How to fight a careless driving ticket in Toronto?

Grimbeast
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How to fight a careless driving ticket in Toronto?

by: Grimbeast on
Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:34 am

So basically I got a ticket last year for careless driving because I rear ended another car a few meters away from a stop sign on a ramp, leading to mccowan road (mccowan/ consilium pl). The guy I rear ended basically slowed down suddenly after he passed the stop sign because he realized that he could not merge onto the road in time. I stopped at the stop sign and was merging onto the road (once the coast was clear) when I collided with the other car. The old guy pretended to be injured from the collision that happened at 10k/h and the cop told me he was forced to give me this ticket since he was claiming to be injured. He said if the guy wasn't pretending to be injured, he would have just sent us to the collision reporting center. He told me that I should fight the charge but I don't know how! :(

I would just like to add that I was of course deemed at fault for the collision since I hit him from behind but I'm not sure if I am deserving of a $480 and 6 demerit point penalty for a simple mistake. Like I said, I probably collided with the rear end of his car at 10km/h MAXIMUM and there was a small dent on his back bumper as a result. The cop was also very convinced that the guy was faking it for benefits.

I was just wondering whether there is any way I can get my charge reduced at all... or should I go the route of hiring someone at http://www.ontariotraffictickets.com/. I am a student at UofT and do not have a lot of expendable money and so I'd rather try to fight this myself if possible. I just don't want my insurance premium to increase.


Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:10 am

On top of the fine and demerit points, careless driving also tends to have some very serious implications with your insurance. Most providers classify any conviction as minor, major or serious. Careless is typically considered a serious offence and rate hikes of up to 100% are possible.

You'll want to select option 3 for a trial and dispute your charge. Request disclosure so that you get copy of the accident report (full version, not the one you were given at the scene), the officer's notes and any witness statements (probably at least one from the other driver). You'll be given the opportunity to have a first attendance meeting with the Crown prior to trial. These meetings are an opportunity to work out a resolution prior to trial. Quite often the Crown will offer up a less serious charge if you agree to plead guilty. Some possible alternatives would be follow to close or fail to turn out to avoid collision. While pleading guilty to any offence will obviously have insurance implications, it will be much less then careless.

If the Crown is unwilling to offer up a reduced charge, I'd then look at hiring a paralegal. The charge is pretty serious to take the gamble of trying to represent yourself at trial.




Grimbeast
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by: Grimbeast on
Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:18 pm

Stanton wrote:On top of the fine and demerit points, careless driving also tends to have some very serious implications with your insurance. Most providers classify any conviction as minor, major or serious. Careless is typically considered a serious offence and rate hikes of up to 100% are possible.

You'll want to select option 3 for a trial and dispute your charge. Request disclosure so that you get copy of the accident report (full version, not the one you were given at the scene), the officer's notes and any witness statements (probably at least one from the other driver). You'll be given the opportunity to have a first attendance meeting with the Crown prior to trial. These meetings are an opportunity to work out a resolution prior to trial. Quite often the Crown will offer up a less serious charge if you agree to plead guilty. Some possible alternatives would be follow to close or fail to turn out to avoid collision. While pleading guilty to any offence will obviously have insurance implications, it will be much less then careless.

If the Crown is unwilling to offer up a reduced charge, I'd then look at hiring a paralegal. The charge is pretty serious to take the gamble of trying to represent yourself at trial.
Thanks very much for your input. My trial is scheduled for the 31st of this month. Is it too late to request disclosure and do I need to go to the traffic office to do this? There is no option to have a meeting with the crown on the white notice that I received in the mail. Is this meeting held on the trial date itself? Thank you.


Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:03 pm

Grimbeast wrote: Thanks very much for your input. My trial is scheduled for the 31st of this month. Is it too late to request disclosure and do I need to go to the traffic office to do this? There is no option to have a meeting with the crown on the white notice that I received in the mail. Is this meeting held on the trial date itself? Thank you.
I don't know what the procedure is in Toronto, hopefully someone else can advise. It's not great that you've left it so late, but you can probably seek an adjournment if disclosure isn't provided in time. You really want to find out how to speak with the Crown to seek a resolution prior to trial.
diehard wrote:^^^ In that case, can the OP call the other driver as a witness?
The Crown will need to call the other driver as their main witness. Without them, the Crown would have no case. The investigating officer can only testify as to his observations and findings. He cannot testify as to what the driver told him as that would be hearsay. The OP would have the opportunity to cross examine the other driver after they give their testimony.


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