I've got a speeding ticket (82km/h @ 60 zone) back in February 26th 2012 and got the notice of trial in August. I have since faxed three separate disclosure requests (without leaving telephone number) with no response. I had my first hearing today at Toronto East. Here's what happened.
The cop was at the room. When I checked in with the prosecutor, he tried to intimidating me by saying I have a "massive speeding charge" (!) and I was "playing nasty" by not leaving a telephone number on the disclosure request. He had the photocopy of the ticket and officier's note ready for me as disclosure and told me I had 15 minutes to review it and prepare for the trial. I told him that it's not acceptable since I would not have the ability to full answer and defence to the charge, and that I'm not obliged to provide my telephone number as long as I left a way for him to reach me (my mailing address). He said "Yes you are. Then why did you even leave your fax number (pointing the header callerID of his copy of the request, which is my company's fax number)" which made no sense to me. Then he threatened if I didn't take the it he would mark it as a refusal of disclosure. I replied I could take it now but I would complain the matter to the justice. He marked down the date and time as I took it.
When it was my turn for defence, I motioned for an adjournment and requested the delay be attributed to the Crown. The prosecutor argued that I didn't provide telephone number so he couldn't reach me even the disclosure was available since early December. I then argued that I have provided my full mailing address in all the requests and an effective channel of communication had been established. He pushed further and said that I need to provide a telephone number in my requests and insisted the trial to proceed. After I replied that there's no law pertaining the requirement of phone number in disclosure requests, and that if he really needed my telephone number, he could have written to me and asked for it. The JP chimed in, and to my surprise, asking me if there's any case law stating that without a telephone number is OK (What? I just said I have not known of any, how can you proof the absence of something? Isn't it the burden of the Crown to proof otherwise?!!), and said that it would cost tax-payers money (!) for the prosecutor to mail me asking for my phone number. The delay was attributed partially to me as the prosecuted later requested.
I was only given 7 days (Jan 24th) for the adjournment, which the prosecutor mocked that he ensured the defendant a speedy trial. When the JP asked me if I'm OK with the date, I replied I may need more time because not everything I requested was in the disclosure and I would need a follow-up request. Even before I have finished my sentence, she shouted "What?!" and go on saying a speeding charge is a straight-forward charge and 7 days is more than enough, and that "I looked like an highly-educated and smart guy"
. When I finally had my chance to finish my sentence, the prosecutor offered to have the officer explaining his notes, and providing a copy of the testing chapter of the lidar.
Sorry for the long intro. Here's the officier's note and his explanation:
- Sunday mX (male driver with no passengers)
- U/81 (uniformed, on cruiser XX81)
- Stat. enf. WS traffic (stationary enforcement/facing west-bound traffic)
- posted 60 zone
- UL LRB L71 2020 UX021171 (lidar model and serial number)
- tested. Q (Tested. Qualified. When I asked him about the time, he said he didn't write it down and suggested I may use this to quash the ticket)
- a silver car leading L2 (lane 2)
- 82km @ 153.1m
- S/L pulling O/F driveway of 3190 (Cruiser at single lane pulling out of driveway of 3190 Steeles Ave E)
- silver car slowed down right away, v.s.
- v.s. [3 check marks] (Insurance, ownership and sticker are all OK)
- [my car's make, year and model]
Since my 2nd hearing is still less than 11 months (for which I honestly don't really anticipate) from filing, my only resort is the defence itself. My questions are:
- Is testing time necessary? I know of the "standard practice" counter-argument, but as an independent recollection of event isn't that it's reasonable to recall the approximate time of that particular test instance?
- From the sequence of how the testing part was written, it can't be told whether any testing at the end of the shift was done (i.e. one cannot write such during the pullover and imply that he will have the test done afterwards). Is testing at the end of the shift necessary?
- What if the officier read out from a memo book which isn't disclosed to me? Is the officier allowed to read up/memorize anything not disclosed to me (e.g. his memo) beforehand and recites them while testifying without referencing?
- In the lidar manual's instrument tests section, there's a Fixed Distance Test which recommends precisely 60m from the test target to the lidar. Is this 60m standard always observed? Is a tripod used? The reason I'm asking is that the manual states the read distance should be from 59.8m to 60.2m in order to be considered pass if the target is 60m away. As a result the tolerance of 0.33% (0.2/60). This tolerance is only as good as how accurate the lidar is placed. e.g. if a faulty lidar that would have read out 60.3m in ideal setting, it would read a passing 60.2m if the lidar were to place -0.1m from the mark. The shorter the testing distance, the less the absolute tolerance (e.g. 3.3cm for a 10m target). In such case almost any body movement from hand-holding would yield this error unless the device is put onto a stationary tripod.