suspended due to unpaid fine - court date in a few days

generik99
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suspended due to unpaid fine - court date in a few days

by: generik99 on
Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:24 pm

Hi, I've got a court date coming up in a couple days in Toronto, and wondered if anyone had advice...

Back in early May I was stopped for having a dirty license plate (I work out in the country). I was informed that my license was under suspension since Feb due to an unpaid fine ($85 -- driving with an expired tag, about a week after my birthday). The officer seemed worked up about the whole thing, giving me a hard time (it was 7:30am on a Saturday -- didn't have breakfast?).. he claimed I could stay where I was stopped in TO for 3 hours, then called a tow truck immediately (luckly I was able to get somebody else over to drive).

Problem is, I never got the notice of suspension prior to being stopped (I was surprised to find out something like that doesn't come as registered mail), but now I've got a summons for both the dirty plate and driving under suspension (two separate tickets). After that weekend I paid the original ticket first thing Monday morning, then paid to have my license reinstated the earliest as humanly possible (Friday).

I'm self employed doing on-site computer service so having the mandatory 6-month suspension will put me out of business and out of work (not to mention on the street, as I'm living pay cheque to pay cheque). My last ticket prior to the expired tag was in 2004 and I've never been involved in an accident.

I've had problems trying to get in touch with the right people in TO, and I'm thinking my time has elapsed to settle the matter out of court (I live in Kitchener). Do I have any choices, or should I just accept the inevitable and start packing things up here?

Thanks!
Ben


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by: Stanton on
Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:17 am

If this is the first time your matter has been scheduled for Court, it will only be to advise the Courts how you wish to plea and set a date for trial if needed. Nothing has to be finalised on your first appearance. Not sure about Toronto, but quite often you'll have a chance to speak with the Crown on your first attendance date. I'd confirm this with the Toronto Crown's office because you NEED to have a first attendance meeting and hopefully work out a deal.

I've heard of the occasional plea being offered to the reduced charge of "drive motor vehicle - no licence" which normally carries a $325 fine, no additional suspension and much less serious insurance implications. Be sure to bring proof that you took care of your licence right away and explain the circumstances. The fact that you only had the one outstanding fine and it wasn't a moving violation will hopefully help. If they're not willing to offer a plea, you may want to consult with a paralegal. While they can be expensive, it sounds like the costs of a conviction would even be worse.


generik99
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by: generik99 on
Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:22 pm

Hey thanks for the info. I wasn't sure if I was going to get a meeting beforehand since the ticket marks the courtroom I'm supposed to be in -- I figured I had missed it at this point. I think I'd rather just take the plea and whatever minor insurance hit it entails then risk the longer-term suspension... hopefully they'll be open to that.






The Stig
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by: The Stig on
Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:44 am

Simon Borys wrote:
generik99 wrote:the mandatory 6-month suspension will put me out of business and out of work
What mandatory 6-month suspension?
HTA Section 53
Licence suspended

(3) The driver’s licence of a person who is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) or (1.1) is thereupon suspended for a period of six months in addition to any other period for which the licence is suspended, and consecutively thereto. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 53 (3); 1998, c. 5, s. 25 (2).




Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:06 am

You want to try and work out a deal prior to entering a plea. Pleading guilty to the JP with an explanation is only recommended if you're seeking a reduced fine. JP's cannot change your plea to a less serious charge nor do they have any control over demerit points or any suspensions that the Ministry may apply on conviction.




generik99
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by: generik99 on
Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:05 pm

Hey, I had posted here a month ago about my DWS charge and got some great advice. Back again to check on plea bargains :)

To recap, I went to court last month and got my disclosure. Fairly certain I'll get convicted as I can't prove I didn't know about the suspension. Anyhow, the disclosure says 'Take Plea' so I'm assuming the prosecutor is open to one.

My 2nd day in court is in a couple days, how do I approach the prosecutor beforehand to discuss the plea? I'm due in court at 1:30pm. Do I go in the morning and see if I can track them down in the hall? I didn't see anything in the disclosure about contacting them ahead of time.

Thanks!
Ben






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