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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Careless Driving: help please....
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:30 pm 
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It happened 10 days ago in Norht-West Mississauga. I was driving in right line on two line road, speed about 40-45km/Hr, around 7pm. suddenly the car in front of me started slowing down, I slowed down as well, then checked left line in mirror, signaled and started moving left to pass, the same time another car (2 cars behind of me), also changed line for passing, but he accelerated much faster and I blocked the line for him.
The worst part is it was police SUV. He pulled me over and I got ticket for ‘Careless Driving’, $400.

My driving record: I am 42 years old, G Licensed, no accidents and one ticket from last year: improper use of HOV line.
Should I go to court? Any chance to have it reduced? Or just pay ticket immediately. I have 4 days left to make a dessission....
Thanks a lot got your advices!


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:44 pm 
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From your description Careless Driving sounds like an excessively high charge, I would fight it. At the very least you can probably plea bargain it down to a less serious charge such as "Change lane not in safety" which sounds like a more accurate description of what happened. Since Careless Driving is a pretty serous charge, it might be worth it to hire a paralegal to represent you, especially if you want to go to trial and try to beat the charge out right.


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:57 pm 
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daggx thanks a lot for the respond!
the officer was very upset and wanted to punish me. Unfortunately he is the only witness.
I read hundreds of posts here. But still need an advice: shoud I go for option 2: early resolution, or request trail?


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
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Location: Ontario
Request early resolution and see what they offer. If you don't like the deal, you can still go to trial.


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:46 pm 
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You said you looked . So the lights could not have been on.
I have seen cops do that a lot (no lights race forward)
If the cop was not in an emergency situation the cop was careless.

Explore how to charge them.(the cop was in the wrong if no light's flashing)

Might want to get disclosier first .

Cheers
Viper1

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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:27 am 
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I would pick option 3 and request a trial, this option gives you the most flexibility. If you decided later on that you don't want a trial after all you can always change your mind and make a deal with the prosecution for a lower charge or plead guilty. For now request a trial and then wait for your court date to come in the mail, once it does make a formal request for disclosure. Once you have disclosure you will be able to review all the evidence the prosecution is going to use against you at trial and then you can decide what you want to do from there.


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:06 pm 
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viper1 wrote:
You said you looked . So the lights could not have been on.
I have seen cops do that a lot (no lights race forward)
If the cop was not in an emergency situation the cop was careless.
Explore how to charge them.(the cop was in the wrong if no light's flashing)
Might want to get disclosier first .

Cheers
Viper1


thanks Viper1!
I checked before changing the line, there was no car in the left line. When I changed the line and saw headlights in my rear mirror - i was shocked!
that's why i think he was in the right line, few cars behind, or had no lights on.. I accelerate to give him more space, after about 10 seconds he turned on those red/blue/white emergency lights and i pulled overr.
'what did you do!, you blocked me the line! you could've killed me!' took my papers and after about 10-15 minutes came back with the ticket.
no other explanation...


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:09 pm 
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daggx wrote:
From your description Careless Driving sounds like an excessively high charge, I would fight it. At the very least you can probably plea bargain it down to a less serious charge such as "Change lane not in safety" which sounds like a more accurate description of what happened. Since Careless Driving is a pretty serous charge, it might be worth it to hire a paralegal to represent you, especially if you want to go to trial and try to beat the charge out right.


Thanks daggx!
should i hire a paralegal right now, or just for the trial?


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Sad wrote:
daggx wrote:
From your description Careless Driving sounds like an excessively high charge, I would fight it. At the very least you can probably plea bargain it down to a less serious charge such as "Change lane not in safety" which sounds like a more accurate description of what happened. Since Careless Driving is a pretty serous charge, it might be worth it to hire a paralegal to represent you, especially if you want to go to trial and try to beat the charge out right.


Thanks daggx!
should i hire a paralegal right now, or just for the trial?


If you're going to hire a paralegal, it would be as soon as possible. He will need to prepare, request, and review any documents related to the trial.


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Thanks dear all for the help!
I filed for the trial.
One more question: in my case should I go for paralegal or lawyer service?


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:52 pm 
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I'd probably go with a paralegal, they are cheaper then lawyers and for traffic matters are usually just as good. Check out a couple different firms and see which one you like the best.


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Let me get this straight.

You are travelling in the far right lane of a TWO LANE highway (two lanes in each direction each).

You changed lanes from the far RIGHT lane, into the LEFT lane (the passing lane).

Traffic happened to be traveling in this lane. As you changed into this lane, you nearly caused an accident by not yielding to the passing vehicles.

If I have the story straight, then the police officer is not at fault- you are. You nearly caused an accident by changing lanes into a lane without yielding.

The officer has no requirement to have his emergency lights and/or siren activated.

If I don't have the scenerio correct as I described, then let it be known... but if I do, you are at fault and the ticket appears to be correct for the situation (driving without due care or attention for other vehicles).

Regardless, you'll likely be given the oppourtunity to have this charge plea bargained to a lesser offence after speaking with a prosecutor.

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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:36 pm 
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tdottopcop wrote:
Traffic happened to be traveling in this lane. As you changed into this lane, you nearly caused an accident by not yielding to the passing vehicles.

If I have the story straight, then the police officer is not at fault- you are. You nearly caused an accident by changing lanes into a lane without yielding.


I believe the original poster stated the officer was traveling behind and they switched lanes at the same time.

If I had to guess what happened in this whole situation based on my own driving experience, I would say the driver charged probably isn't very confident in their lane changing. In the moment since checking for other vehicles, there was an officer behind who had already quickly assessed the situation and was able to switch lanes before having to slow down to the slower traffic in front. The driver in front, not realizing how quickly traffic behind will change lanes in order to not have to be impeded, pulled out without maintaining speed and caused a near accident.

I was not there, but to be honest, I don't find the original story here too convincing. I'm not the judge though, so my opinion doesn't matter in the end.


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:34 pm 
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tdottopcop wrote:
Let me get this straight.
You are travelling in the far right lane of a TWO LANE highway (two lanes in each direction each).
You changed lanes from the far RIGHT lane, into the LEFT lane (the passing lane).
Traffic happened to be traveling in this lane. As you changed into this lane, you nearly caused an accident by not yielding to the passing vehicles.
If I have the story straight, then the police officer is not at fault- you are. You nearly caused an accident by changing lanes into a lane without yielding.
The officer has no requirement to have his emergency lights and/or siren activated.
If I don't have the scenerio correct as I described, then let it be known... but if I do, you are at fault and the ticket appears to be correct for the situation (driving without due care or attention for other vehicles).
Regardless, you'll likely be given the oppourtunity to have this charge plea bargained to a lesser offence after speaking with a prosecutor.


Thanks [tdottopcop], your description is correct and I do not say the police officer is at fault. I changed the line and nearly caused an accident.
My question iss: do I have any chance to have this ‘careless driving’ charge reduced to lesser one, for example 'Change lane not in safety' and asking advice how to act: go to trial or request early resolution...


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Re: Careless Driving: help please....
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
Sad wrote:
My question iss: do I have any chance to have this ‘careless driving’ charge reduced to lesser one, for example 'Change lane not in safety' and asking advice how to act: go to trial or request early resolution...


If there's no accident and nobody was hurt, I'd say it's pretty much a certainty you'll be offered a plea deal.

If you’re content pleading down the charge to something less serious (i.e. change lane not in safety), I’d skip hiring a paralegal for now. Attend a resolution meeting and see what the Crown is willing to offer.

I’d only spend money on a paralegal if you want to fight the charge outright or don't get offered a plea deal for some reason.


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