I'm new to the site and I though I'd share my experience in court and perhaps gain some advise on how to proceed.
I attended court for a 60 in a 40 zone, officer was parked on the side of the road and got me on a radar facing the rear window.
I mail in a disclosure request and it is ready a few weeks before my trial date. I was under the impression that the crown would mail me atleast a notice that disclosure is ready for me to pick up.. but I didn't receive anything.
Anyhow, I show up for my trial, let the prosecutor know that I did not receive disclosure, he pulls out a pile of disclosures and hands me the prepared documents. The officer that charged me with the offense was present at the time. I could barely read the officers notes, and the officer said he'd explain them to me after the court was over.
After some explaining, basically he wrote one page stating the time which he calibrated the gun, model of the radar used, which way the (2) radar's were facing, where he was parked. Second page didn't have much, just a note saying 60 in a 40 zone, clear sunny day, and # of occupants in the vehicle. Third page was a photocopy of his radar operator certificate and training. Shall I mail in another request a typed version of these notes?
Now, when my name was called and the crown said that I wanted to adjourn the charge to another date. I stated that I just received disclosure from the crown however did not have enogh time to prepare my defense. I also mentioned that I'd like a trial as soon as possible, and the date they give me is about 1.5 years from the actual offense date. The crown also made a note that disclosure was ready for pick up a few weeks before the trial.
Any tips on how to proceed? The delay may have been fault of mine since I didn't pick up disclosure.. I was under the impression that it would be mailed to me or atleast a notice to pick up the documents.. but no. Because of that I'm not sure if I'm able to use 11B as an argument which states.
"Any person charged with an offence has the right...
(b) to be tried within a reasonable time"
Any tips of advise is greatly appreciated.
So, just to clarify some things here
This was your 1-st appearance in court regarding this ticket.
Is the 1-st appearance 1.5 years after you received the ticket, or is it the date of your new court appearance?
Did you tell the JP that you never received any letters from prosecutor saying that your package was ready for pick-up? Imagine not getting the trial summons/date in the mail, and being convicted in absence...
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"
www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com
Thanks for the reply.
This all happened in my 1st appearance in court, 11 months after I received the ticket. My 2nd appearance will be 1.5 years after the actual offense date.
Now that I think about it.. I said in court that if the prosecutor had my mailing address from the disclosure request, could they not send me a notice telling me its ready for pick-up? The JP still said Im responsible for picking up disclosure.
The crown also told the JP to make note that disclosure was ready about 3 weeks before the 1st appearance. I think the crown said that so I can't use Section 11B of the Charter as an argument since disclosure was ready before my 1st trial appearance. I couldve possibly said that due to recent labour disruption, it was very difficult to pick up disclosure.. and I also made calls to the office but only got an automated message.
Since I've already received Disclosure, I've done some research and came to the following conclusion.
A 40 km/h zone is not under the HTA, and since the disclosure did not include any documents noting the by-law that I'm being charged with, I can argue improper disclosure from the Crown.
Shall I discuss this with the Crown before the court is in session in hopes that he will withdraw the charge.. knowing that he hasn't provided complete disclosure to me? or just bring it up when I'm called up before the JP.
If you talk to the crown first then you take your chances. If you can come across as accurate then they will have little to argue and may drop the charge. Or you could take your chances with the JP.
I know this forum serves the general public well in guiding them through the procedures in court and how to prepare a proper defense against charges like speeding, but has anyone actually used the by-law missing from the disclosure as a way to have their charge withdrawn? The Crown has not provided me with this in my disclosure package.
I will now send a 2nd request for disclosure and ask the crown for the missing documents that I requested in my 1st letter. Hopefully this will build a stronger defense against the charge and I could argue an 11B since my 2nd appearance is 1.5 years after the actual offense date. However, what if the crown brings up that I did not pick up any additional disclosure (ex: Radar Manual, etc), they will not mail me a notice at all and I'll end up at square one.. The JP said I'm responsible for picking it up.. regardless if I said there was no way for me to know when it was ready.
I could argue an 11B since my 2nd appearance is 1.5 years after the actual offense date.
Easy and simple. Just plan for the worst though.
KIX wrote:I know this forum serves the general public well in guiding them through the procedures in court and how to prepare a proper defense against charges like speeding, but has anyone actually used the by-law missing from the disclosure as a way to have their charge withdrawn
I've seen it used as an argument for improper disclosure where the by-law was not included for a charge of "disobey sign." I haven't seen it used in other instances. It might work, but don't rely on it as your sole avenue of defence. Try the 11B argument first, then the improper disclosure, then other things.
Thanks for your input everyone. I really appreciate it and take your advise into preparing my defense!
But when I'm infront of the JP, I don't want to sound like I'm trying to use strategy after strategy to try and get the ticket off should I? I'll try using the 11B Argument first, and if that doesn't work than I pull out an improper disclosure argument? Would that piss the JP off or make it seem like I'm trying everything I can just to get off the ticket, or is this how the proceedings normally are? I've only been to court once and I did not see anyone do such thing.. everyone pleaded guilty and walked off. Please bare with me.
However, for my 2nd disclosure request.. should I put my phone number on it so the crown can contact me? It didn't seem to work in my first disclosure.. since I did mention to the JP that since the crown had my mailing address on the disclosure request, why couldn't they mail me a letter asking for my contact number.. and he still said I'm responsible for picking it up regardless.. I don't see how it's fair when I have no way of finding out when disclosure is ready.. this was during the labour disruption (when disclosure was ready for pickup)
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