First Speeding Ticket, Opp Officer Claims 40km/h On 401.

lolmabear
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First Speeding Ticket, Opp Officer Claims 40km/h On 401.

by: lolmabear on

An OPP officer ticketed me claiming I was going 40km/h over the limit (140km/km) on my way home with a few friends on the 401. This is my first ever speeding offense. Although I am sure I was over the limit, I am almost certain that I was not going 40 over, more realistically closer to 30 over. The officer approached the vehicle claimed I was going 40 over and had a crappy attitude to begin with (not that it matters at all, just providing context). I did as expected and showed him license + registration. He walks back to his car, does his thing and comes back to my car with $295 ticket.


This is where I told him that I did not believe I was going 40 over, probably 30 at best. As soon as I mentioned that he denied my claims and immediately walked back to his car with an eager look to avoid conversation with me. The officer had no interest in telling me my options, or whether he was using a radar gun or not. I wasn't sure whether to ask him for proof of a radar gun or anything since I was shocked at the fee on the ticket and it was my first offense (wasn't sure what to do). I've done some research online and from my understanding 30 and 40 over the limit isn't much a difference on insurance/ticket cost. However, a $295 ticket for a first time offense which i'm assuming wasn't recorded with a radar gun seems extreme. I am also a student and a $300 ticket is not something I am willing to let slide so easy.


What are my best options here? Is there any chance I have to get this reduced at the very least? I read some success stories from people on this website actually winning against radar guns by requesting disclosure of documents ensuring the gun was tuned and up-dated, and simply demanding full disclosure of documents from the prosecutor until they give up them up. I'm not even sure this officer was using a radar gun, or just looking to ticket someone for the night with ease. Advice is much appreciated, thanks.


Edit: As mentioned, a few friends were in the car with me, the officer did not "check-mark" the witness box on the ticket. I'm not sure if this matters or not. Just providing more detail.

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by: highwaystar on

If they have the option to have a meeting with a prosecutor in the jurisdiction you received the ticket from, then I suggest you choose that option. At your meeting, they'll give you your disclosure and you'll be able to see what the officer's notes say. He may have used a radar, laser or simply paced your vehicle. Either way, if you have no other record, its likely the prosecution may lower your ticket to 29 over (a 3 point and much cheaper offense). Either way, without disclosure, you have no clue what the case against you is.


As for beating the device's speed reading, its actually very seldom the case that the device itself is successfully challenged (since that requires expert testimony on the inner workings of the device); rather its the officer's recollection of the events or their style of testifying that can create the reasonable doubt. You can also challenge the officer's 'testing' of the device, but again, most officers are pretty well versed in that now. Speeding is also an absolute liability offense which means even if you are going 1 km over the speed limit, you are guilty. You also wouldn't want to testify if you go to trial--after all, you would be lying under oath if you said you weren't speeding.

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by: lolmabear on

highwaystar wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:02 am

If they have the option to have a meeting with a prosecutor in the jurisdiction you received the ticket from, then I suggest you choose that option. At your meeting, they'll give you your disclosure and you'll be able to see what the officer's notes say. He may have used a radar, laser or simply paced your vehicle. Either way, if you have no other record, its likely the prosecution may lower your ticket to 29 over (a 3 point and much cheaper offense). Either way, without disclosure, you have no clue what the case against you is.


As for beating the device's speed reading, its actually very seldom the case that the device itself is successfully challenged (since that requires expert testimony on the inner workings of the device); rather its the officer's recollection of the events or their style of testifying that can create the reasonable doubt. You can also challenge the officer's 'testing' of the device, but again, most officers are pretty well versed in that now. Speeding is also an absolute liability offense which means even if you are going 1 km over the speed limit, you are guilty. You also wouldn't want to testify if you go to trial--after all, you would be lying under oath if you said you weren't speeding.


Thanks, I understand I am the wrong here regardless since I was speeding. I just wasn't sure whether to meet with a prosecutor and aim to get a lesser charge or take it straight to trail. If I were to take it to trail the offence on my ticket claims 40 km/h which I would testify not guilty to. I'm not sure if this would be lying under oath since I genuinely believe that I'm not guilty of the exact offence stated on the ticket (40km/h exactly). I've read that many officers who calibrate their radar gun do it by simply flipping the switch on/off rather than using tuning forks. Again I have no idea if used a radar gun or not. The ticket has no "R" listed near the code or anywhere significant, so it's not already reduced to begin with.


Also: I live over 75km away from the listed jurisdiction and have the option to meet with the prosecutor by phone and although this option is easier for me, do you advise it best to have direct contact in person?

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by: highwaystar on

Like I said before, without the disclosure, you don't know how the officer determined your speed. Testing the device is not very complicated; tuning fork testing is no longer necessary (and hasn't been for several years now). Most of the testing simply involves internal circuitry testing which just says pass/fail when the officer clicks a button. Calibration of the cruiser's speedometer (for pacing cases) IS sometimes a line of attack, but even that is usually confirmed by another officer testing the speed with an independent device like a LIDAR (laser device). Bottom line: get your disclosure, find out how they determined your speed, and how the testing was done.

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by: highwaystar on

Also, you aren't lying by saying "not guilty." You have the constitutional right to put the prosecution to its test (i.e. prove the case against you). However, you simply should not take the stand because THEN you'd be asked what speed you were going and cannot lie. If you admit to speeding, then it is extremely rare for the court to believe YOUR speed number versus what the officer states. After all, the officer's device was tested before/after the occurrence, whereas your speedometer likely would not have been. Just keep all this mind.


As for the meeting, an in-person meeting is much better since you can also go over the disclosure on the spot whereas over the phone, you rely on the prosecutor reading it to you.

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by: lolmabear on

highwaystar wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:40 pm

Also, you aren't lying by saying "not guilty." You have the constitutional right to put the prosecution to its test (i.e. prove the case against you). However, you simply should not take the stand because THEN you'd be asked what speed you were going and cannot lie. If you admit to speeding, then it is extremely rare for the court to believe YOUR speed number versus what the officer states. After all, the officer's device was tested before/after the occurrence, whereas your speedometer likely would not have been. Just keep all this mind.


As for the meeting, an in-person meeting is much better since you can also go over the disclosure on the spot whereas over the phone, you rely on the prosecutor reading it to you.


Okay, thanks again for all the advice. I think I'll arrange a meeting with the prosecutor in person and request disclosure. You are right, I did admit to speeding to the officer and taking the stand in this case would not help me win. I'm not sure if the charge can be reduced on trail at all, but I will meet with the prosecutor regardless and see what the details of disclosure are and what they can offer.


Here are some things I've heard in favor of taking it to trail though:


Court clerks/prosecutors act in favor of the court (which makes sense) so they will often lower the charge to avoid it going to trail in order to save the court time and money.


I've also heard there is a chance if I delay the ticket (deciding late on my option/requiring extensions) that the officer may not show up to court. (I'm not familiar with how court schedules work with officers in Ontario but I have heard that in other jurisdictions officers attend traffic court once a month and deal with ALL cases on that day)


The reviews for traffic courts in Ontario are gruesome from what I've researched and indicate long wait times/poor service, maybe intentional to get people to leave/frustrated in hopes it doesn't go to trail.

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