Failure to Stop at Red Light Defense?

AlphaDog
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Failure to Stop at Red Light Defense?

by: AlphaDog on
Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:09 pm

Today I received a $320 ticket for failing to stop at a red light.

I was driving on the highway, the light turned yellow and I didn't slow down in time. I did slow down and come to a complete stop, I was partially in the intersection and couldn't back up due to other vehicles behind me so I carefully proceeded through as to not block traffic going through the lights; assuming the OPP officer caught this on his dash cam his video would reflect that I did come to a complete stop.

Could this help my defense? And is it possible to use the defense of due diligence on a failure to stop at a red light? I had a clean driving record up until today.
Clearly the slowing down and coming to a complete stop should prove that mens rea was not present and I didn't enter the intersection with the intention of going through the red light. How can I fight this ticket? Is it even worth fighting or should I just pay the $320 and be happy I didn't get charged the maximum $1000.


jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:57 pm

Did you receive a ticket in the mail or was it hand delivered by an officer?

Plead not guilty and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, you can request disclosure (officers notes, make model serial numbers of all equipment involved, any pics video audio, any witess statements). Once you get that info post it here.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


bend
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by: bend on
Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:53 pm

Failing to stop for a red light is an absolute liability offense. That means you either stopped for the red light or you didn't. That will be the basis of your trial. Either one or the other.

Keep that in mind as you progress.








Zatota
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by: Zatota on
Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:28 am

Mens rea does not matter for provincial offences. This is not a criminal matter. How far into the intersection were you? If you were just a little across the line and, say, blocking part of the pedestrian crossing area, many police officers wouldn't bother you. Unfortunately, the drivers behind you weren't polite enough to give you room to back up (also, unfortunately, impoliteness is not an offence). Once you actually proceeded through the intersection, however, you eliminated any benefit of the doubt the officer may have given you.

For what it's worth, I hate lights on highways, such as Highway 7. Yes, the yellow is longer the higher the speed limit, but those "can I stop safely if I brake now" decisions are much more difficult to make.


AlphaDog
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by: AlphaDog on
Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:30 pm

Zatota wrote:Mens rea does not matter for provincial offences. This is not a criminal matter. How far into the intersection were you? If you were just a little across the line and, say, blocking part of the pedestrian crossing area, many police officers wouldn't bother you. Unfortunately, the drivers behind you weren't polite enough to give you room to back up (also, unfortunately, impoliteness is not an offence). Once you actually proceeded through the intersection, however, you eliminated any benefit of the doubt the officer may have given you.

For what it's worth, I hate lights on highways, such as Highway 7. Yes, the yellow is longer the higher the speed limit, but those "can I stop safely if I brake now" decisions are much more difficult to make.
I was passed the pedestrian crossing area.

In this case is my best option to select option number 2 on the ticket and meet with the JP to try and bring the ticket down?


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by: daggx on
Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:10 pm

AlphaDog wrote:
Zatota wrote:Mens rea does not matter for provincial offences. This is not a criminal matter. How far into the intersection were you? If you were just a little across the line and, say, blocking part of the pedestrian crossing area, many police officers wouldn't bother you. Unfortunately, the drivers behind you weren't polite enough to give you room to back up (also, unfortunately, impoliteness is not an offence). Once you actually proceeded through the intersection, however, you eliminated any benefit of the doubt the officer may have given you.

For what it's worth, I hate lights on highways, such as Highway 7. Yes, the yellow is longer the higher the speed limit, but those "can I stop safely if I brake now" decisions are much more difficult to make.
I was passed the pedestrian crossing area.

In this case is my best option to select option number 2 on the ticket and meet with the JP to try and bring the ticket down?
I would pick option 3 and plead not guilty and then request disclosure, this keeps all your options open. If you decide after looking at the disclosure that you want to cut a deal for a reduction you can always do that the day of your trial. Also I think there maybe a fatal error on your ticket because of the incorrect fine amount. There has been some new recent case law on the subject so I'm hoping some others will chime in on that subject, but if that is still a fatal error then you may be able to get the ticket tossed.


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by: AlphaDog on
Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:04 am

daggx wrote:
AlphaDog wrote:
Zatota wrote:Mens rea does not matter for provincial offences. This is not a criminal matter. How far into the intersection were you? If you were just a little across the line and, say, blocking part of the pedestrian crossing area, many police officers wouldn't bother you. Unfortunately, the drivers behind you weren't polite enough to give you room to back up (also, unfortunately, impoliteness is not an offence). Once you actually proceeded through the intersection, however, you eliminated any benefit of the doubt the officer may have given you.

For what it's worth, I hate lights on highways, such as Highway 7. Yes, the yellow is longer the higher the speed limit, but those "can I stop safely if I brake now" decisions are much more difficult to make.
I was passed the pedestrian crossing area.

In this case is my best option to select option number 2 on the ticket and meet with the JP to try and bring the ticket down?
I would pick option 3 and plead not guilty and then request disclosure, this keeps all your options open. If you decide after looking at the disclosure that you want to cut a deal for a reduction you can always do that the day of your trial. Also I think there maybe a fatal error on your ticket because of the incorrect fine amount. There has been some new recent case law on the subject so I'm hoping some others will chime in on that subject, but if that is still a fatal error then you may be able to get the ticket tossed.
How can you tell that the fine amount is incorrect?


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by: daggx on
Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:48 pm

AlphaDog wrote:How can you tell that the fine amount is incorrect?
The set fines for each offence are listed on the Ontario Court of Justice website:
http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/how-do- ... hedule-43/

Then you have to add in the victim surcharge which is listed here:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/000161

Then on top of that there should be a $5 court fee listed here in the table of costs:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900945

So for a red light ticket you should have a set fine of $260 plus a victim surcharge of $60 plus a court fee of $5 for a total of $325.


AlphaDog
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by: AlphaDog on
Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:17 pm

daggx wrote:
AlphaDog wrote:How can you tell that the fine amount is incorrect?
The set fines for each offence are listed on the Ontario Court of Justice website:
http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/how-do- ... hedule-43/

Then you have to add in the victim surcharge which is listed here:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/000161

Then on top of that there should be a $5 court fee listed here in the table of costs:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900945

So for a red light ticket you should have a set fine of $260 plus a victim surcharge of $60 plus a court fee of $5 for a total of $325.
I read in another thread that I have to let the ticket default for the ticket to be quashed because if I bring it to court the justice will just fix the error? He said that the ticket needs to default and if the justice notices the error they will quash it, and if they don't catch the error I would have to appeal it. Any truth to this?


AlphaDog
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by: AlphaDog on
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:05 pm

AlphaDog wrote:
daggx wrote:
AlphaDog wrote:How can you tell that the fine amount is incorrect?
The set fines for each offence are listed on the Ontario Court of Justice website:
http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/how-do- ... hedule-43/

Then you have to add in the victim surcharge which is listed here:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/000161

Then on top of that there should be a $5 court fee listed here in the table of costs:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900945

So for a red light ticket you should have a set fine of $260 plus a victim surcharge of $60 plus a court fee of $5 for a total of $325.
I read in another thread that I have to let the ticket default for the ticket to be quashed because if I bring it to court the justice will just fix the error? He said that the ticket needs to default and if the justice notices the error they will quash it, and if they don't catch the error I would have to appeal it. Any truth to this?
And would the $5 court fee still be on a ticket given directly by a police officer at the scene?


AlphaDog
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by: AlphaDog on
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:13 pm

Back story: got a fail to stop at red light ticket, set fine $260, total payable $320. Was told in my previous thread that this was incorrect, it should be $325, it appears the court fee is missing.

So my questions:
1) will there be a court fee in the ticket even if it is presented by the police officer at the scene?
2) should I just not respond to the ticket, let it default and then appeal it?
3) does anyone have any experience with doing this?

Thanks!


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by: EphOph on
Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:18 am

1) Every ticket has a $5 court fee included in the total payable. Even if you just plea guilty and pay it, the court still processes it.
2) That is the strategy with these types of fatal errors. Although there is some new case law which could affect it, I think the fine amounts being wrong are still considered fatal errors.
3) There have been many threads on the forum, just search fatal error.


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