I got a ticket today and is unsure of my options. The offence is 144( 18 ).
The officer said I did not stop at the red light. I made a right turn, I believe I stopped behind another car, the car turned right and I turned right after the car. Cars were still stopped at the intersection while I made the right turn. Is 144( 18 ) the right HTA or at least it should be 144(19)?
Do I get demerits points? The officer said I can call the prosecutor for help, not sure what he meant... what are my options?
It's a 3-point offence.
The officer meant that the Crown Prosecutor will likely allow a plea bargain down to a 2-point'r like Failure to Obey Sign.
If it were me, these are the options I would consider:
1) Plead Not-Guilty (check off "officer to attend" on ticket).
Refuse pre-trial meeting with Prosecutor
Wait for trial date to arrive in mail
Question Officer under oath
Make your statement to the JP that you DID stop (at the correct position) behind the car that turned right first, then followed him through the turn.
It's then up to the JP to cut you a break or not.
2) Plead Not Guilty (as above) except:
Request Disclosure at the Offenses Office.
The Crown will then provide you with all evidence against you including the officers notes.
If the notes are lacking in detail, you may feel the officer will be an ineffective witness for the Prosecution, resulting in better odds of a win for you.
Be advised that by requesting Disclosure, you have put the Crown on notice that you DO plan to take this to trial, so he (and the officer) will likely show up better prepared.
Personally I would strongly consider defending yourself. The fine can't be increased, and you'll learn a great deal about the Provincial Offenses system (both the good and the bad). Remember, the Crown will only be your friend if you are willing to accept his plea bargain. Don't say anything incriminating as he can use it against you at trial (should you choose that route).
If you don't want to plea bargain, don't get pressured into it. I once had the Crown AND a Court Officer trying to Bully me into a deal out in the hall, only to later find out the Officer didn't even show up for court!
Ultimately, it's your choice.
(not a lawyer. Just some guy who fights his tickets)
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