So last friday I was charged with Careless driving, here is my personal details of the account
I was making a left turn at the intersection of Bay/Wellesley in the
designed turn lane, going eastbound turning north onto Bay, it was
pouring rain and quite windy... I came to a complete stop in the
intersection after the light had turned green (I was going eastbound).
After viewing one pedestrian pass the crosswalk and checking to the
left of me quickly and my blind spot I checked for oncoming traffic,
noticed there was none, and proceeded to make the turn slowly.
Next thing I know there's a blur to my right and I've made contact
with a pedestrian dressed in black and gray she hit my bumper, landed
on my hood and then fell off the side... I hadn't even completed the
turn I was going about 10km/h... I was shocked. I slammed on the
breaks, flipped the flashers and got out expecting her to be pissed
and screaming at me... needless to say she appeared to be unconscious
on the ground. There were plenty of witnesses and she regained
consciousness within a few moments (I was on the ground beside her
with a doctor who happened to be waiting on the corner). The
police/ems/fire showed up in two minutes and I was separated from her
at this point....
After I calmed down slightly and they took her away on the ambulance
the cops began their investigation... feeling completely distraught
and in a state of shock with the knowledge that I had injured another
human being, I cooperated and gave a voluntary statement from the best
account of my memory. I did not include in my statement an admission
of being 'at fault’. I was informed during the procedure she had
broken one or two bones, beyond that she was alright... there is no
physical damage to my car minus one small dent on the hood where I
believe her elbow made contact gauging from the dent and where her
the initial cops investigating the scene were quite helpful, or as
much so as they can be in such circumstances... i was told I would be
charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk. Being
pretty familiar with the law, I explained that seemed
understandable... However, then highway traffic officers took over
because it was a PI (pedestrian injured)... 2 hours later a separate
officer slaps me with a careless driving charge... 6 demerit
points and 325$. All officers without officially advising me (because,
of course, they cannot do that) suggested I fight the ticket in hopes
for a reduction on a guilty plea to failure to yield to a pedestrian
at a cross walk... I do think I am partially at fault because I did
not *see* her, but I do not agree with a careless driving charge...
considering the weather conditions and speed of the collision (however
again, I am not traffic law expert). I do remember doing all the
appropriate checks, I think I simply missed her in my line of vision
given the poor visibility due to the rain..
I have been to 5 different places in person, 2 of which were official law firms. I definitely understand I need at least a paralegal to defend (or plead down) this charge...
There were 2 police officers who dealt with my case, the initial one told me I would be charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk. However, the second officer (who I was informed was a specific traffic officer) charged me with the careless driving charge, explaining despite my speed any PI (pedestrian injured) was mandatory.
Out of the places I have spoken to, the prices range from 500-4g's for an official legal defense... my question is given the circumstances, these are the scenarios I have deduced thus far
*NOTE - I got the 325$ charge with the 6 points, not the more serious no charge and mandatory summons.
** I am 22 years old, male, I have my full license and no previous violations what-so-ever.
1. Proceed with a paralegal / non-professional lawyer for the sequestering of the notes, technical review, and initial court date with the prosecutor for potential plead down or dismissal and THEN if I have to go to trial consider a lawyer? (The lawyers really pushed for this considering I have a PI... they said it would almost be essential given that factor)
2. Hire a lawyer to deal with the entirety of the case, regardless of whether or not it goes to trial, have them personally examine all of those factors for at least 2000$'
Of the paralegals I consulted with, they did advise their service because I have not officially been charged with a *criminal* offense and thus a criminal lawyer would not have as much 'experience' etc...
I'm really quite distraught with the entire scenario, so I apologize if anything is unclear. I'm hesitant to spend thousands of dollars initially if I don't have to... I'm young, in school and don't have that kind of disposable income sadly
Any help as to which option I should go with would be greatly appreciated, thanks guys.