Fail to obey stop sign

jonnybravo14
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Fail to obey stop sign

by: jonnybravo14 on
Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:39 pm

In July of 2009, I got cited for failing to obey a stop sign. I was in the middle of a move, so my license and registration had the old address, and upon requesting a court date, I changed the address to the new one. I didn't hear anything further on the matter until yesterday (Feb 24th), when I finally got my notice of trial. The notice indicates it was issued on the 11th of January, and a copy was sent to me as well as to the Provincial Offences Officer. It is postmarked on the 23rd of February. Having done a bit of research in the interim, and after speaking with a clerk at the Provincial Offences, I was advised to submit my request for disclosure after receiving the notice of trial. My problem is that the trial date was set for the end of March (in 4 weeks). I submitted my disclosure request today via registered mail. Had the notice actually been sent on the 11th of January, as indicated on said notice, I would have had time to make at least a couple of requests. I do not hold much hope that the disclosure will be delivered in a timely fashion for me to adequately respond to it.

On the other, I believe I was charged unfairly and in error, and think I should be able to make a decent argument to that effect. My understanding of HTA sec. 136(1)(A) is that upon approaching an intersection, I stop at either the stop line (if present), the close edge of a sidewalk or crosswalk, or failing the presence of either, at the edge of the intersection. Where I was charged, the stop line is about three or more car lengths from the intersection, and it was a very busy day. I had to wait for about 6 cars ahead of me to go through before getting my turn. In short, it was bordering on an impossibility to have not stopped, for a considerable amount of time, on or about the stop line. The officer was standing in the middle of the road on the street I was turning right onto, about 5 car lengths down the road. From his vantage point it is impossible to see the stop line. I surmised that I drew his attention because a break in traffic allowed me to follow a car through the intersection after both of us had previously stopped at the stop line. I watched the officer pull over another car that had also been able to follow the car in front of him through the intersection even though he too had clearly been stopped for some time in the general vicinity of the stop line (not possible to see it from where the officer had pulled me over behind his cruiser). He then ended an ongoing, animated conversation with a pedestrian, whom he appeared to be familiar with, who was standing at the back of the officer's cruiser. When he finally approached my vehicle, everything went ahead as expected: he didn't want to discuss it, he wanted to write the ticket.

In a sense, all I want the disclosure for is to try to get his perspective on what he was trying to accomplish. He may not have known about the stop line, and his notes my simply indicate that he nabbed me because I didn't stop again at the edge of the intersecion. Am I correct with my assumption that I don't need to stop again once I've stopped at the stop line and am now waiting for an opportunity to get through the intersection? If so, then what he was doing is wrong, and I just need to trip him up a bit in his testimony and have him fail to prove I violated sec. 136, correct? I plan on following up my disclosure request two weeks before the trial date as well, as I'd gladly save some time with a stay of my charge if I can. Any suggestions on strategy would be appreciated! Thank you.


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by: Traffic Law on
Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:07 pm

Am I correct with my assumption that I don't need to stop again once I've stopped at the stop line and am now waiting for an opportunity to get through the intersection?
You are absolutely correct. If you stopped at the white line you did not do anything wrong. You might also want to consider asking the court for an adjournment to obtain and review disclosure. You have indicated your previous request was not responded to as of yet. This may create an unreasonable delay (11b) argument on your next court appearance.


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by: jonnybravo14 on
Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:45 pm

Okay, I got my disclosure now, and there really isn't much to it. They say it was ready on March 5th, but they didn't notify me of that until late on the 18th. My court date is the 29th. I received a photocopy of the front of the ticket only (though I requested front and back), and a copy of the officer's notes which don't indicate much of anything. It names the intersection, that there was a visible stop sign and stop marking there, and I was observed not to stop and that my wheels were in continuous motion. There was no mention of the officer's position relative to the intersection, no maps to that effect, and no mention of where my vehicle was when it was observed not to have stopped.

I took some pictures of the intersection and they show it to be very difficult to actually have seen the stop line from where I know the officer was standing, particularly if there is a car in front of the car at the stop line. I also have photos which show that, like at most intersections, when there is more than one person waiting to proceed, the first car is always fully ahead of the stop line, and the second one is waiting at the line.

With the officer's limited notes, I'm sure he will be able to miraculously recall details on the spur of the moment to refute any assertions I might make of his vantage point or my location relative to the stop line. I guess the best I can do then is try to lead him into confirming his location as I remember it, show photos to the effect that it was a poor location to judge my stop from, and sow doubt as to whether his version of what happened is even plausible on a busy day? For me to have actually run the stop, a gap in traffic big enough to fit three cars would have had to turn right at that busy intersection. Also, the officer was standing in the middle of traffic, watching the intersection, his back, and carrying on a conversation with a pedestrian. That much distraction should have clouded his judgement as well, no doubt. I can also testify to the fact that I watched him ticket another car that had done nothing wrong.

Finally, if he tries to outright lie in an attempt to save face, can a person in the car with me be a witness? Appreciate any help I can get!


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by: rancher on
Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:53 pm

Person in car can be a witness...


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by: beleafer81 on
Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:09 pm

From what I understand You have met requirements of stopping behind the white line. You dont need to stop again.

I guess you could ask the officer if he remembers the car in front stopping, waiting for the way to clear ect. Lead him to the conclusion that you were stopped behind the white line.


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by: jonnybravo14 on
Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:23 pm

If the JP decides to hear the case, that's exactly the method I think I'll take.

For pre-trial motions, is it worth my while to attempt an argument for improper disclosure based on the fact that I asked for a will say statement from any witnesses (the cop) and didn't get one? His notes don't have any detail at all, so I'm forced to react to what he claims to recall only as he says it, and do not have an opportunity to prepare a defence for that except on the fly. Does this violate my right to fair trial? If not, can I argue improper disclosure later if the cop attempts to reference a hand-drawn map of his location during the trial?


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by: jonnybravo14 on
Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:41 pm

Been awhile since I've been on, but my case still has not been heard. The date of the original offence was the 2nd of July 2009.

I had my first shot at a trial on the 29th of March. The prosecution had lined up two cases from the same traffic stop (stop sign blitz), and we both wanted trial. The other guy went before me and won (same reason I am fighting it). When mine came up, the JP declared that since it was essentially the same case, he was prejudiced having heard the testimony from the preceding case, and ordered an adjournment, to which the prosecution wholeheartedly agreed. I, of course, objected, but my trial was moved to the 5th of July, over a year from the original offence.

Today I sat in court all day, last on the docket, only to have the JP say that there wasn't enough time left in the day to hear my case. To my surprise, the prosecutor said that I wasn't eligible to have another adjournment since I had already asked for one at my first trial, on the grounds that I wanted to seek legal advice. I corrected her, and the JP rescheduled my trial for the 2nd of September, exactly 14 months after the original alleged infraction. He placed the onus on the crown to schedule the proper amount of time to hear my case on that day, and said it would not be further delayed.

So I'm guessing it is clearly 11b time. I'd like to start putting the motion together well in advance and was hoping for some advice on what to include. I feel that all of the more than 6 months of time since the original court date should all be counted as an unreasonable delay over and above institutional delay, since I was ready to proceed on both occasions. In any event, intake should have been fairly short for this one (no witnesses, just a cop and his notes, so the prosecutor would have never had to even glance at it). I guess at this point I should be calling my right to have a fair trial into question. It has been a long time and I'm sure the cop has given out hundreds of speeding tickets over the past year alone. Mine was not memorable for any reason -- I know when to keep my mouth shut :) Any other advice for the motion would be greatly appreciated.


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by: jonnybravo14 on
Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:39 pm

Quick question -- hope to get an answer on this!

Where do I draw the line between a factum and an affidavit? I've been writing the affidavit as a rundown of steps I've taken since the charge has been laid and how each has been responded to by the Crown and the court system. Then do I make my arguments as to the length and unreasonableness of the delay, the fact that I have not waived my right to a prompt trial, and demonstrate the increased prejudice to my defence csae imposed by an unreasonable delay? Or is this all stuff for the factum? If so, how much do I put in the affidavit? Or is it enough to just make a single statement that the content in my factum is indeed accurate and truthful?


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by: Radar Identified on
Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:53 pm

From my perspective, swearing that the content of the factum is completely truthful should be sufficient. You could get a Commissioner of Oaths to help you with that.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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