In early March I was driving in the Yonge & Churchil area. An officer said I failed to stop at a stop sign and ticketed me 110+3 demerits. While getting my license etc. I have multiple photocopy of my car ownership in my car, and that I thought I handed him the copy with the validation sticker on the back as required but gave him one of the blank copies by accident. He came back with the failing to stop ticket AND gave a ticket for not having a validation sticker ($115)..I told him "hold on, I'm sorry, I know I have the copy here, I must have given you wrong one"..a minute later I find it in the glovebox and hand it to him and then he goes well..just take it to court then. I said I don't have time to go to court (I work 80+ hrs/week) and I'm innocent with this infarction, I have ownership and valid stickers. He then says ok I'll get rid of ticket..goes back to his cop car for 5 more minutes and comes back with only the stop sign ticket.
Today I get letter in the mail citing I failed to pay the "no permit" ticket for $115 and I call the toronto court service and they said I have no proof of that happening.
How do I approach this? I never had a ticket handed to me, I have a witness (passenger) who was with me and also remembers this clearly.
First you need to immediately go to court house and tell them you never were given the ticket and that you need a RE-OPENING. You specifically want a re-opening and NOT an appeal.
Next, if they grant the re-opening, which they should, you will get a Notice of Trial in the mail. You and your witness need to come to court on the trial date and basically you are going to tell them that you were never served (meaning officer never actually gave you the ticket) and your witness will basically say the same thing. NOTE: Your witness must come in person and you must come in person as well.
Hopefully you can meet with the prosecutor before the trial and they will agree to drop it. If they won't drop it, then it will go to trial in front of Justice of the Peace and you and your witness will each have to take the witness stand and say that you never got handed the ticket.
IF they don't grant re-opening or don't believe me..what would I do next? Do I get a lawyer (I'm tight financially) and would a witness/passenger's agreement + mine somehow trump an officer's if he denies it?
Your in-person testimony AND your witness in-person testimony will trump the officers testimony.
They should grant re-opening without an issue if you say you were never given/served the ticket.
Re-opening a ticket is easy and usually granted. At a trial however if you need to fight the ticket, Your in person testimony and a witness won't necessarily trump the officers testimony.
I'd be very reluctant to say that any trial is a slam dunk for defines or the prosecutor. You forget that the human factor involved is the JP.
Yes I should correct what I said...
Your in-person testimony AND your witness in-person testimony SHOULD trump the officers testimony.
Did the officer give it to you and then you handed it back? Or did he just never give it to you in the first place?
The law that you would need to print and bring with you is Ontario Highway Traffic Act Section 3 which says:
Ontario HTA - PART I - COMMENCEMENT OF PROCEEDINGS BY CERTIFICATE OF OFFENCE
Certificate of offence and offence notice
3. (1) In addition to the procedure set out in Part III for commencing a proceeding by laying an information, a proceeding in respect of an offence may be commenced by filing a certificate of offence alleging the offence in the office of the court. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33, s. 3 (1).
Issuance and service
3.(2) A provincial offences officer who believes that one or more persons have committed an offence may issue, by completing and signing in the form prescribed under section 13,
(a) a certificate of offence certifying that an offence has been committed; and
(b) either an offence notice indicating the set fine for the offence or a summons. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 4, s. 1 (2).
3.(3) The offence notice or summons shall be served personally upon the person charged within thirty days after the alleged offence occurred. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33, s. 3 (3).
The last section, Section 3 Subsection (3) SERVICE is the most important one for you. You should print it out and take a couple copies with you:https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90p33#BK4
The first time the officer came back he said I"m going to give you two tickets - one for failing to stop and one for not having sticker on back of the ownership and then I said Oh i have the sticker then he showed me it wasn't on the back..so I said i Must have given you the wrong photocopy..hold on..and then i looked through the glovebox again and saw the proper copy with stickers and I said I do have it, all my stickers are renewed properly. Then he said take it to court they'll waive it..and I said I'm very busy, i have 80 hr weeks, I can't afford to take time off, then he said ok hold on i'll get rid of the ticket and went back to his car for another 5 minutes. The only time he handed directly in my hand a ticket was the stop sign one when he came back. I never physically had in my hands both.
Okay so that is good... you were not served as Section 3(3) says you supposed to be, which means the charge should be dropped. Unfortunately you have to go thru the whole process of getting it re-opened and then going to court.
So I'm taking the stop sign ticket to court already because I have a dashcam video showing i did a full stop. Would they simply combine both issues at the same court date when I re-open the other ticket? Unfortunately my dash camera records in 2 minute video clips and I only saved the clip of the stop sign, not the clips from the interaction 15 minutes later (he took a very long time to check my plate/info(?) for some reason?) where he came back with both tickets. I"m asking on disclosure his video/audio and typed notes to see if his audio/video captured him saying he was canceling the latter ticket which would help me.
Jsherk, I also saw you posted on another user's question "As far as cellphone goes, if you bring something to court that is being admitted as evidence, then they get to keep it." - is this for sure/based on experience there? I was going to show my dashcam video clip on my cellphone.
You should actually request that both tickets be on the same date when you go to get the re-opening. Most likely they should be able to do it, but of course there is no guarantee.
For the video, you want to transfer the video off the camera onto a USB stick (Staples has them for $6). Then you should bring a laptop that can play the video that is on the USB stick. Then you should also bring the camera with the original video on it in case they want to complain that it the video you are showing them is not the original. So you start by showing them the video on the USB stick and play it on your laptop and if they want to keep USB stick then no problem. Worst case is that will want to keep your dashcam, but you should complain if they try and say that you will take the stand to swear that the video on the USB stick is the same as the one on the camera and that they are welcome to watch both to compare.
I don't have my original dashcam unfortunately because I didn't like the night time quality of the recording (and is somewhat more choppy - it's from ebay $20). So hopefully they don't hold that against me. Do you think laptop is necessary or a cell phone or even tablet is enough?
Anything that can play the video is fine, but make sure you have the video on a cheap external USB stick because I have heard of people bringing their laptops and then the courts take their laptops for several months. If it is on a USB stick then you only have to leave the USB stick and not the whole device.
I thought you no longer needed to have the validation sticker affixed to the back of your ownership. If that is the case then maybe this ticket should never have been written in the first place?
daggx...I have no idea..it seems silly to me - I had everything, my license, car insurance, ownership photocopy, renewal sticker on back of plate, and on top the validation sticker on ownership copy.. this whole ordeal is a big waste of time, and now i have to get my friend to also miss a day of work in addition to mine for his mistake - waste of tax payer money
I think daggx is right now that I think about it...
But regardless, once you get it re-opened and get your Notice of Trial, make sure to request disclosure (officers notes). Then you could try to call prosecutor before the trial date and tell that you were never served and see if they will drop it before you have to come to court. If it is on same day as fail to stop trial then not as big a deal.
But speaking of the fail to stop charge, will your friend testify that you actually did come to a full stop at the line?
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