It is hopeless to fight a ticket at Ontario Traffic court

pianoteacher
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined:

It is hopeless to fight a ticket at Ontario Traffic court

Unread post by pianoteacher on

Hi Guys! I've just had my trial day yesterday. I was not at fault but was convicted anyways.
It is such a travesty! There is no justice at the traffic court. It is just a no mercy machine to part someone with his money, no common sense applies and no reasonable argument being considered. Such a shame! The justice, the policeman and the prosecutor ganged up against me. The justice kept interrupting me through all cross-examination dismissing my questions and legitimate arguments. When I presented a photograph they said there is no a time stamp on it and it was not filed properly and it is not relevant because the policeman was not exactly at the spot from where the photograph was taken. The justice did not want to have a look at it and did not allow me to cross-exam the officer using the picture. Whatever the officer said is taken as a indisputable truth.
Here is an example of the argument:
Defendant: What was the speed of the police cruiser?
Policeman: 60 km/h
Defendant: How far from the intersection was the police cruiser when you spotted the defendant's vehicle?
Policeman: I was very close – around 30 meters from the intersection.
Defendant: For how long did you observed the defendant's vehicle before it turned right at the intersection?
Policeman: One to two seconds.
Defendant: Doesn't it put you right into the intersection?
Policeman: No, it does not.
Defendant: Do the laws of physics apply on the roads in Ontario?
Justice: Defendant! You are in the court, not at school! The officer has already told you he was not at the intersection! Do you have another line of questions?
And so on and on...
I would strongly suggest to anybody considering fighting his/her ticket in so called “court” - don't! If the officer appeared - except the prosecutor's deal. Otherwise you have no chance!


ynotp
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 548
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Posting Awards

Unread post by ynotp on

The reason you lost is simply because the testimony of the officer was more credible than any evidence you presented. If your testimony was as credible as the officers then by law you would have been found not guilty.

Most of the time at trial you will not win, and the reason likely has something to do with the fact that you did it or were ill-prepared and the witness testimony is strong enough to support a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. But this being said it is by no means a rare occurrence where the defendant creates enough reasonable doubt that the crown cannot prove their case.

Yes it is a hassle and the system may be stacked against you, but your best chance at a successful outcome is to be prepared and familiar with court procedure and etiquette, and case precedents.


pianoteacher
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined:

Unread post by pianoteacher on

ynotp wrote:The reason you lost is simply because the testimony of the officer was more credible than any evidence you presented. If your testimony was as credible as the officers then by law you would have been found not guilty.
Ideally, it should be true. But in real life when the JP plays on the side of the prosecution and has no inclination to listen to the defendant's testimony you have no chance. I don't know - maybe if I was a lawyer JP would have more respectful attitude towards what I have to say but in my case my credible arguments were immediately dismissed.
The fact is that officer's testimony in my case was not credible at all. But JP happily took it at the face value and did not allow me to challenge it. I brought the picture that clearly shows that because of the snow banks on the side of the road and lots of other obstacles including a car moving in the lane that obscures policeman's line of sight the policeman could not see what he was claiming he saw. The JP did not even have a look. He just stated that the police officer is trained to observe so he trust his 1 year old recollections more than the picture. JP clearly showed no interest to hear what I have to say. He stopped me when I tried to challenge officer based on math (distance = speed * time) - you are at the court not at school. He completely ignore what I said on the stand - and I said that I absolutely stopped at the stop line and after that proceeded with the right turn on red. You are alone against three of them ganged up together and one of them has to decide whether you are guilty or not. You have no chance!
Just before my case that was another case with a woman who was charged for allegedly not stopping at the stop sign (and stop line). JP kind of excepted that she actually stopped but a few feet before the stop line. Guess what? She was convicted anyways because the law as prosecutor insisted and JP excepted "requires to stop right at the stop line" - not a few feet before that! Such a shame!
It is all about money. Nothing but money. Justice and fairness are not welcome at this so called "court".


ynotp
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 548
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Posting Awards

Unread post by ynotp on

The JP is required to be fair and impartial. If you feel so strongly that he wasn't and you can prove it in the transcripts then I would file an appeal based on that. Appeals are heard by senior JPs who are more knowledgeable on such matters. Even if the system is corrupt for money as you claim you take comfort in the fact that your trial process likely cost 3 times whatever fine they are trying to collect from you.


pianoteacher
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined:

Unread post by pianoteacher on

No comfort here. My ticket is $325.00. I doubt the process costs 3 times that amount. Anyway, the gang was already paid. Now they are just collecting some money back. The funny thing is as a taxpayer I am paying for their services...


iFly55
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 561
Joined:

Posting Awards

Unread post by iFly55 on

Guidelines for submitting photographs: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic1765.html

You should just invest in a cheap HD dashcam instead; if mounted correctly... it will show that you made a complete stop behind the white stop line. If you presented that to the prosecutor, charges would immediately get withdrawn. With a decent setup, you could even show the officer by the side of the road that you did in fact stop correctly... and don't even bother with the ticket.


pianoteacher
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined:

Unread post by pianoteacher on

iFly55 wrote:Guidelines for submitting photographs: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic1765.html
You should just invest in a cheap HD dashcam instead; if mounted correctly... it will show that you made a complete stop behind the white stop line. If you presented that to the prosecutor, charges would immediately get withdrawn. With a decent setup, you could even show the officer by the side of the road that you did in fact stop correctly... and don't even bother with the ticket.
The dash camera might help though I am not sure how it can show that you actually stopped at the stop line. On another hand the JP can still reject to see the video the same way he rejected to have a look to my photograph which shows clearly that the officer could not see the stop line.


Halsy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 22
Joined:

Unread post by Halsy on

Hopeless? That's odd. In 20 years of fighting tickets I have yet to lose a trial. Yes, the cops and the crown are ganging up on you because court is an adversarial process. They're not there to be your friends and share some sympathy tea over how much stress this causes you. And while the Judge has to be impartial it doesn't mean he has to be nice. They get tired of people not understanding that a courtroom isn't law school. They're concerned with points of law that you either know or you don't. If you don't have the chops to handle it yourself than hire someone who does. Hell, talk to some law students. That or plead guilty with an explanation and get a reduced fine. If you really feel their behavior is out of line than file complaints with the Police Services Board and the Upper Canada Law Society and they'll investigate. Go take some law classes and spend some real time learning procedural rules and how to argue. There's a ton of things you can do but if you believe it's hopeless than it is. Hopeless for you, not everyone else. Plenty of posts from plenty of people on these forums prove it's far from hopeless.


Seiba
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined:

Unread post by Seiba on

^ Well said. The only time it's hopeless is when the crown has their witnesses and information put together properly, and you have to sit back and take the loss.

The crown and police are not there to be your friends. Crown wants to win, police don't want to look bad either. Unless it's something minor like fail to produce proof of insurance where they won't win if you show proof, they won't give up the possible conviction even if it's a reduced charge. The actual court clerks and staff are the impartial ones.

That being said, there have been times when the prosecutor won't cooperate, lies and bullies. For example, my red light ticket.

"Sent a 2nd disclosure request for the dash camera video. Do you have it ready?"
"We're not providing it. Sit down and wait to be called up."

Didn't bother arguing with the prosecutor. They've made their mind. You can't change it or get what you want that second anyway. Prosecutor didn't speak that way to the Justice though. I explained a timely disclosure request was made for video evidence, case law regarding video evidence requires that if it can significantly change the outcome of the trial, and crown withdrew the charge immediately.

On the other end of the spectrum is a prosecutor I encountered at Edward St. court for parking. Checked in, and he explained that if the officer is absent my charge will be withdrawn, and if the officer is present, if I'd be willing to accept a lesser fine of $10 for a guilty plea. I agreed and the officer was absent, charge withdrawn. He was one of the most polite and proper prosecutors I've met and have the utmost respect for his professionalism.

Just be very brief and articulate in your statements. Nobody there is interested in hearing a sob story or smartass remarks. You get treated much better when you show that you're knowledgeable and understand procedure.






Post Reply

Return to “Courts and Procedure”