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44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:28 am 
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Hey guys, I got some great advice so far on here, thought I would pick your brain a bit more :)

I was pulled over doing 44 over, the cop set up a trap on highway 7 right where the speed limit changes from 80 to 60. This was my first offense, he did not reduce it.

I have an early resolution setup next week, I don't have any disclosure or notes so I'm not sure what the details of the officer's notes are - I'm not looking for anything other than having the charge fully dropped so a plea is unacceptable.

1) With the above being said, I understand that it's extremely unlikely that the prosecutor will drop the case in the ER for whatever reason, especially without me having full disclosure.

This makes me not even want to attend ER. If I don't go to my ER, it mentions everywhere (all gov't info) that I can be automatically convicted. Is this true? If I don't go, can I still request/schedule a trial?
-also my meeting is at 9am, do I have to arrive at that time or can I come later like 12pm (just wondering)

2) I was in an uber recently and my driver was a 'law student' (I know everyone cringes at advice given by students haha, I'm also skeptical) but I was just curious to hear his thoughts. He mentioned that cops get paid to go to the first trial and it's mandatory for them, meanwhile they are not obligated/paid for the second one if it gets postponed. Is that true?
-he mentioned that postponing to a second trial would provide the best possibility for the cop to not show up

3) I've been reading mix opinions in regards to hiring a paralegal, so my question is what can a paralegal do that the average person cannot in order to win the case or have it dropped?
-assuming the average person has done a crazy amount of reading and has become pretty well informed/educated

4) I've understood that paralegals have a relationship with certain JPs and Prosecutors, so they (pay?) for the cop not to show up or have them drop it (or something like that). True?

5) I've been speaking to a few paralegals trying to understand what value they'll personally bring, what strategy they'll put forth, how they usually tackle these kinds of charges (with a radar gun), etc. Yet no one can really give me a definitive answer. They just mention they'll request disclosure, go to court for me, etc.

I understand that they are 'experts' but if I'm going to pay an expert I expect them to go above and beyond what the average person can do which is the basic foundation.

Thanks for your time :)


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:41 am 
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I'm no expert on this... but I sincerely would cast doubt on the claim a police officer doesn't get paid to show up if the trial is postponed.


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:36 pm 
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arzon wrote:
Hey guys, I got some great advice so far on here, thought I would pick your brain a bit more :)


1) With the above being said, I understand that it's extremely unlikely that the prosecutor will drop the case in the ER for whatever reason, especially without me having full disclosure.

This makes me not even want to attend ER. If I don't go to my ER, it mentions everywhere (all gov't info) that I can be automatically convicted. Is this true? If I don't go, can I still request/schedule a trial?
-also my meeting is at 9am, do I have to arrive at that time or can I come later like 12pm (just wondering) - If the meeting is at 9, the meeting is at 9. Why would the Crown be necessarily there at noon ?
2) I was in an uber recently and my driver was a 'law student' (I know everyone cringes at advice given by students haha, I'm also skeptical) but I was just curious to hear his thoughts. He mentioned that cops get paid to go to the first trial and it's mandatory for them, meanwhile they are not obligated/paid for the second one if it gets postponed. Is that true?
-he mentioned that postponing to a second trial would provide the best possibility for the cop to not show up the 'law student' strikes again. Complete nonsense

3) I've been reading mix opinions in regards to hiring a paralegal, so my question is what can a paralegal do that the average person cannot in order to win the case or have it dropped?
-assuming the average person has done a crazy amount of reading and has become pretty well informed/educated Paralegal's generally try for plea bargains. If you want to beat the charge completely you'd better be very clear on that to them
4) I've understood that paralegals have a relationship with certain JPs and Prosecutors, so they (pay?) for the cop not to show up or have them drop it (or something like that). True? Nonsense

5) I've been speaking to a few paralegals trying to understand what value they'll personally bring, what strategy they'll put forth, how they usually tackle these kinds of charges (with a radar gun), etc. Yet no one can really give me a definitive answer. They just mention they'll request disclosure, go to court for me, etc. Yup, do what you could do and try and get a plea bargain. Very very very few of them will run a trial.....did I say very few

I understand that they are 'experts' but if I'm going to pay an expert I expect them to go above and beyond what the average person can do which is the basic foundation.

Thanks for your time :)

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


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:59 pm 
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A paralegals value IMO is knowledge of court proceedings, ability to talk in court and possibly a report with the crown that may get a favorable plea. Last time I was in court a paralegal walked into the little room to discuss a taxi drivers careless charge and came out with a miracle..... following too close or something innocuous like that. Defendant wrecked, was speeding like crazy in poor conditions. I thought he was done for.


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:57 pm 
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1) Early Resolution is a waste of time in most situations, unless you have proof that the charge should be dropped. There is no way a prosecutor is going to drop a charge completely just because you ask, and they don't really care about your side of the story as you can give that statement during trial if you want. If you do go to early resolution, just be nice and see what they offer as a plea... you can then say you would like to see disclosure before you decide how to plea, which should leave the offer on the table in case the disclosure shows it is near impossible to beat. You could also probably fax a letter to both the prosecutors office and the provincial offences office and state that you are planning to plead guilty and requesting a trial now and will not be attending the early resolution meeting. But my understanding (which could be wrong) is that if you do not show up for early resolution then a trial is automatically scheduled as oppsed to you automatically being found guilty.

2) With OPP, trials are scheduled on the same day the officer is scheduled to work. This applies to ALL trials, first, second, etc. They are required to attend. So with OPP anyways, the chances of them not showing are very very small, regardless of how many times you reschedule. I am not sure how it works with municipal police forces like Toronto, so there may be more of chance the officer is not there, but I can not confirm that.

3) My first comment to anybody representing themselves is that most likely you are going to lose, especially if its your first time! You have a chance of winning though if you are willing to study and learn, but it takes dozens (if not hundreds) of hours to be prepared enough to win. The more trials you attend, the better you will get and the more likely you are to win. So I always consider that losing in court is still a learning experience that will help you win, so just because you may lose is not a reason to not try. Read this thread: topic7039.html
Now to the question of SHOULD I HIRE A PARALEGAL/LAWYER? In order to save some money, you can usually do all the above steps yourself first, without the need to hire a paralegal or lawyer. Once you get the disclosure and depending on the seriousness of the charge, you can then decide whether to hire one or whether to try and fight it yourself. You can also arrange to meet with the prosecutor yourself before the trial, to see if they will offer you a plea deal. Again, there is no point in hiring a paralegal to negotiate a plea deal you can do yourself.
Points to conisder:
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that suggests they can win without seeing the disclosure first.
- Only hire a paralegal/lawyer that will review the disclosure with you and suggest possible defenses to try and fight it.
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that considers "negotiating a plea deal" a win. Although a plea deal might be the best choice for you, some paralegals do not try to fight at all and will only negotiate plea deals and then they say they "won".
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that "gurantees a win or you don't pay" as this is illegal in Ontario.

4) Pretty sure that would be illegal, so anybody doing this is probably not going to admit to it.

5) See point 3 above.

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


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:01 pm 
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1) They're not going to withdraw a 44 over ticket unless there's a screw up that can't be fixed. If you're a 1st time offender, they might offer you 29 over (at best). If so, I'd take the deal since it will only be 3 points and much cheaper of a fine. Its still a conviction but lets face it, are you really going to be able to get acquitted on a 44 over charge? Though possible, that's very very highly unlikely. If you don't show up for your ER, section 9(1)(b) of the POA says you are deemed not to want to dispute the charge. In other words, CONVICTION!!!

2) The Uber law student should stay driving cars. Horrible advice. Clearly, he/she has never set foot in a traffic court. Officers generally show up for court (I'd say, about 97% chance). Matters are scheduled for the days they are usually on shift---and if not, they'll get overtime (which they love!).

3) As mentioned, experienced traffic paralegals (not just any paralegal) may have a good relationship with prosecutors and know how to win trials. If you plan on arguing the logistics of radar waves and testing procedures, it can be good to have someone who actually knows what they are talking about in a court setting. However, in most speeding charges, those arguments are rarely accepted by courts so you can generally self-represent and do just as good as a paralegal. Its more about how confident you are in speaking and presenting evidence and know how to appear in a court.

4) Cops are not going to be on the take for traffic offenses. What kind of bozo would risk his career and face going to jail for a bunch of traffic cases? While corruption can occur in any profession, most cops are honest folks who are simply following their legal orders. It certainly would be quickly discovered if there was such a collusion going on. The legal profession is like high school---very few secrets exist between all the players, so anyone going offside is quickly discovered. Whoever put that notion in your head clearly is quite messed up! :)

5) Why would a qualified paralegal fully explain what they will do at trial? Pay them first and THEN they'll show you. No professional is going to be so stupid as to give away their whole strategy or explain themselves without first getting paid----after all, the client can simply take off with the information and self-represent. Anyone thinking that the legal professional must fully explain their strategy before getting retained are living in a dream state! Its a risk you take but in the end, no real professional worth their money is going to give you too much insight on how they will achieve their results. They may explain your rights and options, and likely of success on some arguments, but that's about it. Otherwise, you take a leap of faith-----that's just life!


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:17 pm 
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Do your homework on the Paralegal should you choose to hire one. Do not fall for the "win guaranteed" nonsense.


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:52 pm 
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highwaystar wrote:
If you don't show up for your ER, section 9(1)(b) of the POA says you are deemed not to want to dispute the charge. In other words, CONVICTION!!!

I stand corrected. Good to know.

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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:55 pm 
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If I understand you correctly, you were tagged with 104 in a 60 and you're upset because the officer was set up to get you just as you came into the 60? So that means you were doing 104 in an 80....24 over? I *might* see your point if you were doing 80 90 or even 95 in an 80 but 104 in an 80? Take a plea man. Explain the situation at ER and ask for 75 in a 60 and no points. They might counter with 84 in a 60....24 over, which is what you were doing anyway.


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:24 pm 
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I think your best bet is to attend court.
On a different day.

Just to see how it works.

Viper1

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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:30 am 
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My suggestion is to plead not guilty, request a trial and get disclosure before deciding whether to take a plea.

WHAT SHOULD I DO? HOW DO I FIGHT MY TICKET?
Regardless of how simple or complex the charge is (from parking tickets to DUI), you have the RIGHT to a fair trial and a RIGHT to see the evidence they have against you. Even if you admit to doing whatever you were charged with, you still have these rights.

So my advice is that you should plead NOT GUILTY and request a Trial with the officer present. Once you get your Notice of Trial with a trial date, you can request disclosure (copy of notes of all officers involved, copy of radar/laser device manual if applicable).

Once you get the disclosure (officers notes), post them back on the forum so we can review them and give you more advice (black out any personal id info and officer id info).

You have nothing to lose by doing this, as you can still plead guilty and pay the ticket anytime up to the trial. You have everything to gain because the officers notes contain what they will testify, and if something is missing in their notes, you might be able to get the charge dropped.

VEHICLE INSURANCE & DEMERITS
The effects of pleading guilty to a 0 demerit charge, can still cause your insurance rates to increase for 3 years. It is important to remember that insurance companies do NOT care about demerit points. Insurance companies rate the tickets you get as either MINOR, MAJOR or SERIOUS. For each minor conviction you have, your insurance may raise your rates a little. For each major conviction you have, your insurance may raise your rates a lot. For each serious conviction you have, your insurance may DOUBLE your rates or even refuse to provide you with insurance at all.

For example, most speeding tickets, regardless of demerit points, are considered minor and will affect your insurance the same. Example:
- Speeding 1 over to 15 over = 0 demerit points = Considered MINOR by inusrance company.
- Speeding 16 over to 29 over = 3 demerit points = also considered MINOR by inusrance company.
- Speeding 30 over to 49 over = 4 demerit points = also considered MINOR by most inusrance companies (some may consider this MAJOR).
If you get a ticket for 1 over, it will affect your insurance exactly the same as if you got a ticket for 44 over. The insurance companies do not care about the demerits and do not care about the speed.

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


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:07 am 
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Wow thanks guys for all the advice! Really appreciate everyone's input. Jsherk, Argyll and Highwaystar thanks for your time.

Rank - yeah i was speeding without a doubt, I'm not denying that, I was going 100ish in an 80 zone (late at night) but I was shocked that the zone he caught me was 60, I wasn't even aware of that. I'm not a reckless driver haha.

I spoke to my insurance broker and getting a plea is unacceptable for me, here's why - I'm currently getting a 50% discount as non convicted driver, as soon as I get any conviction the discount is removed and I'm paying pull price (or double), and any convictions later on it just increases by 25%.

6) Since I don't have disclosure with me before ER, I'm going to ask the prosecutor if I can see the notes (or whatever he has). What are some things I should look for in the notes just to make sure he did everything according to the law, and if not I can get the case thrown away?

7) Are there any resources regarding strategies to use in court against a radar gun?


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:02 pm 
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arzon wrote:
6) Since I don't have disclosure with me before ER, I'm going to ask the prosecutor if I can see the notes (or whatever he has). What are some things I should look for in the notes just to make sure he did everything according to the law, and if not I can get the case thrown away?

You may as well go fly a kite. Listen to the offer, which will probably an offer to plead not guilty to a 3 demerit ticket and if your real lucky maybe 15 over and no demerits but you say you're unwilling to accept either of those. If you''re intent on going to trial then all you can do is request disclosure and set a trial date. Keep in mind that the crown will likely not give you disclosure until 5 minutes before your trial date and that will mean another trial date. So now you have ER, trial date one and trial date two.....the vacation days are adding up by now.

arzon wrote:
7) Are there any resources regarding strategies to use in court against a radar gun?

A few....was it stationary or mobile? Was there any other traffic....did he do the test correctly....blah blah and blah. It's difficult enough to beat a ticket when you're in the right without adding guilt into the equation. It's easier to beat dangerous driving in criminal court than a speeding ticket in POA court but I digress.

But you say you were speeding so that makes it tougher because it's tough win if you put yourself on the stand and admit you were doing 104. What exactly would be your defense here? Any time I've ever beaten a ticket it was because I was right and the cop was wrong. I've ever won when I was guilty LOL.

If you missed the 60 sign maybe there was a reason. My advice, fwiw, is go back to the scene and look for a defense by making sure that all the signage is correct....i.e. is it even a posted 60 zone? Is the sign visible? Was the sign posted in the correct location? Was it on a telephone pole too far from the road? Was it behind another sign? Was it a reflective sign? Was there a 60 ahead sign? How far into the 60 zone were you ticketed? The MTO standards for the placement of these signs are available in the web. Take pictures of everything. If you can show the 60 sign was missing or placed wrong, then you might have a prayer.


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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:29 pm 
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Because you admit to speeding, you should NOT take the stand and should NOT testify and should NOT give your side of the story. This means that the only way to beat it is by cross-examining the officer and bringing reasonable doubt to what the officer said.

You should read these two threads:
topic7039.html
topic7041.html

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Re: 44km/h over - 5 Great Questions Inside :)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:51 pm 
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In almost all jurisdictions, you'll get your disclosure handed to you just as you walk in for your meeting with the Prosecutor---without even having to ask for it. In fact, many jurisdictions will withdraw the charge if the disclosure is NOT available at the time since no meaningful resolution discussions could be had without either side having the disclosure available. That wasted time would count against the Crown so they generally withdraw the charge if the disclosure is not in their brief that day. If you received an e-ticket, then the officer's notes will already be on the back of the offence notice---so there's really not much more you should require----perhaps copies of the testing pages of the radar manual.

As for arguments, you certainly can't take the stand since that would require you lying on the stand. However, you definitely can cross-examine the officer on his/her training, last qualification for speed measuring devices, testing procedures, sight lines, distractions and overall credibility, etc. The odds aren't great going from 44 over to nothing----but hey, anything is possible. If you don't care about paying the fine either way---then you might as well go for it all the way. Its your money and always a good way to learn something new (like not speeding!) :)

Just be aware that:
44 over will cost you : $308 + $75 + $5= $388 (that's the statutory fine, victim surcharge and court fee)
29 over will only cost: $130.00 + $25 + $5 = $160

So, you can see that, 29 over would be less than half the price and only 3 demerits as oppose to 4 (note: some insurers view a 4 pt ticket as a 'major' infraction--each insurance company is different)


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