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Charged for Careless Driving.. (REALLY?)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:48 pm 
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I received a ticket today for 'Careless Driving'. I was on the 404 southbound just south of Finch Avenue. This was at 8:47am so it was rush hour. I was on the right-most lane and i was very close to a merging lane coming to my right which would eventually turn into an exit ramp to Sheppard Avenue East which I needed to go into anyways.

The lane I was on was extremely slow because of traffic, and i was late for work. I looked to my right, checked the mirrors about 4 times towards incoming traffic and decided to cross the solid white line on my right to get on the merging lane. As i moved onto the merging lane (was totally empty, no cars coming at all), I felt I went over a little bump dividing my lane and the merging lane which I didn't see because it was mostly covered by snow (with few tire tracks on it suggesting other vehicles did the same). 50 meters ahead I was pulled over by an OPP officer.

According to the definition of 'careless driving' I don't believe I should be charged with such thing as I don't consider I was careless, I was aware of every single one of my actions and I knew i wasn't putting anyone at risk by doing so. I checked several times to make sure no vehicles were coming to merge in.

Is there anything I can do to have the charge changed to something else? Maybe if I enter a plea of guilt? Is there a way to get this charge dropped or at least turn it into a "Improper driving when road is divided into lanes"?

Putting me in the same category as stunt driving and racing is ridiculous.

I believe the OPP Officer was taking advantage, as soon as he saw my license he went 'Oh.. G2..', with that tone like 'I'll teach you a lesson'

Thanks..


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Re: Charged for Careless Driving.. (REALLY?)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:52 pm 
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When charged with careless (especially if it's not a severe case), there are almost always alternative charges which you can plea to. It's hard to say which one. Depends largely on what the prosecutor is willing to offer.

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Re: Charged for Careless Driving.. (REALLY?)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:58 pm 
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In order to have a chance of a plea-bargain you're going to have to request a date for trial, that is option 3 on the ticket (plead not guilty).

When the day comes you may get your charge reduced by the prosecutor, as per Simon's post above.

That's your only chance.

If you plead guilty (options 1 or 2), then you will be convicted of careless driving. Your insurance company will not like that.


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Re: Charged for Careless Driving.. (REALLY?)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:45 pm 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
diehard wrote:
Your insurance company will not like that.

Don't you me the driver will not like it......and the insurance company will :wink:

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Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Re: Charged for Careless Driving.. (REALLY?)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:35 pm 
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I'm not really sure careless driving applies here, but if I were in your situation, I'd consult a paralegal. Our website sponsor, DC Paralegal Services, is a good place to start. You can fill out the form at the bottom of the page for a free no-obligation quote, or call them at 1-888-668-9267. They will get the full story from you, file for a trial, and get the full disclosure package. Careless driving has a lot of case law behind it, so they should be able to find something that is relevant to your charge.

Based on your description, if the case is put together correctly, you should be able to beat it. Worst-case scenario, they'd likely look for a charge such as failure to drive in a marked lane, or unauthorized use of the shoulder.

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