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Catching a break?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:27 am 
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My 21-year-old daughter was driving my son back to camp after a day off in July and received her first speeding ticket on Rama Road in Orillia. The ticket was for 65 in a 50 zone. The ticket claims it's a Community Safety Zone, but I've never seen the sign and will need to investigate. I'll be representing her, as I've successfully represented myself a handful of times in nearly 37 years of driving.

I suspect my daughter may actually have been driving more quickly, as officers seldom issue tickets at only 15 km/h over the limit, even if it genuinely was a Community Safety Zone. The ticket does not show Code R, but I understand that's optional and does not affect the ticket. Is that correct?

On the ticket, the officer misidentified the licence plate. My car has a current scheme four-letter-three-digit plate beginning with B. The officer only wrote the first three letters, giving a decades-old three-letter-three-digit plate beginning with B. That plate would likely have been issued in 1973 as part of the initial issue of "permanent" plates. It would have been white with a plain-text ONTARIO embossed at the top, a plain-text KEEP IT BEAUTIFUL embossed at the bottom, 73 embossed in the lower left corner, a sticker frame embossed in the lower right corner and a blue border embossed all around. My plate obviously looks nothing like that.

My question is: Is this mistake alone enough to have the charge tossed out, or does it simply go to the officer's credibility?

I received the Notice of Trial in the mail yesterday. The trial is set for September 19. That gives exactly five weeks from yesterday to plan a "full answer and defence." I, obviously, want to get my disclosure request in quickly. My guess is the Orillia POA office will not be able to fulfil my requests in only five weeks, but I know I need to show diligence. Here's what I'm planning to ask for:

* officer's notes, including any references and all log entries that do not pertain to tickets written to other people (I'm looking for his LIDAR/RADAR testing entries, of course)
* registration information for the plate noted on the ticket (I'm guessing that plate hasn't been used since the 70's as plates went with the car, not the individual, until personalized plates came out in the 80's)
* make, model and serial number of the LIDAR/RADAR device
* maintenance and calibration records of the LIDAR/RADAR device, if applicable
* evidence of the officer's training and certification in the use of the LIDAR/RADAR device

Is there anything else I should be requesting?

My daughter attends school out of town and will not be able to be in court September 19. My hope is to meet with the prosecutor that morning (Orillia does not offer a first appearance option) and have the charge thrown out over the plate, if that's sufficient.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:00 am 
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The charge is issued to the driver as opposed to the vehicle. The officer will testify that he saw a motor vehicle as defined by the Highway Traffic Act, travelling at an excess speed, stopped that vehicle, identified the driver by means of a photo drivers licence and issued the ticket. That's enough.

A mistake on a ticket doesn't speak to an officer's 'credibility'. We all make mistakes.

You'll need to look elsewhere.

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Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:12 am 
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Zatota wrote:
I suspect my daughter may actually have been driving more quickly, as officers seldom issue tickets at only 15 km/h over the limit, even if it genuinely was a Community Safety Zone. The ticket does not show Code R, but I understand that's optional and does not affect the ticket. Is that correct?


Correct

Zatota wrote:
On the ticket, the officer misidentified the licence plate. My car has a current scheme four-letter-three-digit plate beginning with B. The officer only wrote the first three letters, giving a decades-old three-letter-three-digit plate beginning with B. That plate would likely have been issued in 1973 as part of the initial issue of "permanent" plates. It would have been white with a plain-text ONTARIO embossed at the top, a plain-text KEEP IT BEAUTIFUL embossed at the bottom, 73 embossed in the lower left corner, a sticker frame embossed in the lower right corner and a blue border embossed all around. My plate obviously looks nothing like that.

My question is: Is this mistake alone enough to have the charge tossed out, or does it simply go to the officer's credibility?


Could go towards the officer's credibility, but certainly not enough to get the ticket thrown out.

Zatota wrote:
I received the Notice of Trial in the mail yesterday. The trial is set for September 19. That gives exactly five weeks from yesterday to plan a "full answer and defence." I, obviously, want to get my disclosure request in quickly. My guess is the Orillia POA office will not be able to fulfil my requests in only five weeks, but I know I need to show diligence. Here's what I'm planning to ask for:

* officer's notes, including any references and all log entries that do not pertain to tickets written to other people (I'm looking for his LIDAR/RADAR testing entries, of course)
* registration information for the plate noted on the ticket (I'm guessing that plate hasn't been used since the 70's as plates went with the car, not the individual, until personalized plates came out in the 80's)
* make, model and serial number of the LIDAR/RADAR device
* maintenance and calibration records of the LIDAR/RADAR device, if applicable
* evidence of the officer's training and certification in the use of the LIDAR/RADAR device

Is there anything else I should be requesting?


You will get everything/should get everything asked for, besides the plate info. That is personal information, and will not be disclosed at all. That's pretty much all you will need.


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:14 am 
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Credibility again ? Really ??

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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:47 am 
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Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "credibility." Perhaps I should have instead asked whether the mistake on the plate goes to the accuracy of the officer's testimony.

Regardless, I assume your answers mean that even if I can show at trial that the plate was misidentified, that fact would be irrelevant.

One more question, if I may. The shoulder of Rama Road is dirt. It was a hot, dry day and there had been no rain in weeks. There's a business on that side of the road less than 100 metres from where my daughter was stopped. People entering and exiting that business would kick dust into the air. Drivers passing by, particularly if a tire were to hit the dirt, would kick dust into the air. Is there any hope of successfully raising the argument that dust could have settled on the LIDAR/RADAR device, including the lenses/windows/transceivers (sorry, I don't know the exact word to use here), diminishing the accuracy of the reading?

If not, I guess the only hope will be whether the officer documented his beginning- and end-of-shift device checks and can testify that he followed the manufacturer's specified testing procedure (which I hope to find from the manual).


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:15 pm 
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I dont think the dust will help you. If it was so bad then the device simply wouldn't give a reading. I think you'd have to come up with some testimony to show it does rather than just an unsubstantiated could. But then again I'm not the judge on the day.

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Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:29 pm 
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Thanks for the help so far. After I've received the disclosure, I'll drop by again.


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:18 pm
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R code does not matter. License plate does not matter. These are not fatal errors and will NOT get ticket thrown out.

Ask for manual for lidar/radar device as well. I always ask for whole thing but they usually only give you the testing page. Then you can decide whether to argue with them about it or not.

Barrie prosecutors office looks after Orillia and they can accept disclosure requests by email, which saves a lot of time:
legaldisclosurerequest@barrie.ca

Here is my most recent disclosure request:
post41563.html#p41563

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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:31 pm 
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Thank you, jsherk. I will definitely make my request by e-mail. It certainly saves a drive. The detail in your disclosure request is AWESOME! I assume I would not send the second part (the analysis of the various cases), but keep that information for backup if necessary. I've seen discussions here (probably yours) about insisting on the entire manual, not just the testing page.


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:48 pm 
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You do not send the second part. It is for when you get to court and need to argue in front of the JP as to why they should give you what you asked for.

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+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:20 am
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If you do plead not guilty, and your daughter was traveling at a rate of speed greater than was on the ticket, the prosecutor will ask to amend the ticket back up to the origional speed...a bit of dust on either the lens or in the air will only affect the effective range of the laser, not the accuracy.


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:03 am 
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it doesn't matter either way; because as far as insurance are concerned (which is the main issue) a conviction regardless of points or fine, is still a conviction.
(yes the fine may be lower and points) but where mainly worried about our insurance rates nes pas ? :)

not arguing the rest of your points which are all valid ;)

screeech wrote:
If you do plead not guilty, and your daughter was traveling at a rate of speed greater than was on the ticket, the prosecutor will ask to amend the ticket back up to the origional speed...a bit of dust on either the lens or in the air will only affect the effective range of the laser, not the accuracy.


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:50 am 
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bobajob wrote:
it doesn't matter either way; because as far as insurance are concerned (which is the main issue) a conviction regardless of points or fine, is still a conviction.
(yes the fine may be lower and points) but where mainly worried about our insurance rates nes pas ? :)

not arguing the rest of your points which are all valid ;)

screeech wrote:
If you do plead not guilty, and your daughter was traveling at a rate of speed greater than was on the ticket, the prosecutor will ask to amend the ticket back up to the origional speed...a bit of dust on either the lens or in the air will only affect the effective range of the laser, not the accuracy.


Not really. I worry about points. Currently have 5, and with a Careless , a 49 over and a disobey stop sign coming up, that puts me in suspension level. So yeah. Points matter as well. Maybe not now, but could in the future.


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:09 am
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Because my daughter is only 21, we're more concerned with insurance. She's listed as a second driver on one of our cars, so it won't be a huge deal, but we will probably be buying her a car in a couple of years. She's in Med School out of town and will need the car to get to her placements. At that point, a conviction could come back to haunt her.

I'm also aware that if we go to trial, the prosecutor may ask to amend the charge back up if she was, indeed, driving faster than 65. If the disclosure reveals that's the case, unless most of the disclosure is missing or untimely and I can make a case to have the matter withdrawn on that basis (e.g., still missing disclosure after a second appearance), I will encourage her to bite the bullet and plead it out at 65.


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Re: Catching a break?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:21 am
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yeah; that's like slightly different.

It's when a MP gets told well I'll reduce the fine so you get less points and it wont affect your insurance
when 2 or 3 points will because it's the conviction not the points

but for sure if you start adding points up; you'd be right there ;)


UnluckyDuck wrote:
bobajob wrote:
it doesn't matter either way; because as far as insurance are concerned (which is the main issue) a conviction regardless of points or fine, is still a conviction.
(yes the fine may be lower and points) but where mainly worried about our insurance rates nes pas ? :)

not arguing the rest of your points which are all valid ;)

screeech wrote:
If you do plead not guilty, and your daughter was traveling at a rate of speed greater than was on the ticket, the prosecutor will ask to amend the ticket back up to the origional speed...a bit of dust on either the lens or in the air will only affect the effective range of the laser, not the accuracy.


Not really. I worry about points. Currently have 5, and with a Careless , a 49 over and a disobey stop sign coming up, that puts me in suspension level. So yeah. Points matter as well. Maybe not now, but could in the future.


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