I just got my first ever speeding ticket for doing 76 in a 50 after 7 years of clean driving and after reading these forums until my eyes hurt, I have some questions. I was definitely speeding and the ticket is perfect so I'm gonna have to suck this one up, however I'd really just like the points removed. My plan is to go to the courts on Edward St (as per my ticket) and go with option 3. Can anything be done at this time or is this just so they can send me a court date? If its just to declare what I'm doing then when/how does it come about to get a first attendance meeting and try to have the points removed? Is this a near-guarantee to have the points taken off or do I have to do some work. Will I still have to go to my court date even if I agree to a plea at a first meet? My last question (if it still makes sense by this point), is what happens if nothing can be done before my court date, and I agree to a plea with the prosecutor before the court time and then the officer doesn't show up? Would I have screwed myself for taking the plea or would it be thrown out even though I was going to plea to a lesser charge. Thanks in advance I'm really nervous about this and just want it over with.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
Quick background: unreduced 76 in a 50 by a motorcycle cop with a tripod radar, went option 3, got my court date for 10ish months later
My court time was at 1:30 so I showed up at Old City Hall on Queen st just before 1pm went through the metal detectors at the front, asked the guard where my hall was and proceeded up. I was expecting the chaos and yelling that you see in the movies but everything had a very museum-y feel as I got to my room. There was a lineup for about 20-30 people of all walks of life standing in a line waiting for the prosecutor to show up to check-in. I checked my name on a schedule list of about 30-40 people on the right of the door into the courtroom. About 1:15 the prosecutor showed up and the line proceeded to shuffle by a small desk he sat at, at the front of the line. I couldn't really hear what was being said yet as I was still a bit farther back, but i was getting a bit apprehensive about when and how i was going to ask for a reduction to my fine, as I had never been in this position before. The prosecutor had piles of books and files with him on this make-shift desk as well as a master list of all the offences that were being heard at this trial, complete with your name and information. I started to very faintly hear "ok i can give you a reduced of (this much) for a fine of (this much) and knew that this was the time to do any bargaining. The lady infront of me had 3 minor speeding infractions that she was showing up to today and all the prosectutor asked was her name, found her offences on the list, and automatically said ok ill knock it down to one offence and reduce to (this much). She agreed and then it was my turn. I was expecting him to do the same automatic reduction so I started to breathe a sigh of relief as I gave him my name. He saw my name on the list and then he said something I hadn't yet heard him say with the other people. He said "ok, so how do you plead?" All the nerves and despair rushed back to me but then I remembered everything I had read on this forum over the past year and regained composure and simply said, "I was actually hoping to get a reduction on the fine or a different charge". He took a second and looked back down and said, "ok ill give you (10 less) so thats (80~ dollars less) and no points. I was ecstatic. I had no defense if this went to trial so thats all I was looking for. He said ok go inside and wait for trial to start.
Not even 10 minutes later we all rose and the judge came in. The prosecutor explained that all we had to do was simply sit and wait for our name to be called, after that just walk up to the podium beside him and face the judge, the judge then asks you to state your name for the record. Then what was supposed to happen is the prosecture reads your reduced charge, the judge asks what you plead, you say guilty, judge says do you understand that this means you cant have a trial (paraphrasing of course) and do you understand the consequences (i.e. you have to pay) and you just say yes. The clerk then formally reads your charge, they ask if you will be paying today or if you want to file for a 30/60 days extension (via green sheets infront of you on the podium) and then you wait a minute, clerk gives you a reciept an you are outta there.
What happened in my case was a little different. The first people to go up when the trial started were some of the paralegals representing people outside of court, almost all of them had the same defence, and this is how it played out. They went up and formally stated who they are, said to the judge and prosecutor that they filed for disclosure but never recieved it, everybody looks for reciepts, the judge asks the clerk for another appointment to reschedule the trial, paralegal agrees to new trial date but adds that they will be filing 11b. Boom. Next. When the actual individual people started coming up, the greatest thing I have ever heard happened. The prosecutor began with the first persons charge and turned around and said has officer ##### checked in yet. Nobody said anything and the judge says charge withdrawn. Greatest two-words in the english language in my opinion, "Charge Withdrawn". The same thing happened with all the other people with my officer and I kept playing a scenario in my head of my name being called, walking up, and the officer walking in. Luckily that never happened and I walked out of the courthouse with a smile on my face a clean driving record.
In conclusion, if you have the time and the means, everybody should follow the advice in this forum and go to court. If all else fails you end up with the same fine you had before, but for the decent chance of a reduction and the ever so slim chance that the officer won't show it is well worth it.
Thanks for reading my experience I hope it will help some people to feel more confident knowing the procedure and hearing from a real life example. Also So MUCH THANKS to everybody on here posting their wisdom and experiences.