On July 14, 2017 I received my first ever ticket. Being a relatively new driver (4 years experience) and holding a full G for almost a year now, my history isnt that long. I am 21 years old with a full licence. I will acknowledge that I was speeding while attempting to overtake 2 cars in front of me that were going slightly lower than the speed limit of 80 km/h. I did not keep track of my odometer as I overtook the cars ahead of me. As I was approaching an intersection to merge onto Highway 37 from Highway 7 signs for Tweed, to 401 I got pulled over. The cop came up to me and said he had been following me for a bit and clocked me in at 132 km/h. I handed all my registration and licence to him. He asked where I was headed to and inquired if I was a member of the Canadian Forces as I have a veterans plate. About 15 minutes later, he explained that because of my clean record he would write down on the ticket 129km/h or 49 km over the posted speed limit. He explained to me that if I chose to go to court, I would face the possibility of him amending the original charge of 132 km/h. The ticket indicates R132. I have a total fine of $359 and 4 points. Now, at the moment I am in a bit of a dilemma. Yes, the cop did cut me a break from charging me for Stunt driving but are there other options to reduce the charge?
I dont know which option to choose from. Option 1 plead guilty and pay the fine, Option 2 meet with prosecutor or Option 3 go to Trial with possibility of amendment. My plan of action was to choose option 3, request disclosure and talk to a Paralegal adviser. I am hoping to receive a reduced charge if possible. My renewal is in October and I want to attempt to schedule a trial after then.
Any insight and opinions is highly appreciated.
Instead of paying a paralegal, just talk to the prosecutor yourself, for free, find out what their position is...if you don't like what they have to say and decide you want a trial, then talk to a paralegal...others will tell you to plead not guilty, request disclosure first, then talk to the prosecutor...
gaaravang wrote:Yes, the cop did cut me a break from charging me for Stunt driving but are there other options to reduce the charge?
I dont know which option to choose from. Option 1 plead guilty and pay the fine, Option 2 meet with prosecutor or Option 3 go to Trial with possibility of amendment. My plan of action was to choose option 3, request disclosure and talk to a Paralegal adviser. I am hoping to receive a reduced charge if possible.
You are getting greedy. You got the reduction of a lifetime. A further reduced charge? I highly doubt they'd entertain that at all. This is one of those instances where i'd pay my fine and praise the ticket gods.
The difference between 52 over and 49 over are night and day.
50+ over speeding/stunt driving is a SERIOUS offence for insurance purposes and will cause your insurance rates to skyrocket the same as a DUI. Also the officer could have impounded your car for 7 days and suspended your license on the spot if they had wanted to.
Now in order for the charge to raised back up to the original 52 over, you have to show up for your trial date AND the trial has to start AND you have to plead Not Guilty AND the officer has to get on the stand and testify that you were going that speed. This means you still have the option to request a trial, see disclosure, show up for the trial and if you plead Guilty at the trial then the officer will not testify and the speed will not be raised and will have to stay at the 49 over.
So you have nothing to lose by pleading Not Guilty and requesting a trial with the officer present. Once you get your Notice of Trial, you can then request disclosure (copy of officers notes). You need to see the officers notes in order to see if you have a chance at beating the ticket or not. So lets assume you get the notes and the officers notes were good so there is probably no chance of beating the ticket... then you show up for the trial date and talk to the prosecutor before the trial and ask if they will reduce it further. The prosecutor might be in a good mood and offer to reduce it a little more, however this is unlikely since it was an orginally 50+ and was already reduced. So if the prosecutor won't reduce it any further, then when you are called up before the JP you say you would like to plead guilty but due to financial hardship you want to ask for the fine to be reduced.
Worst case is that you get no further reduction in speed and get no further reduction in fine and it will still cost you the same.
Best case is that the prosecutor agrees to reduce it furhter, or that the JP agrees to reduce the fine further.
If you show up for the trial and plead Not Guilty at trial, this is when they could raise the charge back up to the 52 over, so you would plead Not Guilty at trial IF the officers notes show a deficiency that means you can most likely beat it.
You do not need to hire a paralegal to try and get a reduced fine, as you can do this yourself.
If money is not really an issue, then you should thank the officer for not charging you with stunt driving and pay the ticket and move on.
If money is an issue, then plead Not Guilty and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get your Notice of Trial, request disclosure (officers notes). Once you get the notes, post them back here and we can let you know if there a chance to beat it or not. Remember that you can just pay the ticket any time before trial, or change your plea to guilty at the trial, and they can NOT raise it back up to the higher speed so you have nothing to lose by going this route.
All statements made are my opinion only.
Our colleagues have given you excellent advice. I agree that it's highly unlikely you'll manage to have the charge reduced any further. Your best-case scenario is either a reduced fine or more time to pay. The JP cannot change the demerit points; those are applied by MTO upon a conviction. Given that it is now mid-July, it's also unlikely your trial date would be before your insurance renewal comes through. That may also be a benefit.
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