In January, my mother got a speeding ticket in Sarnia for 20 over (reduced from 40). She sent in the ticket with option 3 selected and finally received a court date on 18 April for 16 May (less than a month). We faxed in the first disclosure request the same day, and another one today. Basically we are going to ask for a reduction to 15 over and if they don't give it then just plead guilty (unless the disclosure indicates otherwise...).
Here's the kicker: she will be on a business trip on that day and thus will not be able to attend court. My main question is, then, is there anything I can do to represent her? Are there any special forms that have to be filled out for such representation? Also, since the disclosure most likely won't be ready before then an adjournment is probably going to happen.
With regard to increasing the fine to the original amount, I understand that it can only be done if the accused enters a plea of not guilty at the start of the trial. Is that correct?
Here for representation and here for charge amendment.
We've printed a letter that states that she has authorized me to represent her and will also get a signed letter from her boss stating why she cannot attend that day. I will post an update after the court visit.
Show up to court and they will offer you a plea deal. They do this with everyone, but not everyone has the same amount of wiggle room. If they are willing to go to 15 over, I guess you'll be leaving happy. If not, you can still just plead guilty to 20 over.
Some people get really scared that they will take away the already reduced fine and run off with it. It doesn't quite happen like that. They will do this once you've reached the point of no return and you're dead set on going to trial, and rightfully so. A reduced plea is incentive for everyone to move on with their lives and settle. You don't get the incentive after all the time and money is being pumped into the trial.
You don't have much to be nervous about.
A couple notes about the Sarnia provincial court:
1. In the notice of trial it states that if you do not have a first attendance meeting, the prosecutor will not meet with you on the day of your trial. This is a lie; the first thing you have to do is check in with the prosecutor and have a meeting - this is where I was offered 15 over.
2. The prosecutor had my disclosure ready but said that he did not send it because his office does not mail disclosure and I did not provide a phone number. Haven't they heard of registered mail? This just sounds like a BS ploy to inconvenience people (I was offered an adjournment to review it though).
All in all, I'm not happy about the conviction but at least I had fun and cost the government more than $60 (the total new fine amount).
2) IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚â‚¬Ã‚â„¢m sure having to attend in person does dissuade some people, but the Crown then has proof of service and registered mail for every disclosure request would be an expensive option.