Court Date Tomorrow Need Advice...Suspended unpaid fine

Mossat
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Court Date Tomorrow Need Advice...Suspended unpaid fine

Unread post by Mossat on

Hi everyone,
Well I'll try to keep this short. My court date is tomorrow morning for driving while suspended and expired tag. I have paid the fine and got my licence back and renewed my plate since being pulled over. This all started over a speeding ticket. I made some payments and then got my licence suspended for not paying. I made arrangements to pay over a time period, and got my licence unsuspended. I made some payments again but missed some and got suspended again. The issue with me is money. I have a family of 4 and i'm the only one working and in debt to my eyeballs. I recently applied for a consumer proposal (one step below bankruptcy) for some debt relief and it went through in February. I would not normally drive suspended but I had to get to work. I work steady nights and to have my wife drive me and wake up 2 little boys for the ride is ridiculous. I know there is going to be a duty counsel tomorrow but I'm not sure what to do or say. I've seen some people here go in to court with everything taken care of like i did and get out with driving invalid. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

Duty Counsel is not available in Provincial Offences Court. You could contact legal aid, but I don't believe you're eligible for any type of subsidised representation with Provincial offences.

The fact that you're dealt with your suspension and expired validation works in your favour, but the Crown is still under no obligation to reduce the charge. You did commit the offences listed even if you did so with good intentions. The JP may be lenient when it comes to your fine, but they take driving while under suspension quite seriously. I'd meet with the Crown before trial, explain your situation and see if they offer you a plea to a lesser charge. If they don't, you could seek an adjournment to obtain legal representation or plead guilty and offer your explanation to the Court in hopes of reduced fines.


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

You could try to plea bargain to "Drive with No Licence," which carries a smaller fine and avoids the possibliity of the nasty "drive suspended" on your record... and also the possibility of going to jail. It will largely depend on the Prosecutor.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Unread post by Mossat on

Here's my update. I went to court arrived at 8:30 since my court time was 10. Duty counsel was present, and I went in to see him. He asked me why I was suspended and I told him for unpaid fine. He said what do you want to do and I said plead guilty for expired license instead of suspended. I also told him fine is up to date and my license was no longer in suspension and the my plates were renewed. He said he would talk to the prosecutor and to go back to the waiting room until I was called in. Finally around 10:30 I get called in and the duty counsel is waiting for me and says
" the crown does not have a file on you so he won't be able to do what you're proposing. We'll adjourn for another court date and you can call the prosecutor make an appointment to make a resolution. (pink slip)". So now my next court date is mar.25 and I have to meet the prosecutor before that. Now what do I do? Make an appointment and bring documentation showing the I'm in a consumer proposal so that it shows I can't afford a high priced ticket that will definitively increase my insurance premiums? I'm assuming he wants to look into my past before he will do what I'm proposing. So, how far back will he look? My last ticket was in 2005. I 'm not sure but 2004 I was suspended for unpaid fine and had driving with no insurance. Had the suspension amended to expired but still ended up with 1200 in fines for both. In the 2005 ticket I met with the prosecutor to discuss lowering and he just shafted me telling no way I had a bad record then. I wonder now in 2011 if this is going to be an issue?


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Unread post by Stanton on

What Court were you at? I have never heard of Duty Counsel being present for Provincial matters with the exception of family law.


Mossat
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Unread post by Mossat on

Elgin county in St.Thomas. What should I do? I sent in email to the trustee looking over my consumer proposal for a letter that I'm not financially stable, and that higher insurance premiums would cause more strain on my finances. I'm hoping to show this to the prosecutor so i can get him to plea down to expired license. This way it won't affect my premiums. This a long shot? or do i need some legal help to do this for me?


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Unread post by Mossat on

Well I've gone to see the prosecutor and it wasn't bad but it wasn't good. Since this is my second time he decided to drop it to no licence but wants $1000 fine. And since it's my 3rd plate expired he wants to bump it to 185. Can they do this? I thought they were both set fines. He says it's a good deal because it doesn't affect my insurance, i don't get any additional suspensions and no jail time. Any thoughts? Since I had duty counsel the first time I'm going to ask them again because I'm hearing impaired and don't want to screw this up. My court date is on friday and is this how it's going to play out? Or will the judge change the amount? or can the duty counsel ask for less?


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Unread post by Stanton on

Mossat wrote:he wants to bump it to 185. Can they do this? I thought they were both set fines.
Yes. Set fines are for regular (Part I) tickets. Since you've received a Part III Summons, the prosecutor can seek a different fine. By the same token you or your representation can ask for a reduced fine. The JP makes the ulimate decision as to the fine. I wouldn't count on much leniency though. The Crown will likely advise the J.P. that he offered you a plea to a less serious offence, and driving while suspended is seen as an intentional act.


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Unread post by Simon Borys on

Also, even if you are charged by way of a part 1 ticket, once the trial commences, the set fines no longer apply. Then the provincial maximum of $500 applies. Set fines on Part 1 tickets are for out of court settlements only.




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