Circumstances are as follows:
Me and a motorist were travelling on an in-city highway approx 70 km/h when suddenly the traffic stopped. I was paying attention and there was no warning. She slammed on the brakes, managed to avoid the car in front of her, but I clipped her back right bumper at approx 5 km/h. There was no damage to my car, her bumped didnt even crack but it did lift out of place. I estimate I was following 2-3 seconds behind her prior to the hard braking.
We exchanged information and left the scene. I was called later on from the collision reporting center and they told me I had to come with my vehicle. I didn't make a statement at the collision reporting center, but I did confirm I was in a collision and the location along with some minor details.
After a little while, the officer handed me a careless driving charge saying it was based on the other person's statement and the damage to their car. I am definitely fighting this charge based on my understanding of HTA s130.
What I don't know is whether to go it alone or use a para-legal. I am fairly confident I can get a reduction (clean abstract) but I do not want that, I was a dismissal.
I haven't yet contested the charges and do not have the disclosure yet. Is there any tips/advice you all can provide? I consulted with xcopper who said they would represent me for $500 flat. Although this is a pittance compared to the insurance spike of a careless charge, if all they do is plea down, then I feel like I've wasted my money.
Do you guys think a prosecutor would accept a plea of failing to turn to avoid a collision? 148(5)....I think I might be okay with that one.
Thanks for your input
I think it's very likely you'd be offered a plea deal to a lesser offence, especially for a minor accident.
Careless driving is a difficult charge to prove, but I wouldn't say it's impossible based on what you've said. It's a tough call since the insurance penalties are so severe if you were convicted. I probably would go the paralegal route if you do decide to fight it outright though.
Is Xcopper a fairly decent para-legal to work with in that case?
Hire a Paralegal if you want a dismissal. Just give your instructs that you don't want a deal, you want off the charge. This is always a risk however, court is always a gamble....
Paralegals are a very good resource, better than lawyers when it comes to most Provincial Offences as it's all they do. If you want off the charge you need someone experienced in trials. If you do it alone you'll get slaughtered against a good prosecutor. Do some research thought, there is a lot of shady representatives out there. Make sure they are licensed and in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada.
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