I feel like I got shafted well proper on this one and not going down without a fight.
This is how the trial went in point form:
-First the officer went up and basically read from his notes even though my CLA (community legal aid) legal rep. advised the court that he didn't object to the officer using his notes but only as a reference. But this officer was basically looking down every second reading his notes. So he read what you see in the disclosure point for point. Crown questioned him a bit, simple questions, he identified me, etc.
-CLA legal rep was wearing hearing aid and I could tell he couldn't hear what the judge and officer were saying. He stated he has a hearing problem and asked them to speak louder, which they did shortly but again started talking in usual volume. Justice of peace appeared annoyed... already getting a bad vibe.
-CLA rep does some very basic questioning. Asking if the alleged bus driver had to apply his brakes, how much, etc. Don't really know where he was going with his questions because after a couple of them he sat back down (so apparently nowhere). Personally I think I could've came up with a better cross examination... seems like he put no effort into preparation and was just winging it.
-Next I am called to the stand by CLA legal rep. I argue that I couldn't of turned left into the parking lot because there was construction going on blocking the entrance. Therefore I am forced into going forward and decided it was the safest thing to do, accelerate fast enough and merge with traffic.
-Prosecutor recalls police officer who validates that indeed there was construction going on but he claims it wasn't blocking the entrance (that they were working on the building to the northeast) and that in his 20+ years whenever such a situation arises where they block an entrance like that they put up some measure to make sure that the turning lane is blocked off... (which I've never seen applied in all my years driving).
-CLA rep then argues defence of due diligence as described here http://www.ticketcombat.com/step5/strict.php (that I was morally innocent, took all reasonable care to avoid committing the offence.)
-Prosecutor then gets up and gives some dribble as to how I have admitted my guilt and that I admitted committing the offence and it doesn't matter if I'm morally innocent or not yadda yadda. yadda
-Justice of Peace basically completely disregards my defence and gave me the impression that she didn't even know about the argument/defence that we presented. Which wouldn't be a surprise as she isn't a trained lawyer. I end up convicted.
Just submitted transcript estimate paper to the front office... Thinking I'm going to pursue an appeal. Currently on social assistance don't know where they expect me to get this money from.
Some things I would like to point out:
-My legal rep. was severely incompetent. Could barely hear anything, didn't prepare. Therefore I didn't receive a fair trial.
-I ran into the prosecutor at this schwarma place and tried to approach him (I know stupid move but he made eye contact several times and gave the impression that he was open for communication. ) Dude was extremely rude and treated my like I was beneath him. So I responded with my own insult as I was walking away. Is this not a conflict of interest as it was the same guy who prosecuted me? I mean he didn't offer me a pre-trial alternative so there must be something personal going on. Told the CLA legal rep to bring this up, but of course he didn't follow instructions.
Anyway I hope you guys can help me out with any advice on what I should do.
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I'm actually considering law school but the debt slavery is scaring me away...and apparently Windsor law school has a racist misogynist reputation. Probably get into a trade or something...whatever.
Plz peeps feel free to chime in on this case. Any ideas, strategies, experience, whatever it is.
Lines and arrows painted on the ground.daggx wrote:Looking through the officer's notes it isn't entirely clear to me how the turn lane was marked. Were there any black and white vertical signs indicating that this was a left turn only lane or was it just the lines and arrows painted on the ground? Do you remember one way or the other?
The picture was taken back in Jun 2012, but approaching the intersection there doesn't appear to be any enforceable 'black & white' lane designation signs.
Lets entertain the idea that there was a sign, how can the officer see the sign if he's approaching from the west? Maybe he can say he's familiar with the area, or that he checked to see the sign after the traffic stop? None of that due diligence & vertification appears to be in his notes.
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... uote]Where highway divided into lanes
154. (1) Where a highway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic,
(c) any lane may be designated for slowly moving traffic, traffic moving in a particular direction or classes or types of vehicles and, despite section 141, where a lane is so designated and official signs indicating the designation are erected, every driver shall obey the instructions on the official signs. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 154 (1).[/quote]The appropriate charge could be HTA 142(1) - Change lane ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚â‚¬Ã‚â€ not in safety
Lines and arrows painted on the ground are merely guidelines in Ontario, they're unenforceable unless they're backed by posted 'black & white signs'.
Disobeying a sign is an absolute liability offence, there are no due diligence defence available to you; no idea why the CLA even bothered introducing that, it's either you obeyed the sign or you didn't. If a sign wasn't even erected, well... then you didn't actually commit the offence.