So I shall explain...
On the night of February 23/2013 I had decided to be the responsible friend (as I usually am) and take on the task of being the designated driver for the night. Some friends and I were invited to a house party near the entrance of the 407 on Kennedy Rd (where I got my ticket) anyways, at around 1:40AM we decided to leave the party. It was a cold winter night, and I had 4 passengers squished into my Mazda 3, windows were fogged and I was adamant of getting home as I had work the next morning.
Unfamiliar with the area I had come out of the neighborhood traveling EAST on Helen Ave, as I came to Kennedy Rd I looked both ways trying to figure out how to get onto the 407, with my windows fogged it seemed that the entrance to the 407 extended past the intersection I was stopped at, and as a result I made a right hand turn on the red light, and then made a legal U-TURN around the island that divided traffic north and south. As I made the U-TURN I noticed a police cruiser about 1KM north of me with lights flashing seeming to have pulled over someone. I started up the 407 ramp to look into my rear view mirror and see two cruisers following me with lights flashing and sirens blazing. I immediately came to a stop and we were all stopped in the middle of the entrance ramp one cruiser had left once I stopped. At this point I was extremely confused, I was thinking they may have gotten word of a house party close by and wanted to make sure no one was drinking and driving.... well I had nothing to worry about as I drank nothing.
An officer pulled up to my window, took a look around my car to see 4 passengers dazed and confused and myself basically still wondering what the hell was going on. The officer asked me if I drank I said no, any drugs I said no. I told him I was confused and he told me he was confused as to why I made a U-TURN (at this point I still did not know that the U-TURN I made was unnecessary, in fact I did not know until the next day when I had to go onto google maps to figure out if I actually even needed to make that U-TURN) I just told him I was going home and needed to make the U-TURN to get onto the 407.
From what I remembered he disregarded what I said and asked everyone for ID'S. When he came back after searching our records, he asked my friend in the passenger seat why he had a suspended licence on him and why he didn't return it to the MTO. My friend basically explained that it is his only legal form of Identification and without it he could not buy cigarettes, or anything else that required ID. The officer without saying a word told him to step out of my car and took him to his cruiser where he searched him. Upon searching my friend the officer found a small baggy with nothing but a stem from marijuana in it. My friend later told me that he thought it would be disrespectful to leave that at the house as we were good friends of the host so he put it in his pocket and forgot about it. The officer came back, told us what he found (made it sound like he found a grow op in my trunk) and said if we didn't tell him what else was in the car he would arrest us and then search the car.
I knew full well, that there wasn't a single particle of any illegal substance or any open alcohol in my car, so I told the officer that there was absolutely nothing in my car. He didn't believe me or anyone else and told us all to get out and spoke to me privately telling me that I had one more chance to "fess up" or we would be in trouble. I told him I had nothing to hide, and that I would feel more comfortable if he searched my car as I truly knew there was nothing.
Half way through searching the car he found an empty bottle of Gin in my other friend's bag in the back seat, the officer asked why my friend had an empty bottle, he told the officer he brought it back with him for no apparent reason (remember he's intoxicated). The officer yelled out and told him not to do that because he doesn't know if he chugged the whole bottle before he searched the car. (Shy of me saying "Officer, if he did that I don't think he would be able to stand right now.) He searched my trunk, glove compartment and anything else he desired... the search took 30 minutes. He found nothing other than that empty bottle, and the little baggy with a stem in it. Both of which is completely out of my control to be aware of. (I mean really, who takes back an empty baggy and empty bottle of gin).
Anyways to make this long story kind of short. We all got back into the car and his nice partner came up and gave me this ticket. I asked him what it meant... he couldn't give me a straight answer. I asked him if it carried any dermit points he said he didn't know.
As you can already probably figure out, I made a fast U-TURN which seemed like I saw police down the road and I didn't want to pass them because I had been doing something illegal. However the only reason why I did the U-TURN was because my window was fogged, I was unfamiliar with the area and my friends didn't help the situation with their stupidity upon searching.
I don't know what I should do in this situation I strongly feel that I don't deserve this ticket. I made a legal right hand turn followed by a legal U-TURN. Everything else was pure suspicion and confusion for the officers. As for what they found, these items were carried by my friend's on their bodies, not my vehicle or myself. If anything, my friend with the suspended licence and baggy should have got a ticket and the friend with the empty bottle should have got a ticket. I was the responsible designated driver... why am I left holding the bag?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
You need to request disclosure as soon as you receive the notice of trila and see what evidence the officer has to suppirt the charge that was laid.
There is no advantage in wasting time to request disclosure.hocuspocus1029 wrote:I requested trial and my court date is October 10th. Does it make sense to request disclosure now or is their an advantage of requesting it closer to the date ?
(a) you're doing yourself a disservice by not having enough time to prepare a defense; and
(b) should you not receive disclosure in time for your trial, there are no sympathy points for people who wait until the last minute.
Tales like this really drive a wedge between citizens and the folks who are supposed to protect them. Next time, never consent to a search. (It's not likely that that search would stand up in the light of day...And making a big deal about an EMPTY bottle, frankly, makes the searcher look like a buffoon...a fool with certain statutory powers...imagine appearing in court with that gem: Witness: "your honour, the defendants were found in possession of an empty glass bottle." Counsel: "can you elaborate?" Witness: "it was clear glass ... and round.") From what you've described, there was NO cause to be so zealous in protecting the good people of York Region from a couple of inebriated folks and a good citizen. YRP should have given you a "thank you, citizen, for keeping drunk driving at bay" instead of a "bend over in York; we don't have citizens; we have subjects"
I will be requesting disclosure next week, when I do receive it I will post the details online here... I guess the big question is whether all of this was noted or just my "unnecessary" U-turn.
After requesting disclosure I had never received it, nor was I notified of anything. Fine by me, I was just going to go and most likely get an adjournment due to the fact that I was still waiting on disclosure.
When I arrived I immediately recognized the officer sitting in the court room. I checked in with the prosecutor, she pulled up my file and said "Looks like there was no evidence submitted for this, have a seat and I'll have the charges withdrawn for you."
Happy with what I just heard and a huge grin on my face, I turned to the cop and he just nodded and gave me a thumbs up.
Great result, can't say I wasn't all that surprised, the ticket was completely bogus.