Careless Driving Charge

Nowisthetime
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Careless Driving Charge

by: Nowisthetime on
Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:02 pm

I rear ended someone and got charged for careless driving.

I requested disclosure and just received it 2 days before the trial date which is Jan 10th, 2013.
The accident was Aug 28, 2012. I initially requested disclosure 2 weeks after accident, but nothing came.

Then I followed up with a 2nd request on Jan 1st, 2013 and just received it 2 days before.

The disclosure has the officers notes.

The first point is that in the disclosure notes it mentions Driver 2 (the other driver) gave a written statement. But his statement is not included in the disclosure I received.
Do I have a defense with this? to say I have not received full disclosure and what are the chances the case gets dismissed?
I didn't give a written statement but said I'd like to speak to my agent first.

The officers notes say in relation to after he initially talked with me:
"Driver 1 (me) advised when on on Mayfield Rd, Eastbound, had his head down for a moment as soon as he put his head up, observed the black motor vehicle in front of him that was just getting ready to move since the traffic lights had just turned green, attempted to stop but it was too late and he had rear ended the lack motor vehicle. I then spoke to (other driver) which advised that he behind another vehicle stopped at traffic light (initially red) when the traffic light had just turned green m/v in front of him, and as soon as he lift his foot off the brake pedal he gets rear ended by Driver 1, pushed into the middle of the intersection. At this point I attempted to take statements from drivers, D2 provided written statement and D1 refused to give a statement until he spoke to an agent."

My question: is it possible for me to win this case if the other driver doesn't show up.

If I didn't give a written statement can I in any way challenge his statement of what I said.

Can I challenge what he wrote if it is not quite accurate. (if there are no witnesses and other driver doesn't show can I say that's not what I meant)
I can`t quite remember if I said exactly that, I may have meant, glanced to the side or got distracted for a second. Could he have misinterpreted it? Ex: saying I looked down for a moment, (a moment is a long time) and I`m not even sure I said that, looked down for a second, a moment, it`s just momentarily glancing elsewhere.

Also, I was under shock at the moment.

I know I can always opt for a lesser charge of follow two closely, but I'd like to look at the option of fighting it altogether.

Is there a chance at me defending and winning this, or am I stuck because of what the offficer wrote down?
Any advice would be appreciated.

I just got disclosure today and trial is in 2 days.

Thanks,
Jason


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by: Radar Identified on
Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:05 pm

First of all, you want to get an adjournment of the trial. 2 days is not enough time to adequately prepare a defence. Be polite but firm when asking for the adjournment, and insist that you did not receive the disclosure in a timely manner. The JP might adjourn with no penalty, or might charge it to the Prosecutor... anyway, worth a try. It's unlikely that they'd dismiss your charge for not disclosing the written statement; in all likelihood, the JP will order the Prosecutor to disclose it, if you provide a good reason for wanting it. (They'll need you to explain why you want it.)
Nowisthetime wrote:My question: is it possible for me to win this case if the other driver doesn't show up.
Yes
Nowisthetime wrote:Is there a chance at me defending and winning this, or am I stuck because of what the offficer wrote down?
What the officer wrote isn't necessarily going to hang you or free you. If you do go to trial (a bit risky without a paralegal for this charge), the argument would be whether or not glancing down momentarily constitutes "Careless Driving." If you glanced down to look at a text message, for exampe, that's more or less careless... but if you had an engine oil light or something like that come on, that's a bit different. There's legal precedents on this... you may want to check out www.canlii.org
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


Nowisthetime
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by: Nowisthetime on
Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:56 pm

Thank you for your answer.

I was driving eastbound at 8:30pm in August and the sun was setting behind me. If I looked at the mirror and the brightness of the sun caused me to momentarily lose focus and look down is this a justifiable argument to not be charged? I didn't explain this to the oficer though, "just said I looked down for a moment" I was in a state of shock from the accident.

Any advice on whether this can be used as an argument and if increases my chances of getting off the hoohas any chance of getting me off the hook.
Any advice on how you would use this argument?

Thanks
Jason


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by: Nowisthetime on
Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:09 pm

You wrote
" The JP might adjourn with no penalty, or might charge it to the Prosecutor... anyway, worth a try."

What do you mean by the JP might charge it to the prosecutor? Does that mean the charge might get dismissed because they failed to provide it in time? (this would be the best case scenario)

Worst case we get adjourned, is that correct?

In your experience whats the likelihood chances of the JP not granting the adjournment?

I guess I should add to the fact that the disclosure was only given 2 days before that it was incomplete in that it mentions the other drivers statement but doesn't include it.

Thanks,
Jason


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by: Nowisthetime on
Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Update on the trial:

Someone from another forum gave me this advice.

"If other driver doesnt show up the cop has no case. He did not witness the accident therefore he cannot be a witness. It depends on the other driver how much he values his time. If he decides to show up then adjurn the case to a later date, reason insufficient time to prepare a legal defense."

I wasn't sure though if it were true.

I went to trial today for the careless driving charge.

The cop did show up but as I expected the other driver didn't show.
When I met the prosecutor in the courtroom, he said to me:
"It's your lucky day. The other witness will not be showing up so have a seat and the charge will be withdrawn."

I didn't have to say anything.

I was also speaking to the officer who gave me the ticket. He said where there is one or more other witness who were at the accident, every witness has to show up. The officer alone is not sufficient. If even one of them doesn't show the court cannot proceed and the charge is withdrawn. He said if it would have only been me and the officer at the time of the charge (ex: in a speeding ticket), then if the officer shows up the trial will go on.

So if you and another witness are involved in an accident, always take it to trial and hope the other witness doesn't show.

Good information.
Cheers!
Jason


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