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Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:52 am 
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I recieved a traffic ticket for "failing to stop for school bus meeting". I don't believe I committed this offence.

I was pulled over about 1-2 minutes after the offence. When the officer asked if I knew why he had pulled me over I genuinely didn't know why. Since this transpired I've looked into this matter and I don't believe that the officer even saw anyone commit the offence and was radioed by a partner who saw someone else commit the offence.

Here are the problems with this offence:

1. The location on the ticket
- The location on the ticket states that I was pulled over a block away from where the school bus turns. I'm in the process of obtaining a bus route from the bus service.

2. The officer lost sight of me in excess of 1 minute in a heavily congested area at 3:40 in the afternoon
- After talking to the school bus driver the next day (she said a car did pass her bus illegally although I believe this is a case of mistaken identity) she stated that she didn't understand why the officer took so long to pursue the vehicle.
- From the location where the offence took place and where I was pulled over there are THREE intersections at which I turned in quick succession, 2 of which were red lights. I habitually check my rearview every time I come to a red light and the officer was not behind me.

My question to this board is as follows:

1) Is the inaccurate location on the ticket a fatal error when coupled with the fact that the school bus turns a block before that intersection?
2) Is the loss of sight for 3 turns and at least 1 minute grounds to raise reasonable doubt?
3) If the officer that witnessed the offence radioed another officer to pull over the vehicle that did it, does that invalidate the offence?


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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:06 pm 
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1) No
2) Possibly, take it to court and find out.
3) No but the other office would have to attend as well. You have zero evidence of this happening though.

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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:25 pm 
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well I intended on using 1 & 2 to support my theory (3) that he wasn't the same officer that witnessed the offence. If he had been he would have pulled me over FAR sooner than he did and he would have known where the offence occured.


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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Not necessarily true. you even mentioned you were some distance ahead in traffic. That could account for some of the delay in time. Also, I conduct a series of investigative checks on your vehicle and the RO before I actually initiate a vehicle stop for my safety. Don't assume you know how to do the officer's job by saying he would have done something sooner than he did. There is no legal basis for an officer to pull someone over right away upon the investigation of a traffic infraction.

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No, I do not work for Toronto Police...
... it is just a name folks :)


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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:21 pm 
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By investigative checks you mean running my information through CPIC, no? I've a novel understanding of police procedures and there is no way an officer positioned perpendicularly to the road could get any information other than the make and colour of my vehicle, which is nothing of use to run an "investigative check".

Is there a legal basis to maintain a line of sight with a vehicle so you don't pull the wrong one over, as happened in this circumstance?


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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:31 pm 
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The officer's own notes claim he was positioned to the left (West) of Matthew Brady. Further from where the offence occured and suggestive of initial obstruction of view (via treeline). If he was actually there, he'd have known that.


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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:38 pm 
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I have no doubt your knowledge of police procedures is novel.

Are you looking for specific answers that favour your case? The answers given to your questions 1,2 and 3 haven't changed with the issues you've introduced. There's no fatal error here, it comes down to your word against the officers - these details you're describing may or may not work to prove your case. That's going to depend on the Justice, the officer and a roll of the dice.

Good luck.


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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:57 pm 
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I abandoned the fatal error notion a while ago. Yes I am looking for specific answers that favour my case. For example, does a police officer need to maintain a line of sight with a vehicle to give the driver such a hefty charge?

charging me after I've turned through 3 intersections with no cop behind me in a congested area does not seem right. An officer who was in the area could have easily spotted the first car similar to the description and charged that driver (which seems to be the case here).

1) Line of sight broken for more than 1 minute and after 3 turns, mitigating to my case? Yes or no? (Area heavily congested at 3:40 pm)
2) What is my burden of proof? Beyond a reasonable doubt or balance of probabilities?


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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:10 pm 
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Paralegal92 wrote:
I abandoned the fatal error notion a while ago. Yes I am looking for specific answers that favour my case. For example, does a police officer need to maintain a line of sight with a vehicle to give the driver such a hefty charge?

charging me after I've turned through 3 intersections with no cop behind me in a congested area does not seem right. An officer who was in the area could have easily spotted the first car similar to the description and charged that driver (which seems to be the case here).

1) Line of sight broken for more than 1 minute and after 3 turns, mitigating to my case? Yes or no? (Area heavily congested at 3:40 pm)
2) What is my burden of proof? Beyond a reasonable doubt or balance of probabilities?



1-While it is not an automatic win, this argument can certainly help establish reasonable doubt. From what you have described this sounds like a good line of questioning to take. Ultimately it will come down to how good the officer's recollection of events is vs. how well you can pick him apart on the stand. With a good line of questioning and a little bit of luck you may be able to convince the JP that the officer may have pulled over the wrong car.

2-Beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard the prosecution has to meet to convict you.


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Re: Too much reasonable doubt!! Opinions?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:05 am 
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Paralegal92 wrote:
I abandoned the fatal error notion a while ago. Yes I am looking for specific answers that favour my case. For example, does a police officer need to maintain a line of sight with a vehicle to give the driver such a hefty charge?

charging me after I've turned through 3 intersections with no cop behind me in a congested area does not seem right. An officer who was in the area could have easily spotted the first car similar to the description and charged that driver (which seems to be the case here).

1) Line of sight broken for more than 1 minute and after 3 turns, mitigating to my case? Yes or no? (Area heavily congested at 3:40 pm)
2) What is my burden of proof? Beyond a reasonable doubt or balance of probabilities?


You're going to go to trial and explain how the officer lost sight of you and the officer is going to say he saw you the whole time. What are you going to do then?


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