Witness Statement , No Witness at Trial.

avergejoe
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined:

Witness Statement , No Witness at Trial.

Unread post by avergejoe on

Been charged with Careless Driving in a residential area.
1. The Officer has a Witness statement. If the Witness does not appear at Trail, can that statement be introduced at Trial by the Crown and used against me.?
2. The Address "Number" (the Street is correct) on the infraction does not remotely exist, is an empty field. Does this matter?

Thank you.


jsherk
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 1722
Joined:

Unread post by jsherk on

Address number being wrong does not matter.

They can NOT introduce the witness statement without the witness being there. They might try, and some JP might allow it if you do not object. You simply need to object to it and say "I object because the witness is not here and I can not cross examine them."

If witness is not there and they try to adjourn (set another trial date) to another court date, you should object as well and say "I object to an adjournment. This is the day scheduled for my trial and I took time off work to be here and if there witness was not going to be here they could have informed me ahead of time. I motion for you to drop the charges because they have no witness."
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


avergejoe
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined:

Unread post by avergejoe on

thank you kindly jsherk


jsherk
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 1722
Joined:

Unread post by jsherk on

If the witness DOES show up, you might find it beneficial to have somebody else (who knows what they are doing) represent you. I highly recommend you check this thread http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7032.html and specifically the very first link in the very first post which will explain why.

Since the officer did not witness the event, he can not testify that you were the driver. They may put him on the stand and he may testify that the other witness told him that XYZ was driving and that he talked to XYZ and got the drivers license from XYZ. But a good cross-examination question that would bring reasonable doubt to this testimony is "Officer, did you see XYZ driving carelessly?" The answer should be NO.

Now the witness themselves will get on the stand, but if you are not there, how will the witness identify you? So regardless of what the witness says, a good cross examination question that would bring reasonable doubt to the witness testimony is "Can you identify XYZ in the courtroom today?" Answer is NO since you are not there.

In closing arguments you say "The officer gave no evidence that XYZ was driving carelessly as he did not witness the event. The witness could not identify that XYZ was the driver. Therefore the charge should be dropped because there is reasonable doubt as to whether XYZ actually drove carelessly".

And remember in all this you NEVER have to admit to anything, meaning you do NOT have to take the witness stand and do NOT have to testify and do NOT have to ever admit whether you did anything wrong or not. If you DO take the stand and testify then you will most likely get yourself in trouble, so sticking to finding reasonable doubt in everybody else's testimony is the better option. Read this as well:
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7039.html
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


avergejoe
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined:

Unread post by avergejoe on

from your last reply above, re: "Now the witness themselves will get on the stand, but if you are not there, how will the witness identify you?"
Question: So "I" do not have to show up for my own Trial for the Careless charge? just my representative does?

Updated. I am under 25, male. The Crown has recently offered me down from Careless charge to 148.5 fail to turn left to avoid collision. 2 points $110.00.
Question. If I do not accept this and I go to Trial, is this trial for guilty or not guilty for the Careless charge only? they can't make it into 148.5 or anything else?

thank you for your help.


Stanton
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 2111
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Unread post by Stanton on

Your trial will be for the actual offence you were charged with. If you’re found guilty it will be for careless driving, not the lesser offence offered in the plea deal.

While you’re not required to be present at trial if you have representation, the identity issue suggest by Jsherk is unlikely to be of any benefit to you. Courts frequently rely on police testimony for identification of the accused. The other driver will not know you by name and may not even be able to identify you in Court even if you were present. Typically the Crown will walk the officer through their testimony regarding identification of the driver. Common questions will be who identified the driver (other motorist, self-admission), how the person’s identity was confirmed (typically by way of photo licence) and ask if the officer was satisfied regarding the identification (answer should be yes). The other motorist can provide the testimony regarding the accused’s driving and the police officer will complete the case by providing the identification and any other supporting evidence.

Weigh the Crown’s case and your chances of winning carefully before you go to trial. A careless conviction is crippling in terms of insurance and not something you want to take a gamble on.


jsherk
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 1722
Joined:

Unread post by jsherk on

Correct... you do not have to be at your trial, only your representative.

If you do not accept the offer then yes it is for guilty/not guilty of original charge of careless. They will not lower the charge if you take it to trial.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


jsherk
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 1722
Joined:

Unread post by jsherk on

Again my suggestions are only my opinions and they may not be something a novice in court can use to their advantage.

So it would definitely be worthwhile considering the plea offer.




+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


Post Reply

Return to “Careless Driving”