Dos-and-Donts
Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan is a partner at NextLaw, and licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.

Tips for Hiring for Ontario Stunt Driving Charges

You’re nervous.  You’ve never been to court and have never had a serious traffic charge before.  All of a sudden, you are pulled over by the police, and issues a “summons” to court, where you have to appear in court on a specific day at a specific time.  You have no idea where or how to start looking for representation.  You start Googling for an individual or a firm to help or guide you through this process.  The good news, if you stumbled upon this article, I can outline some of the most important factors you need to consider when choosing a representative.

Free Consultation

You should be getting a free consultation on the phone (or in person) from any potential legal representative.  This gives you a chance to get a feel if this legal professional is a good fit for you.  Did they explain your charges to you?  Did they give you a quick overview of the courts?  Do they make you feel as though they “have your back”.  Remember, it’s your money.  You are in the driver’s seat here (so to speak).

Fees

Traffic related charges are most commonly set out in “block fees”.  These are one-time fees, that takes you to a certain point in the court proceedings.  These fees are no-nonsense, and are clearly laid out in your retainer agreement with your representative.  This type of fee structure is actually in your favour (the client).  Traffic charges often are very administrative and can take many court appearances to resolve.  This should not be your problem.  It is the job of your representative to attend as many times as it takes to achieve the most desirable outcome.  You shouldn’t have to pay for these appearances individually.  For example, it may take 2 appearances or 10 appearances to resolve your matter.  Courts are complicated.  Let your hired legal professional worry about this.

Google Reviews

Does the person you are considering hiring have positive Google Reviews?  They’d better have them.  You need to have some idea about the past success rate and satisfaction of clients.  This will at least give you an indication of who you are speaking with.  We use reviews for Amazon products, Tripadvisor Hotels, and AirBnb listings.  Use them for your legal representation.

Website

Is the website informative?  Does the person you are hiring care enough to help you or inform you about your charges?  Is there a picture of the legal professionals.  It is always suspect when you go to a website, and there are stock photos of traffic and cars, but you can’t seem to find any information on the legal representatives you are going to be dealing with.  The idea here is that a representative should want to introduce themselves to you even before you get on a phone call.

Should I hire a lawyer or an ex-cop firm to represent me in my Stunt Driving charges?

First and foremost, make sure whoever you hire is properly licensed by the Law Society of Ontario. Understand that an Ex-Cop firm has limitations on representation, whereas lawyers can represent all clients in all areas of law. Just ask yourself how much do you have on the line with your charges, and who is best to help me with those charges?

Do I need a retainer agreement when hiring for my Stunt Driving Ticket

Absolutely. The retainer outlines all of the legal details between you and your representative. It is like having a contract or receipt when you make a purchase. The retainer should outline the scope of legal services, payments and should always be between you and the individual or firm you spoke with on the phone.

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