Speeding ticket advice

helenhelen
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Speeding ticket advice

Unread post by helenhelen on

Last weekend, I got a speeding ticket on the 401, outside of Woodstock. I live in Toronto. I was in the very left hand lane, given a ticket for going 38 km/h over the posted speed limit, according to the radar. The guy in front of me was going the same speed as well (as was other traffic in that lane), but they got lucky. The ticket is $228 "set fine" and then it says $283 "total payable" (wtf? talk about ripping you off with all these "applicable victim fine surcharge and costs" for which no breakdown is provided?!). Anyway, obviously my main concern is my insurance rates going up (and also this fine is pricey), and my experience with tickets is that if you go to court, your ticket can get reduced, etc. if you plead guilty. However, I understand that a conviction at all will mark your driving record, so it is better to plead not guilty and see if something can be done. Some background is that I was convicted of a speeding ticket on the Allen at the end of 2012 (I forget the speed, but it was probably 15-20km/h over or something - you know how everyone goes 100km on that road..). I did all the steps of filing for disclosure, etc. and could not find any holes in it.. although the cop gave me the documents that same day, if I remember correctly. In the end, I just pleaded guilty and had my fine reduced, along with no demerit points because it was recorded as a reduced # of km over the speed limit. So this is already on my record. Other than that, I only have one minor at fault collision from a few years ago (broke her rear light and some scratch/dent on her car) and 2 not-at-fault collisions, none of which seemed to impact my insurance at all - in fact, my insurance rate went down (perhaps the person did not end up taking it to her insurance company).

The major issue is that the place to file for a court date is in Cambridge, so it will be a 1-1.5 hour drive out there in the middle of the week, necessitating half a day off work (luckily, my work is flexible with time off). I am wondering what people would advise I do. Is it worthwhile to take this to court and file, pleading not guilty, and go through all the steps with disclosure, etc. in case there are major holes in the evidence, or the cop doesn't show up in court, or they take forever to grant me a court date and I can argue on the basis an 11(b).. or do those latter 2 things even happen in Cambridge? Maybe it is not as busy as in Toronto?
Or should I just speak to a prosecutor in an early resolution meeting (I understand this can be done by phone if I live more than 75 km/h from the court house, which I do) and try to get the fine reduced? What else can I speak to the prosecutor about? The back of the ticket says "by choosing this option, you do not forego the right to a trial."

What kind of impact will this have on my driving record and insurance?

I have to file something or pay the fine by the end of this week.

Thanks!


iFly55
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Unread post by iFly55 on

The insurance companies have to pay for your driving abstracts, and they do this around the time of your renewal. If you've had a clean record for several years, the insurance company loses money paying for your abstract... so they choose not to get it. That money can be better spent on an at/higher risk driver (ie. male, 16yr, brampton, speeding, at-fault accident).

You'll have to look at your insurance policy, some people get conviction free discounts of 15%. If you get convicted for speeding, you'll lose those discounts and they may add another +10% per conviction. State Farm cancels policies on a third minor conviction within a three year window.

It's always better to request disclosure, and request a trial to maximize your opportunities of having the charges withdrawn due to technicalities. You'll have to look at your finances, and decide whether the time off and trips to Cambridge will be less than a guilty fine + insurance premium increase. You can also consider finding a local paralegal and see if their costs are more or less than your trips/time-off.

Set Fine: http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/how-do- ... hedule-43/
Victim Surcharge: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/e ... 0161_e.htm
Court Costs: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/e ... 0945_e.htm


switchbacker
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Unread post by switchbacker on

I got a speeding ticket Eastbound 401 east of Brooksale Ave just past Cornwall. He was sitting on the right side and unmarked hidden by tall bushes
on a right bend in the road.He spoke with a strong French accent. He said "I reduced the speed to save you some points"
The ticket says 120km in a posted 100km zone $95 ticket. It shows R checked with 129 over it.
A 3 point ticket reduced to a 3 point ticket so I found out later. Who cares about a km reduction when it does nothing
about the points! He spelled my first name wrong but anyone looking at it can easily make correction.
The Paralegal said they make the R so that the prosecutor doesn't have to make a deal.
I live in Newmarket and a 4 1/2 hour drive to Cornwall. My frienddid the disclosure thing and said he would like to go
through proper procedure and receive it by registered mail. he never got the registered mail and went back to court and had it tossed.
But he did this in Toronto. Is there any way to beat this ticket.
Thanks
Switchbacker
Is there any way to beat this?
Is there any way to beat this


bend
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Unread post by bend on

switchbacker wrote:A 3 point ticket reduced to a 3 point ticket so I found out later. Who cares about a km reduction when it does nothing
about the points!
Saving the $30-$40 in a fine is probably more useful than avoiding the points. For the everyday driver, points are useless. They expire within 2 years. Unless you are a novice driver or you plan on getting pulled over every other month, I wouldn't lose any sleep over the points.


helenhelen
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Unread post by helenhelen on

I sat on this a bit too long. My court date is Feb 9th (it crept up on me!) and I just sent an email asking for disclosure today. I got an automated email back saying they received my disclosure request, so that is proof that they got my request. The unfortunate thing is I have to go in person to pick it up once it is ready, and that is in Kitchener. Meanwhile, I live in Toronto and work full-time during the day.

I requested the following:

- a full copy of the police officer’s notes (typed if not legible)
- a copy of both sides of the officer's copy of the ticket (offence notice)
- type, name and model # of speed detection device the officer used
- copy of the manual for the speed detection device
- calibration records for the speed detection device
- certificate or information showing the officer’s training in using the device
- maintenance record for the device used
- any other evidence the Crown plans to use in court

After looking at the disclosure and I see there are no possible holes, is it better to just pay the fine if I feel attending court is too inconvenient? My primary concern is insurance rates going up. As I understand it, the insurance company does not care about demerit points, nor how much the fine was or how fast you were speeding. A conviction is a conviction to them, whether 1km/hour over or 38km/hour over, is that correct? I would attend court if the insurance company does consider your speed and see if I could get the km reduced. I understand that even if there are no holes in the disclosure, I could get off if the officer does not show up (which I also understand is rare, particularly in a place like Kitchener). In this case, do I plead not guilty up to the point of my trial being called to the stand (usually, they let you know the officer didn't show only at this stage, right?)? If I find the officer is there, is it possible at this stage to change my plea to guilty with explanation and try to get a reduced fine, or is it too late by the time you are called up?

My final question is that I am considering hiring a paralegal because of the hassle of going to Kitchener during the work day. Is this a wise idea, and approx much to do they normally charge?


helenhelen
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Unread post by helenhelen on

I just got my disclosure, but not all of what I requested. I'd like some help deciphering it (see images below), and seeing if there are any holes in the evidence. I am trying to figure out if I would be able to fight this ticket entirely, or plead for a lesser charge.. or if I should just hire a paralegal to deal with all of this for me since the location is so inconvenient (I live in Toronto and the trial is in Kitchener. I was quoted $350 by one company, but they mentioned they would file for a trial and request disclosure as part of it, but I've already done that, so I imagine I can get some cost knocked off). Also, should I ask for the missing info (I am thinking in particular the training records for the officer)? And do I need to view the complete device manual?

I had asked for:

- a full copy of the police officer’s notes (typed if not legible)
- a copy of both sides of the officer's copy of the ticket (offence notice)
- type, name and model # of speed detection device the officer used
- copy of the manual for the speed detection device
- calibration records for the speed detection device
- certificate or information showing the officer’s training in using the device
- maintenance record for the device used
- any other evidence the Crown plans to use in court

They replied with:

"Disclosure and testing pages are attached.
Please be advised that you are welcome to attend at our office to review the complete manual; should you wish to do so, please arrange a mutually convenient appointment time with our office by contacting the number below.
We have no calibration or maintenance records to disclose.
All else is covered."

This is all I got:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Thanks in advance for any help!


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

You received everything you should expect in disclosure. Some of the items you asked for simply don't exist or won't be provided. Assuming the officer is competent in giving evidence, everything required for a conviction is in his or her notes.

I see no benefit in hiring a paralegal unless you plan to fight the charge outright. You'll likely pay more for their services then you would save with a reduced fine. The only exception would be if your insurance provider considers 35+ over a major conviction, in which case a reduced speeding ticket would save you in terms of insurance.

Probably too late now, but did you consider an early resolution meeting? Some jurisdictions allow them to be done over the phone. You could possibly plead to a reduced speed without needing to attend Court.






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