I was pulled over recently. I did stop just not for a full 3 seconds. The officer appeared nice and reassured me to just fight it in court. I am not sure whether this implied he would not show up but my chances look good. What should I do? Not Guilty wants to charge almost $300 to fight it in trial but I am hoping the officer does not show up. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Couple of questions... In what city were you stopped? Where was the officer when he/she observed you stop? Would you be able to tell if the officer was specifically observing for people running the stop sign or was the officer just driving around and spotted your alleged offence? Were there any other vehicles at/near the intersection at the time?
Now for the other stuff... You do not have to stop for a full three seconds. The Highway Traffic Act only requires you to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, even if it is for a microsecond. If you stopped for one-hundredth of a second or one hundred seconds, you still stopped. The "three second" rule is a driver training thing and not a legal requirement in Ontario.
Have you sent in the "not guilty" plea yet? If so, the next step would be to obtain disclosure to get the officer's notes. From that, you will be able to tell what the officer's side of the story is. Typically the way that they are scheduling Provincial Offences court these days, they find if the officer is available and then schedule the trial. There are occasions where the officer does not show up still, but that's becoming less frequent. I can't say with any degree of certainty if this would apply in your case. How "reassuring" was the officer about fighting the charge in court?
Thanks for the detailed reply.
The offense took place in the city of Brampton. The particular neighborhood is poor and I was just passing by on my way home from the food store. Yes, the officer was observing for people running the stop sign. I did stop but not completely. No other vehicles at the time but my mother was with me in the passenger.
If the officer shows up, ask to obtain disclosure? The officer was nonchalant in the way he gave me the ticket and informed me of ways to set a trial date. From my experience on beating speeding and seatbelt tickets, I was lucky for the cop to not show up. However, there was 1 time where a cop did tell me he would show up to court if I took it to trial. In contrast, this cop was nice and gave me a feeling that he wouldn't. We shall see soon.
Peel Police issuing a ticket? Naw, that never happens!
Okay, seriously. You need to request disclosure from the Crown before your trial date. How soon is your trial set? Making the request is not difficult, but be specific with what you want. Sending the disclosure request via registered mail or fax (make sure you keep the receipt) is usually the way to go, that way they can't say they didn't receive it. Then you can go and pick up your disclosure package and review all of the pertinent information. You can also pick up the package on the day of the trial, provided that you have made the request in advance.
You've had some luck with officers not showing up, were they also Peel officers? Do you know if they were also traffic officers? That's more for my own curiosity than anything else. Obviously you were there and have a much better read on what the officer said and how he said it in this case, particularly if he was offering advice on how to set a trial date. I can't guarantee anything, obviously.
Just to clarify, you said you "stopped but not completely." Did you do a rolling stop or did the vehicle actually cease its forward motion (tires completely stopped rotating) even for a fraction of a second?
I did stop but not completely
If you said that in court-you lose. The wheels of the vehicle must come to a complete stop. Slowing down doesn't count. Sounds like you slowed down.
Anyway there could be a number of reasons the officer told you to take it to court. I'm sorry to say, helping you out is not one of them.
First, an officer is subpoena'd to court and if they don't show they'll hear about it by their supervisor. Second, you have the right to a trial and they need to explain it.
Think about it for a second, if the officer wanted to help you out they wouldn't have written you the ticket in the first place.
To hire an agent, it would cost me almost $300 but I am thinking about doing it.
I might just go (its this week) and see what happens. I'll set a trial if the cop shows up.
If you're going to set a trial for a future date you might as well write your disclosure request and submit it at the courthouse. Make sure you get an affadavit signed by a Commissioner of Oaths showing that you submitted your request. Specifically request the officer's notes but also "an explanation and clarification of the charge" and "all relevant evidence." (Thank you, ticketcombat.)
See what happens this week...
The Cop was there, I recognized him and we made eye contact. Anyway, when I got called in front of the judge, I did not even have to plead not guilty. It was automatically withdrawn as they said the cop provided the wrong workbook! score for me
cruzmisl wrote:Wrong workbook???
Just shows how easy it might be to beat a charge. Congrats!
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"
www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com
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