careless driving charge: left turn with minor injuries

ota17
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careless driving charge: left turn with minor injuries

by: ota17 on
Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:18 am

Hello,‎

I was involved in a collision with an oncoming vehicle while making a left turn. A person from ‎the other vehicle had minor injuries according to the paramedics on scene.‎

My memory of the actual crash is very hazy (my doctor said it could happen due to a concussion ‎and shock). I remember the light turning yellow before I entered the intersection, and then ‎finding myself spinning around and stopping on the opposite sidewalk.‎

To make things worse, in my dazed state I agreed to talk to the policeman, which led to me ‎being charged with “careless driving” (the policeman said it was based on my and witnesses' ‎statements), and I was given a summons to appear in court in a month.‎

My question is: what are my options? Is it possible for me to fight this charge with any degree ‎of success? Is it possible to reduce it to a less serious one?‎

Please help.‎

Thank you.‎






jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:59 pm

A reminder that Careless driving is as bad as a DUI as far as insurance is concerned so you will want to fight this and try to (at best) get the charge dropped completely, or (at worst) at least reduced to a lesser charge that is not as serious for insurance purposes.

The summons date is NOT your trial.

You appear and you can make one of the following three decissions:
(1) Just plead guilty (probably a bad idea)
(2) If offered a plea deal to a reduced charge, ask if you can see disclosure before deciding and also say you want to seek legal advice about the reduced charge. Most likely they will agree and set another summons date for you to come back too.
(3) If not offered a plea deal, ask if you can see disclosure before deciding and also say you want to seek legal advice. Most likely they will agree and set another summons date for you to come back too.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


ota17
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by: ota17 on
Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:19 pm

Thank you jsherk!

A couple more questions if you don't mind:

Is it possible for the prosecution to demand an answer on the spot, a sort of a "take it or leave it" deal?

If I am offered a plea deal, do you know what kinds of a reduced charge are possible in this situation? And whether they will not have such a huge impact on my insurance?

Thank you!




al123
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by: al123 on
Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:33 am

In my case the prosecutor initially offered me a "fail to stop for amber light" but when I told him that at "turn not in safety" was more appropriate, he was okay with that. So you can always suggest another charge and see if the prosecutor is agreeable to it, but no guarantees. Although he didn't say outright that there wouldn't be a deal next time, he did mention that this particular offer would probably not be made if I didn't accept it right away.

Long story short, it never hurts to ask.


OTD Legal
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by: OTD Legal on
Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:53 pm

As pointed out by Jsherk, a Careless Driving offence is on par with an Impaired Driving or Over 80 conviction for insurance. It also carries a 6 demerit point penalty for your licence and possible other problems if you are a G1/G2 driver. Because your offence has been issued by summons, you are exposed to a greater range of penalty than had you been issued a simple ticket:

"Careless driving
130. Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. 2009, c. 5, s. 41."

Generally for a case of this nature, you may be well served to seek out legal representation from a licenced and experienced paralegal.
The content of this post is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided after a licenced paralegal has been retained, spoken with you directly, and reviewed the documents related to your case.




jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:28 am

The summons is NOT your trial date. Although you do have the option to plead guilty on the summons date, I would highly recommend that you do not do that.

And I would suggest that you do not need any representation at the summons date.

If you are offered a plea deal on this date, you can still make a request to see disclosure and get legal advice before you decide what you want to do, so they will set another date for you to come back. Same thing if they do not offer a plea deal, you can still make a request to see disclosure and get legal advice before you decide what you want to do, so they will set another date for you to come back.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


OTD Legal
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by: OTD Legal on
Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:58 pm

ota17 wrote:Thank you, but it raises more questions:

Should I seek representation before the summons?

Should I seek a paralegal or a lawyer?

How would I find/choose a "licenced and experienced paralegal"? Can the forum members recommend one?
This area of law is generally handled by paralegals. Hiring a lawyer may result in the lawyer's office managing the file and retaining a paralegal for the actual court work. Generally, you should make the decision whether to self-represent or to have legal representation before your first court appearance. Being unfamiliar with the law and court process, defendants tend to damage their case more than help it and that damage may limit what your legal representative can do for you if they are willing to take on the case partway through.

If you are concerned about the reputation of a paralegal, you can use the paralegal lookup on the LSUC website to ensure that they are licenced and in good standing. You can also use Google to check for consumer reviews or complaints. Another insight would be to know how long they have been practicing specifically in HTA law.
The content of this post is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided after a licenced paralegal has been retained, spoken with you directly, and reviewed the documents related to your case.




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