First ticket ever, 38 km/h over on the 401

FirstTicketEver
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First ticket ever, 38 km/h over on the 401

by: FirstTicketEver on
Thu May 12, 2016 3:09 pm

Hi all,

Well, I got my first traffic ticket last night for speeding, coming after nearly 10 years of driving with a clean record. Here's what happened:

I got off work around midnight (I work at a restaurant) and drove a few towns over on the 401 to pick up some friends from the bar who had been celebrating a birthday and drinking heavily. Both are in the Canadian Forces and had work early the next morning, and I was also tired and wanted to get home so I was going a little faster than I should have been. On the way back, I passed a group of slow-moving vehicles only to have the lead vehicle immediately turn on it's lights and pull me over (unmarked cruiser).

When the officer came to the vehicle, he said I passed him at 138 km/h, which I found a little hard to believe as I have an audible speed warning in my car when going above 135 km/h. He questioned me and my passengers intensely about where we were and what we were doing that night, as the car smelled of beer. I explained it was the first time I had ever been pulled over, that my friends had made the responsible decision of getting a ride from someone instead of driving themselves, and that I rarely ever speed (as evidenced by my clean record for nearly a decade of driving). The officer then took my license and registration and returned to his unmarked cruiser for five minutes. When he came back, he gave me a ticket for 38 km/h over, no reduction, no sympathy.

I have reviewed the ticket and it was filled out correctly - proper name, address, fine amount, etc. After reviewing a number of other posts on the site, I was wondering if there are any kind souls out there who could offer some advice/strategy as to how I should proceed in terms of having the amount reduced. The $283 fine sucks, and I'm worried about the implications for my insurance moving forward.


argyll
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by: argyll on
Thu May 12, 2016 3:14 pm

Sounds like you got a traffic officer - no breaks no sympathy is the way they roll. Assuming you are correct that there are no problems with the ticket then you can see if the prosecutor will drop the speed, which they undoubtedly will with a clear licence. Insurance wise a reduced speed doesn't mean anything but you shouldn't see an increase for a first ticket after so long with no infractions.

You can always ask for a trial, get disclosure and post it here for people to look at. It depends how much time you are prepared to spend on this.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


UnluckyDuck
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by: UnluckyDuck on
Thu May 12, 2016 4:54 pm

For this type of ticket, I've seen 4 possible outcomes before.

Outcome 1) Prosecutor lowered the speed to 15km/h over. Total Fine of $52.50, 0 points.

Outcome 2) Prosecutor lowered the speed to 29km/h over. Total Fine of $138.75, 3 points.

Outcome 3) Prosecutor changed the charge to Disobey Sign. Total Fine of $110, 2 points.

Outcome 4) Prosecutor Offered no deal, Accused went to trial.

Out of all the first 3 scenarios, the first one would be the best, followed by the third and then the second. Since you have a clean record for the last 10 years, your insurance shouldn't increase, but there is a possibility that it will.

What the majority of people on this forum recommend is to plead NOT GUILTY, and request a trial with the officer present (Usually option #3 on the ticket). This is because the so called "Early Resoltion" meeting is the exact same meeting you have on the trial date before your trial, so most see it as a waste of time. The best thing to do is to request disclosure and post it up here (blacking out all personal information) and we could help more.

Please note, this is not legal advice, just my personal opinion.


jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Thu May 12, 2016 5:07 pm

I would plead NOT GUILTY and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get your NOTICE OF TRIAL with the trial date, you can request disclosure (officers notes, speed detection device manual). Once you get the notes, post them back here for us to review.

You have nothing to lose by pleading not guilty and reviewing the notes as you can pay the fine anytime up to the trial.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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bobajob
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by: bobajob on
Fri May 13, 2016 7:42 am

I see one issue; should you take it to court.
You admitted to speeding..
" I explained it was the first time I had ever been pulled over, that my friends had made the responsible decision of getting a ride from someone instead of driving themselves, and that I rarely ever speed"

his notes may state this, you may also be asked the question, which under oath you have to answer.
A lot of people would advise never to incriminate yourself, just to say something like I "I didnt think I was speeding" , being polite and eating some humble pie helps
but not to admit anything, it will be used against you.

Also I believe they will only take it down one step at Early resolution
i.e. down 1 step, i.e. to 29 over; it could go lower, but you would have to do a lot of sweet talking
FirstTicketEver wrote:Hi all,

Well, I got my first traffic ticket last night for speeding, coming after nearly 10 years of driving with a clean record. Here's what happened:

I got off work around midnight (I work at a restaurant) and drove a few towns over on the 401 to pick up some friends from the bar who had been celebrating a birthday and drinking heavily. Both are in the Canadian Forces and had work early the next morning, and I was also tired and wanted to get home so I was going a little faster than I should have been. On the way back, I passed a group of slow-moving vehicles only to have the lead vehicle immediately turn on it's lights and pull me over (unmarked cruiser).

When the officer came to the vehicle, he said I passed him at 138 km/h, which I found a little hard to believe as I have an audible speed warning in my car when going above 135 km/h. He questioned me and my passengers intensely about where we were and what we were doing that night, as the car smelled of beer. I explained it was the first time I had ever been pulled over, that my friends had made the responsible decision of getting a ride from someone instead of driving themselves, and that I rarely ever speed (as evidenced by my clean record for nearly a decade of driving). The officer then took my license and registration and returned to his unmarked cruiser for five minutes. When he came back, he gave me a ticket for 38 km/h over, no reduction, no sympathy.

I have reviewed the ticket and it was filled out correctly - proper name, address, fine amount, etc. After reviewing a number of other posts on the site, I was wondering if there are any kind souls out there who could offer some advice/strategy as to how I should proceed in terms of having the amount reduced. The $283 fine sucks, and I'm worried about the implications for my insurance moving forward.
--------------------------------------------------------------
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail




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bobajob
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by: bobajob on
Fri May 13, 2016 1:29 pm

whilst I see where your coming from, I don't see his response as that,
but hey, lets call it a grey area ;)
argyll wrote:although saying he rarely speeds doesn't necessarily mean he was speeding on that occasion
--------------------------------------------------------------
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Fri May 13, 2016 2:14 pm

bobajob wrote:I see one issue; should you take it to court. You admitted to speeding..
As far as statements admitted to the officer, even if they are in the officers notebook, they are inadmissable and should be objected to if the officer starts to say them. The prosecutor would then have to ask for a voire dire http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/V/VoirDire.aspx to determine if the statements are admissable or not, which in most traffic cases they don't usually do.

And remember you also have the right not to take the witness stand and to not testify against yourself. With an absolute liability offence like speeding, you should never take the witness stand unless you can 100% say that you were absolutely not speeding at all.

Now in the case where you are not going to testify (because it will hurt your case), the only way to win is to cross-examine the officer and bring reasonable doubt to what they said. So it takes a bit of study and understanding to learn how to do this successfully.

You might want to read these:
Cross examination: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7041.html
Slef-Represented: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7039.html
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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bobajob
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by: bobajob on
Sat May 14, 2016 1:25 pm

really ?
wow, I thought a couple of posters have said not to admit/answer any question because of that reason,
I mean don't be a dick, but don't say something like, "but I was only speeding a little bit I'm late for work" kinda thing

BTW; when I was stopped on the 401, the OPP said before he questioned me that he was recording the interview, he never cautioned me actually (now thinking about it)

so

1> should he have cautioned me (or is that only for criminal activity)
2> could he have used my interview on tape against me)


Sorry for the hijack :)
jsherk wrote:
bobajob wrote:I see one issue; should you take it to court. You admitted to speeding..
As far as statements admitted to the officer, even if they are in the officers notebook, they are inadmissable and should be objected to if the officer starts to say them.
--------------------------------------------------------------
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


argyll
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by: argyll on
Sat May 14, 2016 8:55 pm

No, there is no need for a caution. Cautions are triggered upon detention but the courts have held that traffic stop is short in nature and therefore a caution is not required.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Sat May 14, 2016 11:22 pm

Statement admissibility is one of the more frequent issues to come up at trial and also one of the more difficult ones. Statements certainly CAN be admitted at trial and frequently are, but it’s dependent on a multitude of factors and case law. In fact if a case ever hinged on a statement or admission, that’s one time I’d strongly suggest seeking a lawyer familiar with the relevant case law to argue your matter.

Some points to consider:

1) What was the level of detention? As Argyll said brief traffic stops don’t typically require that a person be advised of their rights, but not all traffic stops are equal or brief. Did the officer write out a quick ticket or was the motorist at the side of the road for over an hour while an accident was being investigated? Were you free to go but still talking with the officer or were you locked in the back seat of a cruiser?

2) How was the statement obtained? Did the officer suspect you had committed a specific offence and was questioning you regarding it? If the answer is yes then I’d suggest you should be “cautioned” by the officer (that’s where they advise you that you don’t have to say anything and that your statement can be used as evidence). For HTA matters, this would most frequently come into play when getting statements at accidents where most likely one driver is at fault.

3) Was the statement coerced? Probably not an issue with most traffic stops, but did the officer somehow trick you or coerce you into giving a statement? Police are allowed to use trickery to a certain extent, but it has to be proportional to the offence for which they’re investigating.

4) Was the statement volunteered or spontaneous? This is probably one of the most relevant issues to HTA matters. A motorist gets stopped, advised of the reason of the stop and blurts out a response like "I didn't mean to speed". These types of statements are often considered spontaneous since they’re not the result of a question and come so early in the detention/investigation that there would be no time/need for a caution yet. In short, they frequently will be admitted.

5) What is the person’s age/level of understanding? Kind of self-explanatory, but young people etc. are typically afforded more protection by the Courts since they have a lesser understanding of their potential jeopardy.

As Jsherk said, a “voire dire” (or trial within a trial) is required for a statement to be admitted unless both sides consent to it being voluntary and admissible. For minor HTA minors the Crown typically won’t bother since there’s other sufficient evidence to support the offence. Typically if I see them going to the trouble of trying to get a statement admitted, it’s when someone takes the stand and lies or changes their statement from what they said earlier to police.


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