Appealing a conviction for a traffic offence where the ticket was not signed.

GregMiddleton
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Appealing a conviction for a traffic offence where the ticket was not signed.

by: GregMiddleton on
Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:13 pm

Well I need to get glasses. I misunderstood the instructions on a traffic ticket (hand held device) I received thinking if I did not respond I would be sent a court date. I haven 't received a ticket in over a decade despite driving 25,000 km's per year so I am not too familiar with what to do to know any better.

So instead of a court date, I received a conviction notice.

The ticket I was given was not signed. I always planned to fight it because I understand that to be a fatal error. Can I appeal this conviction? Any thoughts on how I should proceed now would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance. Greg.


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Decatur
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by: Decatur on
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:45 pm

It depends. First, if it was an electronic ticket, they aren’t signed. Second, if it isn’t, your ticket is actually a copy and the Justice of the Peace would have no idea whether your copy was signed or not. Obviously the original was, because you were convicted. R. v Wadood now allows for officers to also fix minor mistakes made on a ticket after it’s served but before being filed. You may have an uphill battle on an appeal. You could also try to have the case reopened, instead of an appeal. There are time lines for both of these processes though.


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by: GregMiddleton on
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:38 am

Thank you for this reply. It was a handwritten ticket which looked like a carbon copy if that makes a difference.
Is there any way I can determine what was supplied to the court. My understanding is that while minor errors can be fixed, a missing signature on this document is a fatal error.
Added to which I wasn't even talking or texting on my phone. I simply picked it up to look at who was calling me as I was expecting an important call.
What if I was convicted on a ticket where the affidavit supplied to the court wasn't signed because someone wasn't paying attention.
Thank you again and cheers, Greg.


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Decatur
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by: Decatur on
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:02 pm

Picking up or just holding the device is enough for a conviction in a Ontario. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t talking or texting.
The only way you’re going to find out if the original was signed is to apply to have the case reopened, have that motion granted and obtain a copy of it as part of disclosure.


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by: GregMiddleton on
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:20 am

I applied to have it re-opened. While at the court house we checked the copy that was sent to them. It was signed. Looked like it was done with a different pen. Didn't look anything like the printing on the ticket.
So if I understand you correctly you can't even look at your phone to see who is calling? What difference is that from eating a donut or reaching for a coffee?
I will find out in a week if they decide to re-open the case. Thanks for your input and cheers,


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by: bend on
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:14 am

GregMiddleton wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:20 am
So if I understand you correctly you can't even look at your phone to see who is calling?
You can, you just have to have your phone mounted. There's also an exemption for pressing a button so you can make, answer, or end a call as long as it's hands free.

The problem is your phone wasn't mounted. One of the elements of the distracted driving law is whether or not you were holding your phone.

That's where you have an issue.
GregMiddleton wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:20 am
What difference is that from eating a donut or reaching for a coffee?
People generally don't stare into their donuts or coffee.

If your eating influences your driving, you can be charged with careless driving.


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by: Zatota on
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:10 am

In theory, checking a phone is no different from eating a donut or drinking a coffee or from a water bottle. They're all distracting. The display in my car shows me who's calling, so I don't have to peek at my phone, but it's often tempting to do so. In practice, the difference is that the specific prohibition on using a device is written into the HTA while distraction caused by other activities is not. I've seen numerous drivers weave and swerve while eating, drinking, talking to passengers, reaching for things, etc. I've sometimes been tempted to honk at them to "wake them up," but I'm afraid that would startle them and they'd overcompensate, causing a crash.

As Bend said, distracted driving is distracted driving.


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