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Careless driving why me?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:16 pm 
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It was November 8, 2009 morning around 6:10am in the morning I was driving (Two line road) . It was dark early morning around 6:10am, also it was raining on and off and the road was wet. Plus the road was under construction with construction equipment like pylons were piled up to the right side of the road . I was not speeding and was driving within the limit of 60km/h where I got involved into an accident. The accident happened when the vehicle in front of me took a sudden sharp break/stop from no where in the middle of the road. When I saw this I tried to take a sudden break too, but I couldn’t even though I had enough distance from the vehicle, my car slide and hit the vehicle in front of me. Luckily, nothing append to the vehicle or driver in front of me, not even a single scratch, but my car was damaged.
I would like to mention that to avoid the accident, I tried to change my lane to the left but wasn’t safe to do since it would result to another accident due to the arrival of another vehicle on the left line from beyond. Couldn’t avoid the accident by turning to the right, since there were construction equipments, the curve and the side walk for possibly injuring pedestrian(s) .

According the driver of the vehicle in front of me, he took sudden break because of the vehicle in front of him hit the Pylon and runaway and the pylon dropped in front of his car.

After accident we called the police and provided him with the information mentioned above and he issued me the highway act 130 careless driving ticket of $325.00, Although he wasn’t there when accident happend.

I took the ticket to the court to stand for a trial and prove that I am not guilty for the charges. The court admin mentioned to me that they will send me a letter to when to appear to the court. Now I am waiting for the date to come. Not too sure if this is the actual trial or my first meeting/appearance with crown & prosecutors to make deal or no deal? If this is my first appearance can I ask the crown if the police or the witness (the driver of the car I hit) is there before I meet with the prosecutor. Also don’t know when and at what point can I request for the trail, before or after when the prosecutor offer his deal? When can I request for discloser form?
Please give me some advise what to do? What % chances do I have if the charges are going to get dropped

Any suggestion or advise is most welcome

Many thanks in advance


Last edited by Heela on Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:13 pm 
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You will basically get a court date, and a slew of FA meeting dates. You can come to any FA meeting, or not come to any one of them at all. You MUST come on the court date.

On your first attendance the prosecutor will likely try to get you to plead down to "Follow too close", which is about the same fine, but less demerit points.

"Careless Driving" is very serious, and very costly to insurance. Was your insurance involved at all? This charge is also hard for the crown to prove, but LEOs slap everyone involved in an accident with it because they are not sure what else to charge the driver with. You have good chances to beat it, but I would not risk it and hire a paralegal to fight.

You also need to request disclosure - all evidence against you. You can do that right after you receive the court date.

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"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:22 am 
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racer wrote:
On your first attendance the prosecutor will likely try to get you to plead down to "Follow too close", which is about the same fine, but less demerit points.


Follow Too Close = $110, 4 Demerit Points. So you save a couple hundred dollars on the ticket and 2 demerit points but you're still looking at a possible insurance increase.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:11 am 
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Plenderzoosh wrote:
racer wrote:
On your first attendance the prosecutor will likely try to get you to plead down to "Follow too close", which is about the same fine, but less demerit points.


Follow Too Close = $110, 4 Demerit Points. So you save a couple hundred dollars on the ticket and 2 demerit points but you're still looking at a possible insurance increase.


At least when you get it reduced your insurance rate increase will be based on a lesser conviction. Higher the demerit points on the ticket, the worse the conviction type becomes, and higher your insurance rate will go.

For example, a careless driving conviction on your driving record would be much worse for insurance rates, than a speeding over 16-29km ticket conviction would be.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:04 pm 
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Careless driving can result in your insurance being doubled (or worse) or even cancelled.

Unless the officer who attended the scene is a collision expert, they'll need the witness. A misjudgment of following distance is not necessarily careless driving, it is following too closely, even if a collision occurs. You can offer to plead it down to follow too closely, as the others are saying, before the trial. You can also consider a paralegal - there is a form at the bottom of the page that you can fill out.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:32 am 
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Thanks every one for the replay;

I would like to know, what will be % chance of to be able to fight this by myself and to convence the court to completely dismiss the charges?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:20 pm 
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OK, so the discussion about severity of tickets got in the way of the actual matter here :shock: :roll:. This is no laughing matter either.

You basically need to go through the trial request and disclosure request procedures. First one is easy - you file the ticket with Option 3 checked off. That will at least take you somewhere. In the meantime, read www.ticketcombat.com how to file for disclosure, and how to fight certain tickets. Read cases here too!!! Once you receive the court date, (and a list of FA meeting dates), you file for disclosure. Members here can and will provide you with additional input should you have any questions, about received disclosure, strategies, etc..

Make your own notes about the accident. While they are still fresh. Nice and detailed.

The more you educate yourself about the process and about the law, the better chance you stand in defending yourself! And along the way a present may come along. Like no disclosure package.

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"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:15 am 
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Heela wrote:
would like to know, what will be % chance of to be able to fight this by myself and to convence the court to completely dismiss the charges?


Chance of being able to win on your own? Depends... Realistically, on the face of it, 40%. If you really work for it, 75-80%. While it is true that the chances of a person who is not legally trained being successful in court are around 10%, I can tell you that many people who go in to fight their own traffic tickets don't understand the process, don't get disclosure, don't understand how to cross-examine or present an argument, think that their testimony will be given greater weight than a police officer's, use profanity in court (among other things), etc., and I've even seen some address the Justice of the Peace as "hey you." A paralegal would still have better odds, but there's a good chance, if you are thorough, that you can win on your own as well.

For them to get a successful conviction on careless driving, they can't just rely on the fact that you had a collision. While the section basically describes it as "driving without due care and attention," it doesn't mean a momentary lapse of attention or a minor error. There's case law I can cite to back that up. It requires drivers to have a standard of care, but not of a perfect driver - only an average driver. Average drivers make mistakes, some of which cause collisions.

racer covered the key points about how to start putting your case together. Keep us informed and we'll do our best to help.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:38 pm 
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Thank you every one with great responses, I will let you know as soon as I hear any thing about my case.


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Careless Driving - The right answer
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:47 pm 
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As everyone told you Careless Driving is a serious charge, with 6 points and dramatic insurance increases.

What you want to do is go to the court and ask for a "trial date". You do not want to meet the prosecutor to talk about your charge. If you meet the prosecutor they will offer to reduce the charge, but you always want to win the case if you can.

Once you have a trial date then you want to ask the prosecutor for the officers notes. I see everyone here post "get the disclosure, get the disclosure" but what do you do when you get it? Unless you have some idea of what is suppose to be there, what does this mean/what do you do with it? What is suppose to be in the disclosure????

At the trial date the prosecutor has to prove these things;

What happened,
Where did it happen.
How did it happen
Who was involved

If they cant do one of these things they cant/may not be able to prove the charge.

When you show up for your own trial for an accident case your helping the prosecutor prove the case, the "who was involved", or they call it the identity evidence.

The prosecutor asks the other driver who was the other driver involved in the accident, the other driver looks at you, and says "thats him". Thereby proving the "identity evidence".

If you hire a paralegal, someone who knows about court, trials, and winning court cases, and your not in court, how do they prove the identity evidence? They have to rely on some sort of other evidence, other than pointing you out.

If you represent yourself for an accident case your chance of winning drops dramatically.

If you represent yourself, have you ever run a trial before? Do you know the legal arguments that may win your case, do you know how to cross examine a police officer, or challenge a prosecutors/lawyers legal motions???

Anyway, this is just one issue for you to consider for your case, there are lots of other issues for Careless Driving cases. There is a good reason why people hire people with legal training...

Good luck with your case.

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Chris Conway
Retired Toronto Traffic Officer, Hit & Run Squad Detective,
Breathalyzer Tech, Radar/Highway Patrol
Licenced Paralegal


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:26 am 
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Many thanks Chris for good answer, I have never attended any court or been on a trail, but have collected a number of evidences related to the case, including the weather condition for that particular date “from Weather network”, the road condition "construction info. from city of Mississauga, list of questions to ask the officer etc. If you have any other suggestion, I would be glad to hear it.

You have mentioned that I am not supposed to meet the persecutor, isn’t the first date to appear in court to meet the prosecutor? , I think the crown talk to you first to make the guilty or not guilty plea before you get the chance to see the persecutor, if so who can I request “the prosecutor or the crown” for a trial date? How about if the police officer or the witness “the driver of the other car” not show up on the first day? How can I find out about them before to make my decision to move on with the trial or not? What will happen if the witness does not show up? Will the case get dismissed? How about if the police officer doesn’t show up? Will the case still get dismissed or not?


Many thanks once again;


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Careless Driving
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:51 am 
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You are missing the point.

If you appear for yourself for an accident case, you miss the chance of winning the case.

They have to prove the identity evidence. If you appear in court, You help to convict yourself....

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Chris Conway
Retired Toronto Traffic Officer, Hit & Run Squad Detective,
Breathalyzer Tech, Radar/Highway Patrol
Licenced Paralegal


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:07 am 
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Heela wrote:
Many thanks Chris for good answer, I have never attended any court or been on a trail, but have collected a number of evidences related to the case, including the weather condition for that particular date “from Weather network”, the road condition "construction info. from city of Mississauga, list of questions to ask the officer etc. If you have any other suggestion, I would be glad to hear it.

You have mentioned that I am not supposed to meet the persecutor, isn’t the first date to appear in court to meet the prosecutor? , I think the crown talk to you first to make the guilty or not guilty plea before you get the chance to see the persecutor, if so who can I request “the prosecutor or the crown” for a trial date? How about if the police officer or the witness “the driver of the other car” not show up on the first day? How can I find out about them before to make my decision to move on with the trial or not? What will happen if the witness does not show up? Will the case get dismissed? How about if the police officer doesn’t show up? Will the case still get dismissed or not?


Many thanks once again;


Get professional help for this......

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:30 pm 
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It is unfortunate that you received a Careless driving ticket. In many jurisdictions (including Mississauga) careless driving charges are laid as a default charge. In my experience in 80% of the cases it is actually not careless.

I have argued this particular charge on many occasions and can tell you with certainty - It is not easy to prove it.

If you intend to defend this matter by yourself, better prepare accordingly as you risk being convicted without advancing best defence forward.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:05 pm 
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Hi;

Need some help. Since the accident this is the second time I am requesting the court for disclosure. Waited for more than 8 weeks for the first request. and submitted the 2nd one. Almost 4 weeks passed from the 2nd request still haven't received any answer. Not sure what to do. If I don't receive any until the court date on June 2010 what will happen........

Regards
Heela


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