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Fail to stop ticket in mail - incident never happened.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:39 pm
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My wife is the registered owner of our car. She received a ticket in the mail for failure to stop for a school bus. I have a number of issues I would appreciate assistance with.

First of all, the incident did not happen. The date, time and location listed for the offence are impossible for it to have been her (or me rather, although the mini van is registered in her name I (her husband) am the one driving it 90% of the time and would have been driving it at the time claimed for the offence). I drive her to work every weekday at the same time. The time of the offence listed is the time at which I am driving her to work and in a different location from the route we drive.


I requested an early resolution meeting hoping to explain the situation and the prosecutor would not even hear most of what I had to say. She said that the only purpose of the early resolution meeting was to plead guilty and take a reduced fine, that dismissing the charge was impossible. I've read some other information on this site that implies that isn't true, that they can dismiss charges (which would make sense, otherwise what is the point of the early resolution meeting?). I would not have wasted my time and missed work for the early resolution meeting had I known dismissal was not an option, I am not guilty of the offense, I'm not pleading guilty under any circumstances. She offered to reduce the fine to $250, I said no, end of meeting.

The ticket lists "female driver" seen by the bus driver. Impossible since my wife was either already at work or would have been being driven to work by me at that time. Relevant? Prosecutor says that doesn't matter since it is an owner ticket. It seems like it matters to me since neither of us has ever failed to stop for a school bus so this is some kind of mistake. This was the only thing I got to mention to the prosecutor before she said that pleading guilty was the only option of the early resolution meeting and refused to hear anything else from me.

I requested disclosure and got it but it does not have the bus driver's notes. The complaint was from the bus driver, since my contention is there has to be some kind of mistake made recording the plate or something here, I want those notes. Can I request disclosure again for those notes? What is the fastest way to do that, in person at the prosecutor's office?

Since our contention is that it is impossible for our vehicle to have been at the place claimed for the offence, is testimony to that effect worth pursuing? The ticket says female driver, her coworkers could testify that she was at work at that particular time so it would be impossible for her to be driving there. I can get her, I and my son to testify that we drive the same route every day at the same time to drop her at work and my son at school (he is 14) and that we could not be at that location at that time. Is that worthwhile given that it is an owner ticket and all they care about is if the car is there?

I saw somewhere on this site that the ticket has to be served in person? Ours was not, we just got it in the mail. Is that kosher since it is an owner ticket or is that useful to me?

Thank you in advance.


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Re: Fail to stop ticket in mail - incident never happened.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2092
Location: Ontario
Don’t be too upset over the Crown’s position at the pre-trial meeting. Withdrawing charges based solely on the defendents claim of innocence isn’t practical (imagine if everyone said “I didn’t do it” and the charge got withdrawn). Withdrawls are typically reserved for when there is no reasonable prospect of conviction, such as a lack of evidence to support the offence or some type of fatal error.

You’ll have to prepare for trial and think of how you can best present your defence. Showing that you were driving instead of your wife can help raise doubt about the bus driver’s observations, but probably wouldn’t be sufficient in itself. More important (in my opinion) would be to show that you were in another location since the offence revolves more around the vehicle then who was driving it.

I would certainly make inquires about any statement the bus driver prepared. Perhaps there isn’t one, but that only weakens the Crown’s case.

And yes, you can be served by mail for this offence.


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