Review of Disclosure HTA 144(18) Red Light Fail to Stop

QaahirStewart
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Review of Disclosure HTA 144(18) Red Light Fail to Stop

Unread post by QaahirStewart on

Hi Guys, my court date is Sept 28, 2015. Need help on whether I should plea or not. I got no evidence that I had stopped and will just be representing my self. Cop says I was speeding and ran a red light on a right turn. Both cases I told the cop I was aware of my driving and came to a stop / wasn't speeding. He issues me a caution ticket for going 120km and a ticket for fail to stop red light. What's your opinion?

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jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

So the caution for speeding is meaningless right now since he did not issue you a ticket. Your trial will be for the fail to stop at red light which is all you should be worried about right now.

Of course the officer has 6 months to charge you for speeding from the date of the offence so if it has been less than 6 months (on Sept 28) then there is a chance that the officer could decide to charge you with speeding because you took the fail to stop to court. If it's been more than 6 months then you do not need to worry about the speeding thing at all.

You should go to the trial for sure. The prosecutor will probably meet with you before the trial and may or may not offer some kind of plea deal. Depending on your confidence to represent yourself, you may want to consider taking any offered plea.

So looking at the notes, I have these questions:
Was it night or day?
What was traffic like?
Are there any hills or bends in the road?
Is it possible the officer lost sight of the original car and mistook yours?

I think the officer says it took him 2.5 to 3km's before he was able to get to you to pull you over, so there had to be some distance between the vehicles.

Right after the officer gets up to testify, you will have a chance to cross examine him. This is the most important part of your whole trial. This is NOT the time to tell your side of the story, but it is the time to try and bring reasonable doubt to officers testimony by questioning him about day/night, traffic conditions, distance between vehicles, road type, visibility, losing sight of the vehicle, etc.

Your side of the story ... So remember not to testify against yourself, meaning:
Do NOT testify (do not take witness stand) or admit to anything if you know you did not stop. However if you believe that you DID come to a full stop, then by all means you should testify and give your side of the story.

If you plan to represent yourself, you should read this:
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7039.html

and this:
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7032.html
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


QaahirStewart
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Unread post by QaahirStewart on

Its was early in the am around 5:30 in the mourning. Was very light traffic, I stopped for a van before the turn, told the officer. Other than that, few vehicles on road. Was a straight road mostly. What I think is that the officer was too far from me to even judge the turn I took. He stated that it took him the 2.5km - 3km going 120km/h to catch up to me, that's where he basing my speed off of. He says I'm rude because I was denying what he was telling me what I was doing when I know what speed I was going and that I had stop.

For the cross examination how would I get the judge to see that he was wrong in issuing the ticket?


bend
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Unread post by bend on

Summary of notes for those who are interested:
  • The officer states he was travelling eastbound on Bovaird Drive. The light was green eastbound/westbound.
  • The light was red northbound/southbound on Chinguacousy Road. He observed a grey Lexus travelling southbound and making a right (westbound) onto Bovaird without stopping at the line markings. The officer describes how the driver "made no attempts to stop" and "actually took corner at a race pace style turn".
  • The officer immediately turned around, following the Lexus westbound on Bovaird. He determines the speed of the vehicle by travelling at speeds of 120km (limit is 70km), and that the vehicle was still pulling on him. The officer then turns on the emergency lights to slow traffic in an attempt to catch up.
  • The officer is finally able to pull over the vehicle west of Worthington Ave on Bovaird Drive.
  • Warning was issued for 120km in a 70. Ticket for the red.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

Cross examination is the key to winning (most of the time) and probably the hardest thing to learn to do well. The trick is to bring reasonable doubt to the officers testimony by questioning him about what they said and by suggesting other possible scenarios, but this is a hard trick to learn because if you do it wrong you can actually hurt your case instead of help it.

If it is just your word "I stopped" against the police officer "he did not stop", then you will most likely lose. So you must bring some reasonable doubt to the officers version by questioning him.

If this was my ticket, then I would want to pursue this on exactly what you said ... the officer was too far away to see what really happened. It is a lengthy process to come up with appropriate questions to ask and since I have never had to deal with fail to stop, I do not really know how I would go about cross examination (and unfortunately do not have time to really think about it).

Now with that said, if you have no experience in court, there is a very good chance you will lose. The best way to get experience is to go do it of course, but the downside is that you will most likely be found guilty.

So your other option is to hire a paralegal to represent you. But make sure you call several before choosing one. You want to find one that agrees with your argument that the officer was too far away AND is willing to tell you how they will question the officer. Now just because you hire somebody to represent you does not guarantee a win either, but if they told you how they will question officer then there is at least a better chance of success than you doing it yourself. At the trial though, the prosecutor may offer a plea deal to your paralegal, which your paralegal will then ask you if you want to take or if you want to continue to try and fight it.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


QaahirStewart
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Unread post by QaahirStewart on

Yes I will likely talk to a paralegal before the court date and get his opinion. Most likely if he says its not worth it ill take a plea. With no experience how to cross-examine I think I'm not going to win the case.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

Contact several paralegals and get several opinions as (unfortunately) some of them simply want your money to go get a plea deal that you could have gotten yourself.




+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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