I've been browsing this board for some time after being in my first accident last August. I had previously gone in for Early Resolution but was told that they did not have my file at the courthouse at the time and was told because of the nature of the accident, I would be scheduled for a trial instead. The meeting itself took place in October and I am just now (March 31st) receiving a date for the trial. I am posting on here both to get advice as well as to lay out what happened for myself.
I am a new driver (19 years old at the time of accident) and had only recently purchased my first car (a week or so before) when the accident occurred. For a little background on the entire situation, that summer, I had been working full time on the island. I commuted via the TTC and would reach the ferry docks at 9:30AM to catch the first boat over, and more often than not, I would not be catching the ferry back to mainland until 9:30PM where I would then commute back home to Scarborough. At the same time, I was also taking online courses at my university and would often have to stay up later to finish assignments. On top of all of that, my mother can't drive. Getting a car was supposed to make it easier on both of us considering she works two jobs and I go to school on the other end of the city.
The accident itself occurred at around 6:30-6:45AM on August 5th. I was on my way to pick up my mom at work for the first time since getting the car. My townhouse complex has underground parking and I was exiting the garage. The road I was attempting to enter was a two way street with a car parked on the right side. I was turning left out of the parking garage. To be completely honest, I'm not entirely sure how this happened because I was first driving out of the garage and then the next thing I knew, I was bumping up against the front of another house. I can't say how fast I was going, but it was enough to crush a patio chair and chip a few bricks. I am still unsure how I avoided hitting the car and instead ended up hitting the house.
It's sort of crazy how it happened considering out of all the houses on the block, this one was one of the only ones that did not have stairs leading up to the porch area at the front door, therefore it made it easy for my car to drive right over it. There's no real way I can explain it all aside from saying it was really just a freak accident. All the angles just so happened to lead up to me making a huge turn and sliding right between the brick posts that divide the houses and hitting the front of one instead.
I didn't mention this to the officer at the time because I had been totally freaked out. I literally could not remember anything that happened at all between the collision and my exiting from the garage, but there is a chance that I might have hit the Sport button on my car instead of the ECO button. I don't really know if that would make a difference, though. I can't say I know a whole lot about how cars themselves work. My only defense really, is that I was really tired-- as I said above, I work long shifts and do a lot of commuting so my sleep schedule is all over the place.
Anyway, my trial has been set for May 24th. I feel as if the situation is pretty grim considering I was the only driver involved. I don't know if it's possible for the charge to be reduced. I am unsure whether or not I should hire external help.
I do have a few questions though:
1) Will the owners of the home be there? (To be honest, they didn't even come out of the house when it happened. Their neighbour was the one who saw it happen and rung their doorbell to get them out. He left before the police showed up.)
2) Will the police officer be there?
3) Can I make something out of the fact that I avoided hitting the car parked in front of the garage? Probably a long shot considering I hit a house instead OTL...
4) Does me blacking out count for anything or does it just further cement my guilt? (I'm thinking the latter.)
Thanks a lot for your time.
nessat wrote: I literally could not remember anything that happened at all between the collision and my exiting from the garage, but there is a chance that I might have hit the Sport button on my car instead of the ECO button. I don't really know if that would make a difference, though. I can't say I know a whole lot about how cars themselves work.
Other than costing you an extra $0.01 in gas from the garage to your neighbors porch, it had zero impact.
nessat wrote:1) Will the owners of the home be there? (To be honest, they didn't even come out of the house when it happened. Their neighbour was the one who saw it happen and rung their doorbell to get them out. He left before the police showed up.)
Anyone who they rely on as a witness will be there.
nessat wrote:2) Will the police officer be there?
nessat wrote:3) Can I make something out of the fact that I avoided hitting the car parked in front of the garage? Probably a long shot considering I hit a house instead OTL...
No. You have to realize how silly that sounds when you say it out loud. "One of the advantages of driving up the front lawn is you miss the car in the driveway".
nessat wrote:4) Does me blacking out count for anything or does it just further cement my guilt? (I'm thinking the latter.)
If you go down that road, you could lose your license indefinitely. It could be years before you get cleared and have your license back.
Good luck though. You might want to consider hiring someone to represent you. Your insurance provider is going to hammer you if you're convicted. At least a 100% increase on the careless driving and even more for the accident. That's if they don't drop you altogether. If they make you any offer to reduce the charge, you should probably take it. Although your insurance will charge you for the accident either way, at least you wont have the careless driving conviction.
Having legal representation that knows how to properly cross-examine the officer and who will not put you on the stand to testify will be a big help.
To save some money, you could request a trial with officer present and when you get your notice of trial, you can request disclosure (officers notes and witness statements). At this point you could then also schedule a meeting with the prosecutor to see if they will drop if to a lower charge (you are not going to this meeting to give your side of the story, you are just going to say "hey, is there any chance you can reduce the charge?" and they might offer you something better than careless). If they do not offer a plea deal then this when you should hire a lawyer. There is no point paying a lawyer to negotiate a plea deal that you can do yourself.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++