Failure to stop

Ed1982
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Failure to stop

Unread post by Ed1982 on

I got this ticket in the Kawartha Lakes area last April and my trial date is approaching in mid December. I have procrastinated a bit in trying to prepare for this, but am looking at it closer now.

So, I was at a 4 way stop and the officer claims that I rolled through. I do not believe that I did. When the officer pulled me over he stated what the charge was and I did not try to argue but simply asked, "Did I do something unsafe?" I'm not sure why that is what I thought to ask, but it is. The officer replied, "No, you weren't unsafe, but you did not stop completely." I kept quiet and just said "OK" because I actually wasn't wearing my seatbelt either and I was hoping, though not thinking it would actually happen, that he would not notice I was not wearing my seatbelt. Anyways, he left and came back with the ticket and he did not notice the seatbelt I wasn't wearing and I went on my way.

I opted first to have a resolution meeting with the JP and met with someone who I think is the prosecutor. She said that the JP may lower the charge but could do nothing about the demerit points. So I opted then to take it to trial. I'm pretty nervous though and don't know if I made the right choice or not. In this meeting I was provided disclosure. All that was in it was a brief note, most of it prewritten and typed and the officer had filled in some blanks. I assume this is all the evidence then.

My plan during trial is to attempt to discredit the officer. There are no errors with the ticket or anything like that so I think discrediting the officers memory is my best angle. I will ask questions about what I was wearing, what the weather was like and how many passengers were in the vehicle at the time. I also want to use the officers answer that I was not unsafe against him if I can. I feel like in saying that he basically said I did nothing wrong as really traffic laws exist to create safe roads. If I was safe in what I did then how is it worthy of a ticket? I did bring this up with the prosecutor and she basically said that all means nothing.

I do have some more questions and would love some feedback.

1) Since I received disclosure at the resolution meeting and that did not include a dashcam video is it safe to assume there is no dashcam video and the only evidence is his recollection?
2) I am tempted to bring up the fact that I was not wearing my seatbelt at the time to discredit the officers credibility as he did not even notice. Is this a good idea? Is it worth mentioning? will it work against me or against him?
3) Am I even on the right track here? Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks.


bend
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Unread post by bend on

Ed1982 wrote:My plan during trial is to attempt to discredit the officer. There are no errors with the ticket or anything like that so I think discrediting the officers memory is my best angle. I will ask questions about what I was wearing, what the weather was like and how many passengers were in the vehicle at the time. I also want to use the officers answer that I was not unsafe against him if I can. I feel like in saying that he basically said I did nothing wrong as really traffic laws exist to create safe roads. If I was safe in what I did then how is it worthy of a ticket? I did bring this up with the prosecutor and she basically said that all means nothing.
These questions are irrelevant. Whether or not the officer remembers if you wore a sweater or a scarf doesn't prove if you stopped or not.

Whether or not you broke the law safely is also irrelevant. Not stopping at a stop sign is an absolutely liability offense. Either you stopped or you didn't. If you go down the road that you did what you did safely, you've just admitted to everyone you are guilty and your trial is already over.
Ed1982 wrote:1) Since I received disclosure at the resolution meeting and that did not include a dashcam video is it safe to assume there is no dashcam video and the only evidence is his recollection?
If it wasn't provided, it probably doesn't exist. Most of the time it's just going to be an officer with only his notes.
Ed1982 wrote:2) I am tempted to bring up the fact that I was not wearing my seatbelt at the time to discredit the officers credibility as he did not even notice. Is this a good idea? Is it worth mentioning? will it work against me or against him?
It's irrelevant and you're going to make yourself look foolish. It's probably best that you don't.
Ed1982 wrote:3) Am I even on the right track here? Any advice would be helpful.
All you need to know is that the charge is an absolute liability. Either you stopped or you didn't. There's no in between. "I think I stopped" and "I didn't stop but..." is all a waste of time. You're already guilty at that point. You've already done a lot up to this point, which is better than most, but you're sabotaging your own trial. Stick to what the officer saw when he allegedly witnessed you roll through a stop sign. The act itself, not what you were wearing.


ynotp
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Unread post by ynotp on

Your best defense would be if you could honestly testify with absolute certainty that you stopped completely for a split second and proceeded. It is all about credibility. You'll have to suggest the officer made an honest mistake. If your testimony is as credible as the officer's, then the Justice aught to give you benefit of the doubt.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

In this case you should NOT testify and should NOT give your side of the story unless you are 100% prepared to say, without a doubt, that you absolutely stopped. If there is slightest waiver in your testimony then you will convict yourself, so you are probably better to exercise your right not to incriminate yourself and stay off the witness stand.

Now if it is your testimony against the officers), then most likely they will believe the officer over you. If you do not testify, then obviously they only have the officer testimony to believe with no rebuttal.

Whether you testify or not, you need to bring some kind of reasonable doubt to what the officer said. The only place to bring reasonable doubt is when you cross-examine the officer on the witness stand by asking him questions. However you need to really really good at cross-examination!

You should read these posts:
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7039.html
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7041.html
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7032.html

(1) There is probably no dashcam video, although you can make a request for it anyways just to make sure.
(2) Probably will not help you at all to mention you were not wearing a seatbelt.
(3) The right track is to learn the rules of the game! Read those threads I posted above.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


Ed1982
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Unread post by Ed1982 on

Ok well thanks I appreciate the info and obviously I am not going to try my tactics after the advice. I really didn't think I was doing well with that and am glad I asked.
So would I be eat off just paying the fine then? Or can I see a JP again to ask for a lower fine?
What is the best thing for me to do at this point? My trial date is dec 17.






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