Looking for some guidance here. This was the first time I have been stopped by the police and ticketed etc. so not too familiar with the process.
I was exiting a parking lot in the east end at Jackman Avenue and Hurndale just north of the Danforth near Chester subway station. It is a weird intersection where Jackman is a 2 way street from Danforth to Hurndale and then becomes one way southbound to the north. If you are heading north on Jackman, at that interesection, you have to either turn left onto Hurndale or right into the parking lot. If you are exiting the parking lot you have to turn left onto Jackman, you are (as it turns out) prohibited from continuing straight on from the parking lot onto Hurndale.
In this instance it was jsut going dark and raining and I did not see the signs, which are on the opposite side of the junction, and I exited the parking lot onto Hurndale and unfortunately for me there was a police car waiting on Jackman ( I presume waiting for this paticular offence) and so he pulled me over and gave me a ticket under the 'disobey sign' section of the HTA (182(2)).
To further compound my misfortune he pointed out when I gave him my documents that my insurance card had expired 2 weeks earlier and did I have a new one. I did not have a new one with me as I had just renewed it and had forgotten to put the new one in the car. So he also gave me a ticket for that as well.
I have already requested a court date and I am looking for opinions on where to go from here. It seems a bit excessive to me, for a first office, exiting a parking lot on a quiet residential street and making a simple mistake to end up with 2 tickets, $195 in fines and 2 demerit points.
For the sign I am wondering about the often mentioned bi-lingual defence? The white part of the sign however has no writing, just the arrow in a red circle struck through, under though it has the 'bicycles excepted' notice so is that the same sign that must be bilingual? Other than that I am not sure what the defence is beyond I didn't see the sign and give me a break?
For the insurance card, I have read several suggestions that the insurance law only specifies the driver carry a card with all the approriate information on it. the ticket says 'fail to have card' but I did have a card and all the information on it was correct (name, policy#, insurer etc.) and all valid as it was already renewed. So in that case do I have a position that I did not break that law?
any suggestions would be helpful. I plan on requesting full disclosure. Do you know if that paticular sign is a bylaw one? The only reason I can see it existing is that it was a neighbourhood request to divert traffic from the parking lot away from the residential street?
the crown "might" drop the insurance card for a guilty plea to an alt. HTA charge which carries no demerit points
however, i'd also do some research on alternative by-law offences which you could plead to, rather than the HTA one
wait for your notice of trial and request disclosure ... and go from there
My first question would be is this long enough to consider an 11(b) motion?
My plan now is to request full disclosure and look into the first attendance meeting. Is it appropriate to brign up the intention to file an 11(b) motion (if applicable) at this meeting? Would that influence the proescutions decision whether to proceed?
I am hoping that with the 2 tickets, for relatively minor offences, and given a previously clean record that they will offer some sort of plea deal, if the 11(b) is off the table. Given I have no reasonable defence to these charges, just the usual excuses i.e. forgot to put my new card in the car (only 2 weeks expired) and it was dark, raining and I didn't see the sign exiting a parking lot etc. would it be prudent to go for the plea deal offered, or to move to trial and hope they offer a better plea deal at that time?
It was mentioned above to look into municipal infractions for the disobey sign. how would I find that information? Is it required in the disclosure? Obviously I would prefer a non HTA plea, the fine is not my concern, more the insurance implications of accruing HTA convictions. In the same light I would rather plead guilty to the insurance card and come to a deal on the sign given that one carries points and is a more serious moving violation than forgetting your card?
Thanks for any help.
Had a similar situation and had the charges withdrawn. You're definitely in the 11b window with this court date, as per Morin and Andrade guidelines, but filing an 11b is a really arduous process. You'll most likely want to play the disclosure game and see if you can urge the prosecutor to withdraw charges on day of court.
Request disclosure using a custom form [you can find an example on TicketCombat] ASAP via fax [the numbers are finally up on the Court Services website]. Don't include your phone number. Send in a fax request every 6 weeks until court date or in the event that disclosure is provided. If disclosure is provided, go the 11b way. If not, your court day will be simply to [in the worst case] ask for an adjournment based on non-disclosure.
You will urge the prosecutor to withdraw "indirectly" by asking for your disclosure as you meet them prior to trial commencement. This is where they try to offer you a deal. You can also mention that you are going to be filing an 11b motion if the trial is adjourned. And it will be adjourned.
If for whatever reason, disclosure is made available to you on your day in court [and you are being persuaded to take some time out to review it], do NOT proceed with the trial. You should argue before the JP that you were not provided with a reasonable amount of time to make a full answer and defence to your charges, and that proceeding with the trial at that point would be a clear disregard on the prosecutor's behalf of the basic guarantees afforded to you by section 7 and 11d of the Charter. You then mention your multiple disclosure requests [make sure you bring the confirmation page from the fax machine], and the amount of time that has elapsed since you received your notice of trial. There's a small chance that the prosecutor will want to fight you tooth and nail to get the trial over with. Generally speaking, such minor offenses can be argued to be simple in nature and not requiring such a drawn out ordeal.
Be polite, courteous, and professional. Chances are your charges will be withdrawn. You'll notice the lack of people in court who take the initiative to learn about their rights [as much as you are doing now], and this gives you an advantage. Good luck.
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/bylaws/20 ... ule-24.pdf
Where it states:
Highway Being Entered: Jackman Avenue
Highway from which Vehicle Enters: The private driveway approximately 70 metres north of Danforth Avenue
Highway Not to be Entered: Jackman Avenue, north of the private driveway approximately 70 metres north of Danforth Avenue and Hurndale Avenue, west of Jackman Avenue (bicycles excepted)
Is this the bylaw covering the sign which I am charged with Disobeying and which must be included in my disclosure and, if needed, presents a possible lesser charge to plead to?
request disclosure. you can include your phone number. you'll have to pick it up anyways
if the sign is not part of the hta then a bylaw is required. If they don't send you a copy then that charge will be thrown out. Do not ask for the bylaw in your disclosure.
your best bet is to show up at trial and get the pros to throw out the charge based on your 11b. if she refuses you can argue the 11b in front of the jp. otherwise, the pros will throw out the insur card charge as long as you bring a current copy and give a minor charge with no points and low fine.
I have faxed in a request for disclosure, used the template on Ticket Combat (thanks) with no mention of bylaws. The sign was a direction restriction, forcing a left turn to control traffic from a parking lot exist. I don't believe that is a specific HTA sign as you say, especially as it is listed on the Toronto bylaw appendix linked above.
So I should file an 11(b) right away, 8 months out?
I have the old insurance card and my new one, and by November it will be possibly a 3rd card (should help arguing the 11(b) I'd think if it took so long it was 3 insuracne cards ago). My insurance card had only expired by a couple of weeks.
So best case the Prosecutor withdraws charges before trial based on 11(b), next best is I argue it in front of the justice. You say then that if the trial proceeded the prosecutor would throw out the insurance possibly and reduce the disobey sign, perhaps to the bylaw charge. However if I have got to the point where I am arguing the 11(b) infront of the justice and they reject it and proceed with the trial then it is too late is it not for any plea bargain? or, if the prosecutor decides not to withdraw despite the 11(b) do I then ask for a plea bargain inc ase the justice rejects it? Surely the plea bargian would only be agreed to by the prosecutor if I am pleading guilty and not arguing for the 11(b) stay?
crown will most likely not offer the plea-bargain if you choose to argue the 11b
if your stay is denied, be prepared to go straight to trial w/o plea-bargain deal
you need to file 11b right away. you need to show the judge that you objected to the delay as soon as you found out. your 11b should also request the earliest trial date possible. if you wait till the last minute, he will view it as a legal tactic and say you never objected earlier. this is what happened to me. learning experience.
it depends on the prosecutor. if she is a b**** then she'll take away the deal if you argue the 11b. you need to discuss it with her first. act real nice. if she complains just explain to her that you are just trying to obtain your rights and you would appreciate her help. imo, if she refuses then you might have to take the deal since you have 2 tickets and no leverage. you do have a strong 11b case though if argued properly. * Edited by forum *