First Accident - Careless Driving Charge

1070473
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First Accident - Careless Driving Charge

by: 1070473 on
Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:49 am

I just got into my first accident yesterday and was looking for some input on it. Glad I was able to find this forum.

I was travelling north on a main road and entered the left turn lane. I was trying to enter a plaza on the northwest corner of the intersection. The entrance of the plaza is only about 3-5 metres west of the intersection.
I had an advance green and was the first car to go. The southbound right turns has a yield sign. I turn into the middle lane (3 lane street) and had to quickly change lanes into the right lane to get into the plaza entrance.
I checked my blind spot and it looked safe to change so made the change. Next thing I know, I was clipped in the passenger side corner and did a 180. My 09 Lancer has damage to the rear bumper and the passenger side's rear panel.
The other car involved (late 90s or early 00s Civic hatch) had his front bumper fall off. I checked if he was okay. He said he was but was steaming mad about his car.
As I went to get my insurance, he started lying on the ground and saying his back hurts. The tow truck drivers on scene and police officer felt he was trying to milk the insurance.

The officer said he had to charge me with a careless driving charge which came with a $490 fine and 6 demerit points. He told me that if I was to do an early resolution or take it to trail, I would likely get it reduced to improper lane change which is 3 demerit points (not sure about the fine but that's the least of my worries).

I know that the odds of getting this reduced is high. Is there any point in trying to fight this ticket? What are the odds I can get the whole thing dropped or reduced to just a fine?


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by: bend on
Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:44 pm

Careless Driving is a serious offense and you'd probably be better off considering any reduced charge in order to just avoid it. Demerit points are useless. Worry less about the points and more about avoiding a careless driving charge.

As for fighting the ticket, you turned into the middle lane (already illegal) to immediately move over to the right lane. If you think you can avoid this ticket by explaining you're not at fault, i'd highly doubt that. It doesn't mean you can't plead not guilty, just that you'd have to go down another path if you think you can make this disappear.


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by: 287 on
Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:11 pm

Hello.

I would not plea guilty to the ticket and mail them a cheque at this point. I agree that your chances of having the ticket reduced is very high. This can be done at an early resolution meeting or on the date of a trial, before the trial begins. I recently attended a few days in provincial court in Caledon, and every ticket brought before the prosecutor that there was a lesser charge for was offered a lesser charge, most people just had to say who they were when approaching the prosecutor and an offer was made. Only tickets for handheld devises were not being offered a lesser charge.

They do take careless seriously and the prosecutors we dealt with (2 on 2 occasions) were both concerned if there had been an accident (yes in our case), how sever the damage was (minimal in our case) and if anyone was hurt in the accident (no in our case). They seemed to take these 3 things into consideration when making an offer.

To have the charge withdrawn or dropped, you need to proceed with trial. I highly recommend obtaining the disclosure, (you can request it while you wait for your trial or early resolution meeting), and then consulting with a lawyer or paralegal on the chances of being acquitted if you go to trial. Then you can make an informed decision about what you want to do.


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by: 1070473 on
Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:04 am

Thanks for the advice. I ended up fighting the ticket (well, hiring a paralegal to fight it) and actually got it dropped completely today.
I did not go to the courthouse because the paralegal said she didn't want the witness IDing me. She called me a couple of hours after and told me the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.
Perhaps the witness was a no show?

I guess it shows that tickets are always worth fighting.


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