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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Need some help please!!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:27 am 
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Help me please!! Speed trap on long weekend on 401. I know that I wasn’t going at the speed they say I was. It was just before my home exit, I had been on 401 for 2.5 hours, all along at 110 to 115 on cruise, and had no reason to suddenly go so fast just before I was about to exit. I was alone and have no way to prove anything, just my story versus theirs.

I have to see the prosecutor in a couple days (Wed. morning actually), to see if he offers to lower my ticket and points, and by how much (Option 2), or alternatively plead not guilty and go to trial (Option 3). I’m not sure how I could prove my case at all in court, and rather not go to trial, as I get very emotional in these circumstances, especially when treated unfairly, which I know is the case here. I would probably get too upset and emotional in court, and would probably forget some procedure or something to say, and would lose. So here is my info, and I would like to know from the good folk here if I would have a case at all, or should I just accept whatever the prosecutor throws at me on Wed.

1) First, before I go into details, I read elsewhere on this site about the amount written on the ticket by the officer, and how if it is not the same as the HTA amounts, that the JoP can throw out the case in trial—is that true, or did I misunderstand it? I can’t seem to find that page I read a couple days ago. In my case, they SAY I did 131 in a 100 zone on 401. By ETA calculations it comes to $7X31=$217. Whereas my ticket says $186 for fine, and Total Payable of $226. Would this discrepancy be of any use to me, in meeting with the prosecutor, or later in court?

I agree that I was doing 110 to 115, and will accept a fine for that, as I know I was going around 112 (I saw the officers, and kept looking at my speedometer)...I was on cruise at about 112-115, but there is NO WAY I was doing the 131 they said I was. There was however, a car with US plates that passed by me (and the 4 other vehicles in the right lane), and never slowed down. A few minutes after he was gone, I went to the passing lane because the car in front of me had slowed to below 100 (probably from seeing the officers) and I didn't think they'd get me for doing 110. Meanwhile the US car, which was the same colour as mine, similar type car and even had a similar spoiler wing on the trunk as mine, zoomed by all of us, and wasn't caught--instead, they say it was me. And I'm stuck with the high fine plus the 4 demerit points. The prosecutor may lower it, but how much? maybe to 120, and even then, it is 3 points, which will affect my insurance, right??

When handing me the ticket the officer said "“There are 4 of us officers out here today, giving up our time on a long weekend to catch people. Normally I would have lowered it, but in these circumstances, you know, we have to maximize our intake, so I didn’t lower this for you. But go see the prosecutor and I’m sure they will do something for you”!!!!!!! What the heck???!!!

I'm a good driver, I'm not aggressive, with no reason to speed to 131 less than 2km before my home exit. I'm inexperienced with having to prove any of this in court and am very frustrated with the whole thing. I know it was the US car they got at that speed, but for whatever reason, I got the blame. Any help from people here would be appreciated. And thanks in advance, to all who are on this forum to help.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:38 pm
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Location: Stratford, Ontario
Most people would rather pay a mistaken ticket than experience the stress of going through the trial process. But you need to know that the courts are there to protect YOUR rights. You have the right to face your accuser in a neutral setting and have your concerns brought to the attention of a trier of fact (Justice of the Peace).

This is what I recommend to everyone moping around with a recent ticket in their pocket:

- Fill out "Not-Guilty" on the back (check off the "officer to appear" box).

- Make a photo-copy of both sides and take the original to the Provincial Offences office shown on the back of the ticket. Just pretend your going in to a Burger King if it makes you feel more comfortable... walk up to the counter and tell the clerk you'd like to submit a not-guilty plea as noted on your ticket. She'll make a copy and date-stamp it. This is your receipt. Do this within 15 days of the offence date.

- Several weeks later, your court date will arrive in the mail. Now you can fill out a Request for Disclosure Form (this is the form I use... feel free to right-click it and print it out).
http://img157.imageshack.us/my.php?image=disclosuremodeljt3.jpg
Take the completed form back to the same office you took your ticket to. Tell the clerk you would like to submit a Request for Disclosure and give her the form.

- Your Disclosure (all evidence that will be used against you) will arrive in the mail (or you'll be called to pick it up) and you can review the evidence the officer plans to provide at the trial.

- Based on this information, sit down and pencil out a few questions you would like to ask the officer. You want to create a reasonable doubt in the JP's mind as to the methods used to provide your speed on that day. You will ask about other vehicles around you. You ask if he saw that another car, very similar to yours but with US plates, had just passed you. etc. etc.

- If one officer was operating the laser/radar and another stopped and ticketed you, BOTH officers will need to be present or you can ask for an immediate dismissal of the charge.

- After all questioning is complete, you will get a turn (when directed by the JP) to read a closing statement, summarizing all the flaws with the Crowns case, and explaining your reasons why you believe the officer stopped the wrong car.


NOTE: Even if you plan to chicken out and accept some crummy plea deal the Crown is sure to offer you, at least go through the above steps right up to your appearance in court. You can make your plea deal just before court opens. The Crown will call everyone in shortly before court opens and make plea deals with all the poor saps who came completely unprepared. Agreeing to a plea may save you a point or two, might even save you $40-$50!... but it's not going to save you from your insurance company. They look at the NUMBER of convictions when setting your renual rate, not the number of points you have. Sure it takes guts declining an apparently wonderful deal the Crown is sure to offer, but you're sure to regret it later. So many people say they wished they would've fought the ticket completely, but once you make that deal, your fate is set. You just plead guilty to something!

Read this over again later (when you've calmed down a tad). Consider this a learning experience. Even if you lose, you'll have vastly greater knowledge on procedures for NEXT time ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:46 am
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Thanks very much Bookm, for the long, detailed reply. Yes, I was quite frustrated and not very calm that night when I wrote the above post, lol.

I found out that I don't see the Prosecutor now (thought I just choose Option 2, and talk to him/her), but learned the difference between Op. 2 and Op.3. And I chose Option 3, of course!! I have a few questions to ask yourself and the good folk on this board, but all in good time, as I have some time now--first thing, give it a few more days to calm down and visit with relatives and relax a bit, ha ha!! Then, I will come back and tackle this, and will be asking for more help/advice.

Thanks again, this is a great board...


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Update...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:46 am
Posts: 3
Due some personal issues and difficulties, I haven't had a chance to follow up on this board in the last few weeks, I basically got a court date and had serious family issues to tend to, and put this mostly out of mind. I did have to chase them and call several times to get the evidence report--it basically took over 2 months to send it. My court date is now coming up on wednesday, and i got the report last week, about a 8 days prior to court date!! I'm at my wits end with this whole thing--it seems they go out of their way to get you frustrated and just pay the fine or agree to a plea. So I have a few questions I'm going to put here, along with some explanations, as a last resort, and see if anyone can help me with this :

1)is there a rule or law that says how much time the prosecutor has to mail the evidence to defendant?? And could I ask the JOP to dismiss the case based on their tardiness?? It feels like they dragged their feet just so I'd get it a week before the court date, and not have time to prepare. The prosecutor did tell me that I can ask for a continuance, and get another court date, but I don't want that, as I will be overseas for some time, and don't want to be bothered by this any further, having to worry about another court date in a few months.

I was first told it would take a few days to get the evidence; on the sheet they sent out, it says it can take up to 4 weeks. After about 6 weeks and a couple of phone calls, I still hadn't got it, so I called again, and got forwarded to the prosecutor himself. He kept asking me why I need it, that there isn't very much in it anyways!! (and he wasn't kidding--see #2 below). Then he offered me a plea--which was really good, because of my clean record (so he said)--down to 15 over and no demerits. I said I still felt I wasn't guilty and would like to see the evidence, before deciding. Again, he tried to pursuade me otherwise; finally, said it will be in mail in a couple days.

8 days later, still no report; I figured I'd take the offer because it seemed good, and I also wouldn't have much time to prepare for court, as I was so tied up with personal and family stuff, so I called back to say that I didn't get the evidence, but I'll take the plea. His assistant was there this time; said the plea was recorded as something else : 19 over with 3 points. He was very rude and didn't accept that the prosecutor had offered me such a good deal a week before. I then asked him about the evidence, and he said rudely "you'll get it when you get it, be patient"!! He was literally yelling on the phone. Then he said it was mailed already a few days ago. BUt when it came, the date on the envelope was for the day AFTER I spoke to the assistant!!! So he mailed it after talking to me!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS--CAN THEY TREAT A TAXPAYING CITIZEN LIKE THIS IN CANADA, AND GET AWAY WITH IT?? I REALLY FEEL SICK TO MY STOMACH OVER THIS WHOLE THING...

2)Is there a set standard for the evidence report?? And can i ask the Prosecutor or JOP to withdraw the case due to not following that set standard?? i saw a report from a friend's ticket a few years back (another part of ontario) and it was typed, in full paragraph form, explaining everything in plain English. My report : is a few photocopied pages, of the notebook notes of the officers (those lined 3"X5" flip notebooks)...much of each page is blacked right out with black marker. The rest is totally unlegible handwriting--Doctor's chicken scratch!!...bunch of code words like "2 L w/s"?? what the heck?? one of the pages, it appears to be test for lidar; the only sentence in the whole "report" is where it says my car passed another and pulled into right lane. That's it. The rest is mumbo-jumbo to me. CAN THEY REALLY DO THIS AND IT STANDS UP IN COURT??

3)I read the whole discussion on another part of this forum (here : http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic12.html) regarding having ticket withdrawn becuase it the amount on the ticket doesn't match/ or is more than, the amount set out in the HTA?? My ticket says total amount owing is $227, whereas $7X31km over equals $217. Can I ask for withdrawal based on this alone? Do I ask the prosecutor to withdraw or do I have to take my chances before JOP??

I really haven't had much time to prepare a case, and don't know how I would prove that I wasn't the car they were after--there was another similar car to mine, as I mentioned above in my first post, with US Plates, that got away, and I know the officer that pulled me over knew that, and said "well, that was a US car...we got you instead". I can't prove any of this in court, and am reluctant to go before JOP with a weak case, and make an a** of myself, as someone mentioned in another post!! So my question is: Do I have any chance to get out of this with the above 3 points??

Thanks in advance for any and all help in this regard.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:38 pm
Posts: 632
Location: Stratford, Ontario
If your court day is tomorrow and you don't have an extensive plan to attack the laser evidence, then you only have two choices that I can see:

1) Get a continuance based on lack of time to prepare (due to late disclosure).
2) Work a plea with the Crown just before trial (he will seek you out).

Perhaps you could suggest that in order to avoid the continuance and subsequent time-consuming trial, a guilty plea to a non-points violation could be agreed to.


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