CASE LAW - R v Erfani
Mana Erfani received a two count traffic ticket for not having a valid driver's licence and using an electronic device while driving. She intended to dispute both counts, but on the advice of an insurance agent, paid the fine for the no driver's licence count. On the date set for the trial of the use electronic device count, Ms. Erfani failed to appear and was deemed convicted.
She subsequently applied to have the deemed conviction on the electronic device count set aside and was successful. Ten days later she attempted to do the same with the no drivers licence count explaining that she had always intended to dispute it and blamed a miscommunication with the insurance agent. Madam Justice Gropper observed:
"I am unable to accept the first part of the explanation, which is that the payment of the fine on Count 1 was due to a miscommunication with an insurance agent. There is no information about the insurance agent or what the specific discussion was, nor an affidavit from the agent supportive of Ms. Erfani's suggestion that she was unaware that payment of the fine meant that she was not disputing Count 1. I also note from her driving record that she has extensive experience with the violation ticket system, including payments of fines and disputing violation tickets, and I cannot accept that she is uncertain about the process."
She failed to have the deemed conviction on the driver's licence count set aside.
My own observation in traffic court is that it is not always worth taking the free advice offered by the insurance agent who is helping you with the dispute paperwork.