date, you will need to appear in person at the court office with a Notice of Intention to Appear (NIA) form. Alternately you can have someone else file the form for you if you have it filled it out ahead of time.
Fill out all the necessary information on the NIA form. Ensure to check off the boxes to indicate that you intend to challenge the officer’s evidence, and that you intend to appear in court to enter a plea. Make sure to select whether you’d prefer English or French for your trial, as you have a right to either in Ontario.
If you require the services of a language interpreter for your trial, make sure to indicate that on the form as well, along with the language you will need translated.
You will need to take the form to the appropriate Provincial Offences Court (P.O.C.) office, as indicated on the back of your speeding ticket. Some rural courts might be satellite courts of a larger court, in which case you might be able to file the form at the central court. Some courts also are connected with other courts in their region, in which case you may be able to file at any one of the courts in the region.
Keep in mind that the larger the city the court is in, the busier the office is going to be. Courts in smaller municipalities will have shorter wait times, and you will have a better chance of receiving help from a court clerk if you have questions. If you are filing in a larger area such as Toronto, you should expect a long wait and should plan to arrive as close to the office’s opening time as possible to avoid delays.
Make sure to get a receipt from the court clerk for your own records. Administrative errors do happen, and you want to be able to prove later on that you filed your request for a trial on time. You can save time by bringing two copies of your NIA form and having the clerk time-stamp both of them, keeping one as a receipt.
If you do not already have it, get contact information for the court office from the court clerk while you are there, either a phone number or an email address, or both. It will be useful to have later on when you are following up with the court to make sure your trial request for your speeding ticket is being processed. An email address can be a great way to keep contact with the court, as it keeps you from having to wait long periods on the phone, and lets you send out questions at your own leisure.
Avoid requesting a First Attendance or Early Resolution Meeting. These are meetings with the prosecution prior to your trial, which are meant to give you an opportunity to make a deal with the prosecutor without having to appear in court. These meetings usually happen before the prosecution shares the evidence with you via disclosure. It is generally not recommended that you try to make a deal with the prosecutor until you know what evidence they have against you and until you can compare the officer’s notes with your own account. It is up to you whether or not to attend these meetings, but you should arm yourself with all the possible facts before making any decisions.