Ticketed for right turn at yellow light [resolved]

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Reflections
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Unread post by Reflections on

Mazda wrote:I contacted Xcopper but their quote was $367 — that's just far too much for me. Looks like I'm in this alone.
You're not alone, you have us.... :D
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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

Heh, can't believe I missed your post until now, didn't realize we made it to the second page already \o/

Thanks for your support, I appreciate it.

Question: how would I go about rescheduling the trial to a later date? April 1st is going to fall on a busy school week for me and I don't feel I've been given enough time to mount a proper defense. I would hope I could deal with this after my semester is over in mid-April.

PS. Your sig speaks the truth. I am willing to accept responsibility and pay for my mistakes, however in this case I'm an innocent man and I'll do whatever it takes to fight for my damn rights :D


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Mazda wrote:Question: how would I go about rescheduling the trial to a later date?
Go to the courthouse and ask for the paperwork to file a motion to re-schedule the trial. You'll have to appear before a JP and explain your reason for wanting to re-schedule.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

Can this be done at any point before the trial date? Will I need any documentation if I say it's my grandmother's funeral?

Most importantly, would it work in my favour?


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Mazda wrote:Can this be done at any point before the trial date?
Sort of... but it should be done ASAP.
Mazda wrote:Will I need any documentation if I say it's my grandmother's funeral?
Probably not, but you should have documentation in case they ask for proof. The JP would be perfectly reasonable in making that kind of request, too, IMO. If you've got a lot of exams, etc., that's also a valid reason.
Mazda wrote:Most importantly, would it work in my favour?
It's a gamble. If you get on it immediately, it will probably work. Just go in and be honest with your reason for the request, and see how it goes.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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Unread post by Mazda on

Yeah, I just need a bit more time to deal with this as I've got major projects to worry about right now. Thanks, I'll go on Wednesday right after class.


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Unread post by FiReSTaRT on

If I were you, I'd go tomorrow. Usually you need to go at least 2 weeks before the trial date even though it's beneficial to do it a bit sooner. I've done it once strategically and made sure I did it about 3 weeks before the original trial date.
What kind of a man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.


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Unread post by FiReSTaRT on

One more note: While it's not strictly required, once you appear in front of the JP, it would be a good idea to have course syllabuses and exam schedule printouts to show the JP something on paper that other commitments will make it very difficult for you to prepare your defense. It will save you some unnecessary grilling by the JP. The JP might also require you to work out a deal with the Crown. Your best bet on that count is to show that you're willing to discuss the issue with the Crown, step aside, hear their sales pitch, reject it and come back in front of the JP. I think I pissed mine off by my unwillingness to discuss a deal 8)
What kind of a man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

I put a lot of thought into this yesterday. On one hand I'd like to reschedule it to give myself more time to mount a proper defense (and increase the chances of the officer not showing up); but on the other hand I'd like to just get in there, present my case, and get it over with.

I think I'm going to skip the rescheduling and focus on the trial. I will write my defense and post it here for the experts to look over.

What kind of cross-examination questioning should I be prepared for?


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

Any thoughts?


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Just prepare for the Prosecutor to try to nitpick on every minute detail of your testimony. Specific questions will depend on your testimony, and how it differs with that of the officer. If you are convincing and resolute, the Prosecutor may ask a few questions, and the JP may also ask a few questions for clarification.

Key point to focus on - you entered the intersection on an amber. You must be absolutely sure of it. Your intent to enter the intersection must have been formed when the light was still green. It might also be worthwhile re-visiting that intersection to refresh your memory, and to time the light cycle. How long is the amber light? Are there any warnings (e.g. pedestrian walk count-down) that the light is about to change to amber? All of this is evidence you'll need.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

On the morning of January 24th 2010, at approximately 10:45am, I was on my way home traveling westbound on the QEW after having taken my mother to work. I exited the QEW at Cawthra Rd. and proceeded to travel southbound on Cawthra in the far right lane. Approximately 230m from the intersection of Cawthra and South Service Road, I scanned the intersection ahead of me and spotted Officer X's white police cruiser in the left turning lane on South Service Road facing westbound behind a red light. The light facing me was green as I continued southbound on Cawthra at the posted speed limit of 50km/h. As I drew closer to the intersection, I turned on my right signal and began slowing down to make the right turn. Approximately 10 meters from the intersection, I observed the light turn to amber, but I did not have enough time to make a safe stop and proceeded past the white strip line. Having entered the intersection on an amber light, I made a partial stop at the curb and made sure that there was no northbound traffic on Cawthra attempting to make a left turn at amber. After deciding my way was clear, I safely proceeded and completed my turn into North Service Road.

Just under 10 seconds later, I spotted the same cruiser from the intersection behind me with its lights on. I promptly pulled over to the right curb on South Service Road and the cruiser stopped behind me. Officer X walked up to my window and stated that I blew a red light by not making a full stop and that it was a reckless action. I did not argue with the officer and calmly answered all of her questions and presented proper identification when requested. After having collected my driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration, Officer X walked back to her car and returned several minutes later with a ticket in her hand. Confused at the thought of receiving a ticket for a right turn at an amber light, I asked if I was receiving a ticket. Officer X replied “yeah you’re getting a ticket, the fine is $325.” I told her I didn’t understand why I was being ticketed, and she replied, “Listen I’ve warned like 5 other people about the same thing, you didn’t make a full stop at the red light and the guy in the car next to me was like ‘huh’ when you went through; I can’t let you off.” Officer X then explained that I would receive demerit points and my insurance would “jack up”, but she suggested that I attend court and fight it, in which case she would be more than glad to explain to the court that I’ve been very polite and calm and it would assist me in my case.

On that particular morning, the road was slightly wet as it had been raining overnight; this is proven correct according to the Weather Network’s historical data for January 24th 2010. Considering the wet road conditions, a reckless turn would've caused my car to slide out and hit the median on South Service Road. As well, I was carrying my hockey equipment in the car at the time and my goalie pads and sticks were on top of the rear seats. A quick and reckless turn would have caused the pads to topple over to the left side of the car. When Officer X approached me, the pads were still neatly stacked on top of each other on the rear seats.

According to Officer X’s notes, she observed my vehicle pass the “clearly labeled white strip”, but according to this photo which was taken from the same position that Officer X was standing in, the strip is not clearly visible. She would have had to eyeball its location.

In her notes, Officer X stated that she observed my vehicle approach the intersection against the amber light, however I do not believe that my generic, silver, third-generation Mazda Protégé would have taken her attention away from the rest of the traffic around her; it is one of the most common cars on the road. Officer X also wrote “did not lose sight of vehicle”, however it is written on the side of her notes [show disclosure], as if added at a later time, which forces me to question the validity of her notes. There is no guarantee that the Officer X entered the correct information in her notes.

The likely scenario is that Officer X first observed my car enter the intersection, then looked back at the light and saw it had turned to red—because the amber had cycled at this point—and concluded that I must have entered on a red light. When I entered the intersection, I checked the northbound leftmost lane on Cawthra to make sure there were no cars turning left on the amber and then proceeded through the intersection. As well, I quickly observed the first line of vehicles eastbound on South Service Road and noticed they had not yet moved as I drove past. This means they were still facing a red light. Had I entered the intersection at a late red light as Officer X suggests, those eastbound cars would already be facing a green light by the time I drove past them.

[will gather data on light cycles for this part]

I don't know how a defense statement should be structured, so I'm hoping what I've written is enough. Please let me know if there's something I should rewrite or expand on. I want to make sure the truth is as waterproof as possible.
Last edited by Mazda on Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

NOTE: Officer's name edited out to protect the privacy of the officer and the defendant.

Okay now some feedback:

First paragraph is good. Use it!

Second paragraph seems a bit irrelevant. I'd leave it out.

Third paragraph - leave out the part about your tires. It suggests you're cavalier about vehicle maintenance and they'd probably extrapolate it to your driving. Include the info about your hockey equipment, raining, and the likelihood you would have skidded if you made a reckless turn.

Fourth to sixth paragraphs - proceed with caution. Make sure you can back up any assertion you have with evidence. Also, much of it, while good, should probably be used if the Prosecutor starts to question your credibility.

Your job is to introduce reasonable doubt. The Crown is going to have to show that your testimony is not credible.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

Sorry about including the name, didn't think of that. Edited another instance of it out myself.

Removed the irrelevant information as you suggested. Better now?


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Sounds good. How good are you at public speaking?




* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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