I got a speeding ticket on the 401 by Cornwall. The officer said I was going 140 initially then dropped it to 130 (for the record I don't believe for a second I was going 140, that's way faster than I would ever intentionally drive). I filled out the info on the back of the notice to request a trial. They sent back the attached letter indicating my 'Hearing for Early Resolution' on Tuesday. What does it mean? Is this a trial date or just early resolution?
- If I decide not to take whatever they offer at early resolution, does that mean they'll schedule a trial date at a future time, potentially months away? Or would it be the same day? Cornwall is a 5 hour drive away from where I live so this ticket is a huge pain.
- I don't really care about the fine or demerit points, just the insurance hike. It'll really hurt me because I'm under 25 and moved here with a UK license two years ago, so my insurance is already really expensive. Also I'm planning on insuring a new car this year so I doubt I can get around having my license checked.
- If I decide to decline early resolution and go to trial, would it work against me that the officer told me 140 initially? He was hiding in a ditch so assume was using radar.
Thoughts, advice? Do I have any hope of this being thrown out? This is my first infraction of any kind on my driving record, for my 7 years of driving
- early resolution notice-min.jpg (189.92 KiB) Viewed 1734 times
This is NOT a trial. It is just an early resolution metting with the prosecutor. If you read it carefully it says that if you do not show up for the early resolution meeting, then they will schedule a trial.
Early resolution meeting is probably a waste of time because (1) you do not have disclosure to see if there is a weakness in the notes, and (2) the officer already reduced the speed so the prosecutor will probably not offer you a further reduction, and (3) you will most likely have to come back again anyways.
You would be better to skip the early resolution meeting and wait for a trial date (which will be set months from now, NOT on the same day as early resolution). At the trial you will have already requested and received disclosure so you will know what it says, and you can still meet before the trial starts to see if prosecutor will offer you any kind of plea deal.
If you decide you are not going to attend the early resolution meeting, then you should fax a letter to both the prosecutor and the provincial offences office and advise them that you would just like to set a trial date and will not be attending the early resolution meeting.
All statements made are my opinion only.
bethone wrote:- If I decide not to take whatever they offer at early resolution, does that mean they'll schedule a trial date at a future time, potentially months away? Or would it be the same day? Cornwall is a 5 hour drive away from where I live so this ticket is a huge pain.
Early resolution is an attempt to strike a deal between the parties and avoid trial. They'll make you an offer (e.g. 29 km over, which comes with 3 points instead of 4). You're under no obligation to accept any offer. If you don't accept, a trial date will be arranged. It will not be on the same day. You'll likely be mailed a letter with the date.
Since you don't live close to the courthouse, they might be able to do this over the phone. Contact them beforehand and ask if this is an option.
bethone wrote:- I don't really care about the fine or demerit points, just the insurance hike. It'll really hurt me because I'm under 25 and moved here with a UK license two years ago, so my insurance is already really expensive. Also I'm planning on insuring a new car this year so I doubt I can get around having my license checked.
Unless the ticket disappears, it wont matter if it's 40 over, 30, over, or 10 over. Your insurance provider is going to treat them all equally. They don't calculate surcharges by the kilometer. Unless the ticket is for 50+, there's not going to be much of a difference insurance wise.
bethone wrote:- If I decide to decline early resolution and go to trial, would it work against me that the officer told me 140 initially? He was hiding in a ditch so assume was using radar.
Absolutely not. What you received was likely a roadside reduction. Much like an early resolution, it's incentive for both parties to avoid trial. It's a normal occurrence. If you want the particulars of your stop, you can request disclosure. It will contain the officers notes and you'll have all the information regarding your stop. The website for the courthouse will have the information on how you can make a request. They also provide a very generic form for you to fill out. You can also write your own if you wish. You can start worrying about this once you get a trial date.
Website SDG Counties Disclosure Request Form
Thanks for the advice everyone!
So I'm thinking I will call them and tell them I am not attending early resolution tomorrow and will by default be assigned a trial date. That way I will get my insurance renewed and somewhat reduced while my license is still clean (my 25th birthday is in September so it should go down) and I will have time to get disclosure etc.
Finally just want to confirm that I am correct in thinking
A) if I get a trial date, let's say, 6 months from now, I can elect to pay the fine and accept the ticket any time before that trial?
B) if I end up going to the trial, it is quite likely I will be offered a similar plea bargain that I would be offered at early resolution?
All statements made are my opinion only.
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