Hello everyone. Almost two weeks ago I was involved in a rear end collision where I struck the right edge of an SUV. I was driving about 75 on the highway when the driver in front of me stopped abruptly (leaving at least thee car lengths from the next car). I slammed on my breaks and tried to move onto the shoulder, but I hit the far right side of their SUV bumper with the far left side of my vans front. The damages totaled my vehicle (2001 Honda Odessy) and did anywhere between 1000 - 2000 dollars of damage to their car. The officer charged me with Careless Driving, which I have chosen to contest.
The problem is, my parents, the primary insurance owners don't want to seek any legal advice. They are convinced that since the accident occurred on a sunny day in the afternoon with no adverse conditions that legal aid is a useless endeavor because I don't have anything that I can argue. They just want me to show up to the meetings without representation and hope they offer me a deal.
However, pretty much everyone else I have talked to has told me that I need this legal help for the sake of legal help. However, I need to know if there's anything defense wise or strategies that the legal help can do, because I want to try to argue my parents on the point that this legal help is worth it.
Also, I know that you guys probobly can't pinpoint prices but do you have any idea what kind of ballpark figure I should be looking at spending on an aide?
Thanks so much,
Respectfully, your parents are not choosing a wise course of action.
Now, the most likely outcome in your case would be a big fine and 6 demerit points... which would lead to a HUGE insurance increase (double), or your coverage would be terminated. Do they understand that? It is unlikely anything else would occur, given your situation. However, if you wanted to spur them into following your advice, you could mention that you might be facing a lengthy licence suspension and up to 6 months in jail. (Just to reassure you, it will almost certainly not happen in your case, but those are possible outcomes with careless driving in more serious cases.)
You're probably looking at a plea-bargain to a lesser offence, such as Follow Too Closely or Fail to Turn to Avoid Collision. Either one of those is MUCH better than a Careless Driving conviction!! I've been on this forum for quite some time and I would NEVER go to court to contest Careless Driving without a professional paralegal or lawyer who deals with traffic offences. If the Prosecutor is hard-core or having a bad day, he/she might not take any pleas and go right to trial with it. Your legal representative may also find holes in the Prosecutor's case and be able to either force a withdrawal, or win at trial... although that is less likely than a plea-bargain.
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca
Careless driving is one of the most complicated traffic offences to fight. Successful defence of the charge often hinges on the legal meaning and nuances of the terms "without due care and attention" and "without reasonable consideration" found in s. 130. There is plenty of case law on this topic and some it dates back to the 60's. I would not suggest trying to master it by yourself.
Also, with respect to your parents concern about there being no defence because it happened on a sunny afternoon with no adverse conditions, that is not determinative of whether the charge can successfully be defended or not. As I said, a defence can be putting the crown to the burden of proof with respect to the elements of the offence I described above, and that can be done regardless of what the weather was.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
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