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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Need help with careless driving charge
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:26 pm 
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2 weeks ago i rear-ended the car in front of me, when he slammed on his brakes due the to the person in front of them making a last minute right hand turn. The SUV i hit was an inch away from hitting the car in front of them (according to witnesses). We were travelling on a 80km/hr highway. I was going 80 prior to hitting the brakes, but on teh accident report it states i was going 80 at the time of the accident. I have filed not guilty on the the ticket, but I am somewhat unsure of what to do know? To go to trial, do i need a lawyer, should i take a plea of following too close?

Btw: there was very minimal damage to the the back end of the the SUV, and my cobalt has been written off :(

Also, for precautionary reasons i was taken to hospital in the ambulance at the scene of the accident and was never given an opportunity to explain my side of what had happened. The police officer showed up at the hospital with the ticket, saying he felt it was the most appropraite charge? is this normal to not be given an a chance for a statement?

Any advice would be extremely helpful! thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:28 pm 
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Some police services like to give you a Careless (major ticket) ticket under these circumstances, to force you into taking a Following too Closely (minor ticket) plea. For that, you have to show up in court, to the tune of some nice overtime pay in comfortable conditions for the constable.
Emergency room tickets are also becoming all too often as if the damage, insurance consequences and personal injuries aren't enough of a deterrent.
Your best bets are to schedule a court date and get disclosure. Once you know what the Crown has against you, you'll know how to deal with it. Check out the ticketcombat site. It gives you a great primer on the whole process.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:16 pm 
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You can plead down to the "following to close" offered by the Crown but not before verifying that the cop and his witness show up. You can ask for disclosure which will tell you if there is witness to your careless driving and the witness must show up for the charge to stick


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:36 pm 
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thanks guys appreciate the advice. but should i take the plea or try and fight it completely? should i wait to get the disclosure information before making that decision? also would getting a lawyer be a good idea considering i wont be able to afford insurance if i dont get rid of the careless charge?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:48 pm 
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Quote:
also would getting a lawyer be a good idea considering i wont be able to afford insurance if i dont get rid of the careless charge?


As Yoda says: "Lawyer you need if charges dismissed you want"

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http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:16 pm 
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Location: Guelph, Ontario
Careless Driving carries stiffer penalties, but is harder for the cop to prove. Get in touch with a paralegal (fill out the form at the bottom of the site) to get a free quote, the price you pay the piper will decrease your insurance premiums by several times the amount.
Follow too Closely is a smaller charge, and it is what you should have gotten. It is also harder to beat.

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"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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Follow to close is still 4 points
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Follow to closely is still 4 demerit points, You should always try to get the charge dropped completely. You can always go to court yourself, but if you do you miss any opportunity to have the charge dropped on a legal technicality or through a trial. That someone who knows the court system, or the strength or weaknesses of the officer.

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Chris Conway
Retired Toronto Traffic Officer, Hit & Run Squad Detective,
Breathalyzer Tech, Radar/Highway Patrol
Licenced Paralegal


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:22 pm 
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Location: Guelph, Ontario
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"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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