Summons to Witness

dg21208
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Summons to Witness

by: dg21208 on
Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:46 pm

I was hit while driving. It was the other guy's fault and he was charged with careless driving.

I have just received a "summons to witness". The summons threatens all sorts of dire consequences if I don't show up to court.

The problem is that I don't want to show up to court. Besides being difficult for me, the other driver is an acquaintance, and I would rather not see him get into trouble. His car was wrecked, he paid to fix my car, and I think he learned his lesson. I understand that if I don't show up, he gets off the hook.

Does anyone know what happens to me if I just don't show up, or does anyone have any suggestions on how to get out of this?

Thanks.


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by: Radar Identified on
Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:26 pm

dg21208 wrote:Does anyone know what happens to me if I just don't show up, or does anyone have any suggestions on how to get out of this?
If you don't show up, a warrant could be issued for your arrest. You could go to jail.

As for "getting out of it," I really don't think that is an option. You could talk to a lawyer about it, but I strongly suggest you go to court. If they find out that you deliberately did not appear because the defendant was an acquaintance... well... again, I'd suggest just going.
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viper1
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by: viper1 on
Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:56 pm

dg21208 wrote:I was hit while driving. It was the other guy's fault and he was charged with careless driving.

I have just received a "summons to witness". The summons threatens all sorts of dire consequences if I don't show up to court.

The problem is that I don't want to show up to court. Besides being difficult for me, the other driver is an acquaintance, and I would rather not see him get into trouble. His car was wrecked, he paid to fix my car, and I think he learned his lesson. I understand that if I don't show up, he gets off the hook.

Does anyone know what happens to me if I just don't show up, or does anyone have any suggestions on how to get out of this?

Thanks.
If you lie in court in Canada "there are no repercussions to you".
ie: you show up ,take the stand and remember nothing (for every question). What help is that
to the Crown?

However you should show up.

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use at your own risk"


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by: hwybear on
Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:54 pm

viper1 wrote: If you lie in court in Canada "there are no repercussions to you".
ie: you show up ,take the stand and remember nothing (for every question). What help is that
to the Crown?

However you should show up.

Cheers
Viper1
Simon with your studies, does any of the below apply??
Perjury
131. Every one commits perjury who, with intent to mislead, makes before a person who is authorized by law to permit it to be made before him a false statement under oath or solemn affirmation, by affidavit, solemn declaration or deposition or orally, knowing that the statement is false
OR
Witness giving contradictory evidence
136. (1) Every one who, being a witness in a judicial proceeding, gives evidence with respect to any matter of fact or knowledge and who subsequently, in a judicial proceeding, gives evidence that is contrary to his previous evidence is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years
OR
Fabricating evidence
137. Every one who, with intent to mislead, fabricates anything with intent that it shall be used as evidence in a judicial proceeding, existing or proposed, by any means other than perjury or incitement to perjury is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Simon Borys
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by: Simon Borys on
Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:42 pm

I think it depends on how the trial plays out. Here we have a situation where a person has evidence and, for a number of reasons, doesn't want to attend court and give it. As stated above, he is compelled to attend court, under threat of warrant.

A charge of fabricating evidence would be applicable to a situation where a person didn't have evidence but gave testimony anyway in order to obtain a conviction. That's not the case here.

A charge of contradictory evidence only applies where a person gives one version of events at on trial and then a different version of events at a second trial. Here we just have 1 trial so that's not applicable.

Perjury would apply in this situation if the person attended court and "with intent to mislead" (i.e. obtain an acquittal of his friend), gave a false statement (which he knew to be false) under oath. So if he shows up and says, "He wasn't driving." when he knows he was, he's guilty of perjury. He's equally guilty of perjury if he shows up and says, "I don't remember", when, in fact, he does remember. BUT, the crown has to prove that (a) that the statement was false and (b) that the person giving it knew it was false. This is difficult to do because it all goes on in the accused's mind. Especially (b). Furthermore, s. 133 says that the evidence of 1 other person as to the perjury is NOT sufficient evidence to convict unless it's backed up by some other evidence. So the accused would have to tell 2 or more people that he lied and they'd have to give evidence against him or the Crown would have to have some other incontrovertible proof of the lie. Very difficult to do. Often for perjury, the evidence comes from the accused himself in a confession.

So, while one could show up to court and claim to not remember anything and probably get away with it (which I'm not advocating by the way), they would still be guilty of perjury. The other option is to simply refuse to answer any questions. Of course then you can be charged with contempt under s. 545 of the Criminal Code and sent to prison for up to 8 days while proceedings are adjourned for you think about it.

The bottom line is that our justice system holds that if you have information that can assist the court in determining the guilt or innocence of an accused, you have an obligation to participate in the process.
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by: viper1 on
Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:25 pm

I stand corrected.

It is, most likely' only the accused that can do that.

I cannot find the case law (2 hours of looking).

Cheers
Viper1
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use at your own risk"


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by: Radar Identified on
Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:58 pm

I would also think that deliberately not showing up for court when you are an acquaintance with the accused could result in charges of Obstruction Of Justice (CCC s. 139).
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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