How to fight tickets in Quebec


A traffic ticket lawyer meeting with a client, signing legal documents.

Meet Anne-Geneviève Robert, a specialist in contesting tickets in Montréal

Receiving a traffic ticket isn’t just an unpleasant experience; it can be costly in terms of fines and consequences for your driver’s license. Each demerit point is valuable, which is why the MTL Ticket team is at your service to help you preserve as many demerit points as possible on your driving record. 

What is a traffic ticket?

A traffic ticket, also known as a ticket or citation, is issued when a police officer or authorized individual believes you’ve violated a provision of the Highway Safety Code. Typically, the ticket is handed directly to you, but it can also be left on your windshield or sent by mail.

Certain violations under the Highway Safety Code carry significant consequences for your driving record. For example, using a cell phone while driving results in a fine of up to $600 and five demerit points, whereas speeding at 160km/h in a 100km/h zone can lead to a fine of up to $630 and 10 demerit points. These are severe penalties, but they can be avoided through negotiation or trial if you have valid reasons to believe you didn’t commit the alleged violation. 

Can you contest a ticket in Montreal?

It’s important to keep in mind that not all traffic tickets are worth contesting. If you believe you have a strong case for success in court regarding the alleged infraction, you should plead not guilty to initiate the contestation process. In all cases, ask our team of specialized traffic ticket lawyers for their legal opinion on your case.

Pleading not guilty to a traffic violation

In cases where you have a valid defence to present in court, you have 30 days from the date of receiving the traffic ticket to contest it. You must first check the “not guilty” box on the form. If you want (and it’s highly recommended), you can request a copy of the police report by writing on the back of the form, “I request the disclosure of evidence for the infraction.” This includes any relevant evidence possessed by the prosecutor concerning your case, such as photos, sketches, witness statements, and the police officer’s report. Once this is done, you can submit the response form via email or deliver it in person to the return address indicated on the ticket. Eventually, you’ll receive a hearing notice indicating the date and time you must appear in court.

Pleading guilty to a traffic violation

In cases where you have no defence to present in court and choose to plead guilty, the steps to follow are relatively straightforward. First, you have 30 days from receiving the traffic ticket to plead guilty. You must check the “guilty” box on the form and then proceed to make the payment following the instructions provided. Various payment methods are available, including cash, credit card, or money order. Keep in mind that by paying the fine, you automatically plead guilty.

Doing nothing after a traffic violation

If you decide to do nothing and don’t respond to the form within the given 30-day period, starting from the 31st day after receiving the traffic ticket, you risk being convicted in absentia by a court judge and may incur additional fees. If you have an emergency and can’t attend the scheduled date and time of your hearing, contact the court as soon as possible to reschedule. It must be a genuine emergency to request a date change. Our traffic ticket lawyers can help you with the steps for requesting a hearing date change.

The trial for fighting a ticket

The trial is the most crucial stage in the entire process of contesting your traffic ticket. On the day of your trial, you must have all documents and evidence supporting your defence. Being organized and prepared is key to a successful trial. Always address the judge politely, using terms such as “Mister Justice” or “Madam Justice”. Remember that this is a courtroom, so you should dress appropriately and maintain good posture when standing before the judge.

Demerit points in Quebec

From the moment you pay a fine or are found guilty of the alleged traffic infraction, the court notifies the SAAQ, and demerit points are added to your driving record. Demerit points remain on your driving record for two years from the date of the declaration of guilt. For example, if you receive a traffic ticket on June 5, 2019, contest it, and your trial takes place on December 5, 2019, with a guilty verdict, your demerit points will remain on your record until December 5, 2021.

Please note that when it comes to excessive speeding tickets, the guilty verdict remains on your driving record for 10 years, even though the points disappear after two years. 

License revocation

When you accumulate several demerit points in Quebec and reach the limit of your point threshold, the SAAQ will inform you that your license is revoked. Once it’s revoked, you can’t drive for a certain period (3, 6, or 12 months). You must then take steps to regain your license.

However, you may be eligible for a restricted license. If you use your vehicle for work, contact our traffic ticket lawyers promptly to help you appeal for a restricted license. 

Could you receive a criminal record for a traffic offence?

Are you accused of being involved in an accident and leaving the scene without contacting the police? Have you consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel? These are serious infractions with very severe consequences, both under the Highway Safety Code and the Criminal Code. Typically, infractions under the Highway Safety Code result in fines and demerit points without a criminal record. However, some of these infractions may lead to criminal charges and a criminal record in case of guilt. Sanctions can be imposed under both the Highway Safety Code and the Criminal Code. Do not underestimate the consequences; contact our traffic ticket lawyers immediately!

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Portrait professionnel de la stagiaire Mélanie Gosselin.

Mélanie Gosselin


Melanie joined the Riendeau Avocats team in 2023 and is currently doing her Bar internship with the firm. She obtained her law degree from the University of Sherbrooke in 2021. Melanie was excited to join Riendeau Avocats in order to combine her passion for criminal and penal law with that of helping people in difficulty.

Portrait professionnel de l'adjointe Carolia.

Carolia Ranivoharindrano

Accounting Manager
After earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Concordia University, Carolia decided to continue her studies in Paralegal Technology at CDI College. Passionate about criminal law, she decided to join the Riendeau Avocats team to complete her internship. She loves learning more about the field of criminal and penal law from lawyers. In addition, with her many years of experience in customer service, she knows how to help clients with professionalism and rigor, in order to give the best satisfaction to the firm’s clients.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocat Pascal Gilbert.

Pascal Gilbert

Penal and Criminal Lawyer
Me Pascal Gilbert is passionate about law. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Montreal, in addition to a bachelor’s degree in history, Me Gilbert joined the Riendeau Avocats team as a criminal and penal lawyer. Listening to the needs of his clients, he will be able to be creative in order to explore all possible avenues throughout your legal process. Mr. Gilbert has excellent research and writing skills and is a keen learner. He wants to advance the law in the best possible direction.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocate Gabrielle Lauzon.

Gabrielle Lauzon

Criminal and Penal Lawyer
Bachelor of Laws under the COOP regime of the University of Sherbrooke, Me Gabrielle Lauzon joined the Riendeau Avocats team as a criminal lawyer after completed his internship. Me Lauzon shows great compassion towards everyone of its customers and always remains available to help others. Driven by her thirst for knowledge and her dynamism, she devotes herself enormously to each of her causes. to the Safety Code road.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocat Anthoni Daoust.

Me Anthoni Daoust

Penal and Criminal Lawyer
Holder of a minor in criminology from the UdM and a law degree from the UdS, Mr. Daoust is a criminal and penal lawyer, who is deeply interested in the recognition and respect of everyone’s rights. A progressive prosecutor, he engages in a practice aimed at democratizing access to justice. His analytical and negotiation skills allow him to obtain the best possible settlement in order to ensure his clients a full and complete defense.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocat Anthoni Daoust.

Me Chanèle Lecompte

Criminal and Penal Lawyer
A lawyer practicing mainly criminal and penal law, Me Chanèle Lecompte holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sherbrooke. During her university career, she had the chance to do an internship with the judiciary, which allowed her to acquire the many assets that she puts forward during her representations before the courts. Passionate about criminal law, Me Lecompte will accompany you and defend you during the different stages of your case, and will listen to you.