Disobey stop sign - fail to stop

Robbie
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Disobey stop sign - fail to stop

by: Robbie on
Mon May 02, 2011 12:55 am

I've been reading this site while waiting for my court date. My court date came in 2 weeks ago, and it is for August 22, 2011.

Brief first, than charge.

The Brief
Leaving my house to go to friends going away party.
Exit drive way, drive about 2/10s of a kilometer to stop sign. This is a stop sign I have been approaching since I was 16, and in the past 5 wears almost daily for school/work reasons. I am aware that is is a dangerous corner, as many people do not stop for the stop signs, drive through and get t-boned. It happened to my grandma a couple of months earlier on her way to visit (someone ran the stop and hit her). I know exactly where to look, and because this is so early in my drive and performed so often, I have become very good at checking the intersection upon and after approach.

I take notice of a automobile approaching that is approximately .3-.4 kilometres away. I measured with my car, as well as using google maps. The car is a comfortable distance away. On the included picture in this post I have marked where the Cruiser was in relation to where I was for the infraction I was written up for. The other marking on the far right is where I was finally pulled over. There was no chase. His lights were turned on where marked on the map and I pulled over as soon as possible. In fact, as I saw the headlights behind me approaching at a great speed, I lowered my speed and prepared to pull over to let the emergency vehicle pass. However, he was speeding up to pull me over.

He asks me why I was pulled over, I assume it was because I was speeding. I was going travelling over the limit at the time, but nothing outrageous. 15 over max. The officer states I ran the red light. Since it was not on my mind and I do this drive so much, it is not a clear memory in my mind as to whether I came to a complete stop at the intersection. I am almost certain I never admitted fault on that, but never really admitted I didn't do it either. I let the officer dictate my actions. The entire time I was completely co-operative, respectful and polite to the officer.

The Charge
He comes back after taking my license/registration and hands me a ticket for $110 Sect. 136(1)(a): Disobey Stop Sign, Failure to Stop. He also tries to scare me into paying the ticket by saying that I was lucky I didn't get booked for speeding. He never references how fast I was going, just that I was indeed speeding (I did some research and found out that I cannot be subsequently booked for speeding if I was not at the time, only if I was booked for speeding and given a reduced charge could it than be added back to the full charge. Is this correct?)

I am planning on fighting this (as I have already stated above).
My defence so far will rest on the distance the officer was when viewing the offence he wrote me up for, as well as the distance I was pulled over for my offence. The distance was over 1 kilometre away from the scene (again I was not running, but this was a by-product of the distance the officer was at the time of his viewing).

Another tidbit: The perceived offence took place at 9:50 pm in March. It was quite dark outside. There is a single light at the intersection, and that is it. It should be noted that the light is not always on and seems to sometimes be on and sometimes be off. At the time of the perceived infraction, it was off. It is in the country where there is not a lot of light pollution. Darkness would have definitely played a part on the accuracy of the viewing of my perceived infraction from the officer's distance. This is reinforced by the distance I was pulled over from the scene.

Do I have a case here?
Is it sure that the speeding offence cannot be brought up in court since I was not ticketed for it at the time? I am preparing my disclosure request letter at the moment, as well as my defence.

(I do have some experience fighting tickets in court, as I successfully fought a speeding ticket over 3 years ago. My record is currently clean as a whistle. My main concern is points, as insurance is not cheap for 25 year old male drivers. I am nonetheless somewhat excited to fight this. I feel like I'm doing my civic duty in some ways.)

Any advice is lovely.

Here is the appendix:
The perceived offence on google maps for further reference.
Image

p.s. Sorry for the length. I just want to make sure I included enough details for you.


Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Tue May 03, 2011 1:22 pm

Request disclosure to see what the officer's actual observations are. If he was as far away as you believe, there may be a good case to argue reasonable doubt since it would be difficult to clearly observe the offence at night from any great distance.

Technically you could still be charged by summons with speeding up to 6 months from the date of the offence, but I wouldn't worry about it. It doesn't sound like the officer would have sufficient evidence to lay a speeding charge anyhow.

Edit: Did he actually say he stopped your for running a red light? Or is that just a typo?


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by: OPS Copper on
Tue May 03, 2011 4:22 pm

The distance he stopped you from the intersection is not relevant. When I was rural I sopped people 10km from the intersection. There was a multitude of reasons such as back up closer, Waiting for the hits on the plate to return( we like to know who we are dealing with be fore we stop them), not able to notify dispatch of the stop as the radio is tied up, etc

OPS


Robbie
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by: Robbie on
Wed May 04, 2011 5:14 pm

This needs some clarification.
The distance he stopped you from the intersection is not relevant. When I was rural I stopped people 10 km from the intersection. There was a multitude of reasons such as back up closer, Waiting for the hits on the plate to return (we like to know who we are dealing with be fore we stop them), not able to notify dispatch of the stop as the radio is tied up, etc.

OPS
I agree 100% that the distance he stops me from the perceived infraction does not matter, in a black and white world. But we live in a world full of shades of grey. The distance between where I was pulled over and where the perceived infraction occurred IS relevant in this case because the officer was not tailing me the entire time I was driving down the 4th Concession before the highway.

I was almost to the end of the Concession, when I noticed RAPIDLY accelerating lights coming towards me in my rear view mirror. Once he had caught up to me, he flashed the emergency lights and I promptly pulled over.

The distance it took him to catch up to me to pull me over is an indicator of how far away he was from me when he witnessed me performing the perceived offence in his eyes. I understand that officers may track of follow someone for an indefinite distance, but in this specific circumstance, there was no tracking. He was too far away to read my plate to run it. There was no pause between him catching up to me and the lights coming on. As soon as he caught up to me, he turned the emergency lights on. To me that clearly indicated that he did not run my plate or experience so-called "tie-ups" in the radio. The latter sounds like jargon. Shouldn't systems employed in professions where human lives are at stake be tested to not experience such "tie-ups"? I don't buy that, and in this case it is not applicable at all given the officer's actions prior to pulling me over.

Back-up closer, as a justification, again is not relevant as there was no time between when he caught up to me (because initially he was far away from me, not because I was going an insane speed), and when he turned his emergency lights on. Wouldn't logic dictate he would catch up to me, run my plate/ call for back-up closer/ wait for "tie-ups" to clear, and then once all of the officer's checks and requests are met, proceed to turn on his lights and pull me over? That sounds more logical to me, but the fact is, that is not what happened.

What do you think went on in this case?
Request disclosure to see what the officer's actual observations are. If he was as far away as you believe, there may be a good case to argue reasonable doubt since it would be difficult to clearly observe the offence at night from any great distance.

Technically you could still be charged by summons with speeding up to 6 months from the date of the offence, but I wouldn't worry about it. It doesn't sound like the officer would have sufficient evidence to lay a speeding charge anyhow.

Edit: Did he actually say he stopped your for running a red light? Or is that just a typo?
That was a typo. He said he stopped me for failure to stop, but I will need his notes to confirm. I am not too worried about the speeding ticket, as I will fight that too. What is a summons, out of curiosity? How is the offence delivered to the defendant in that case?

Finally, thank you very much to you both for responding. I will be updating with information as soon as I receive it.

I can't stress how much I appreciate the responses on here. There is a great wealth of information in the older threads. The more I read, the more I realise how unfair the system is to the average citizen. There are so many hoops to jump through, and the worst part is that most of the help available is invisible. On a side note, it seems that everything available to assist you with your charge is kept from you. I had no idea I could even ask for officer's notes. I had no idea about the procedures/guidelines one must use or consider are incredibly complicated and confusing. That's why I'm so appreciative of this forum and the people on it.

Thanks and stay posted. :)


Robbie
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by: Robbie on
Wed May 04, 2011 6:36 pm

There is no mention of make or model of the vehicle I was driving on my ticket. Is this relevant to my defence?

There also could be an issue with my name: under "Family" he wrote my middle name, under "Given" he wrote my first name, and under "Name" he wrote my last name. Will this help/ is this relevant?

Also, the City of Hamilton provides a Request For Disclosure form stating that if any portion of the form is not filled out, that my request may not be granted. Is the word "may" important here? I would feel more comfortable using my own form (edited version of a form retrieved from a website suggested here), since I have room to request all the information I require. Can I fax both in and write on Hamilton's provided disclosure form to "Please see attached disclosure form for full list of requirements", or will this not fly?

Here is my list of items I am asking for disclosure of:
-a full copy of the police officer’s notes;
-a copy of both sides of the officer’s copy of the ticket (Notice of Offence);
-a typed version of any hand written notes;
-any statements made by the defendant;
-copies of the original notes of such statements
-translation of all Police jargon and/or terms (Thanks OPS Copper for making me think of this one)

Am I missing anything?


Thanks again!


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by: Radar Identified on
Thu May 05, 2011 11:13 pm

If the officer observed your vehicle commit the offence, it does not matter how far away he stopped you - with one exception: If he LOST SIGHT of your vehicle for more than a brief moment, then you could reasonably argue that he stopped the wrong vehicle. This could possibly be a line of defence in your case.
Robbie wrote:Wouldn't logic dictate he would catch up to me, run my plate/ call for back-up closer/ wait for "tie-ups" to clear, and then once all of the officer's checks and requests are met, proceed to turn on his lights and pull me over?
Logic would also dictate that the officer could run your plates after he stopped you. There is no requirement that they run plates up front. Ever see a speed trap where the cops are waving people over?
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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