Ticketed for right turn at yellow light [resolved]

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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

It's not something I do often, but I consider myself a good actor so I can appear confident regardless :lol:

Question: would I be allowed to have my statement printed and in my hands? I obviously wouldn't be reading from it line-by-line, but I would like to have it for reference in case I miss something.

Also, any idea what kind of cross-examination I'm going to be facing?


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FyreStorm
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Unread post by FyreStorm on

Best use point form, any attempt at reading the statement will be objected to and you won't be allowed to continue...


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

Heh, I completely misunderstood your post. I would do better with point form anyways since I just need to remember the talking point; the rest is all in my head.

Only a day away...getting nervous.

I've scanned the officer's notes so you could take a look. Maybe you folks might pick up on something I missed. The second page is where she added a line on the side.

Image
Image

Other than the typo on my car's make on the second page, I spotted no errors.


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

"In all likelihood the officer first observed my vehicle pass the white mark, then observed the red light (which had cycled from amber) and decided I must have entered the intersection while it was red."

How strong is the opening to that statement? Is it wise to use "in all likelihood" or "the likely scenario"?

I'm guessing I should absolutely refrain from using such words as "I believe" or "I think". Any other words to keep in mind?


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FyreStorm
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Unread post by FyreStorm on

If you concede you went thru the amber (which is still the same fine and points), why not go see the prosecutor early on and discuss disobey lane light...$110, no points?


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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Cross examination: They might try to hammer you into a "the officer is lying" trap. Don't fall for it. If they flat-out ask you "so you are saying Constable X is lying?" then pull the usual trick that's used in interviews (why are you better than the other candidate): "I can't speak for the officer. I only know my version of events and what I observed and reacted to."

They might ask you how long the light was amber for, how far were you from the intersection when it turned amber, what other traffic was around the intersection, etc.

Note that it all has to add up to be credible: Distance from intersection, speed on approach to the intersection, length of the amber light, turn without toppling your hockey gear, etc.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

Thanks Radar, that is good information.
FyreStorm wrote:If you concede you went thru the amber (which is still the same fine and points), why not go see the prosecutor early on and discuss disobey lane light...$110, no points?
How is going through a yellow light the same as going through red? Are you saying that even if I "win" my case, I'll still be charged the same fine and points? I'm not understanding this and it's the first I've heard of it.


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FyreStorm
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Unread post by FyreStorm on

People think an amber means go ahead if you can and it by definition means you must stop.

So by saying you've gone thru an amber, you've broken the law provided you could have stopped. Now it's harder to prove cause it relies on a lot more factor, but the fine for amber lights is the same.

HOWEVER, you weren't charged with that, but while the officer is arguing you went thru a red...you could preempt the whole thing by trying to get the prosecutor to offer you a DISOBEY LANE LIGHT...no points...

I'd rather try for a lower fine / pts than roll the dice of a major conviction like a red light....


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

Yes, I realize amber means stop. I never accelerate when faced with an amber light.

What do you think, Radar? Would I be at an advantage if I go with FyreStorm's idea?
Basically, you want me to just go to the court, ask the clerk to speak with a prosecutor, and tell him to charge me with something I'm not guilty of, keeping in mind the charge is going to have the same effect on my insurance and driving record?

I don't understand this. I'm going to court tomorrow to fight for my case. I did not run a red light, it was amber. Considering the conditions and the distance from the intersection, I could not have stopped on time. Instead, I checked the intersection for traffic and passed through cautiously.


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FyreStorm
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Unread post by FyreStorm on

If you're adamant you didn't break the law, never plead guilty...period, that's not what the system was created for...

If you think maybe you did, then work for the lesser offence, and disobey lane light applies, it's a light that control lane traffic, just a loose interpretation...


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Mazda wrote:What do you think, Radar? Would I be at an advantage if I go with FyreStorm's idea?
Pleading to disobey lane light would give you no demerit points, smaller fine, and probably a minor (but not big) insurance increase for 3 years - depending on your provider. Some may forgive the one ticket. Better than a conviction for Red Light - Fail to Stop.

However...

Go to the trial. If the officer fails to show, the Prosecutor should withdraw the charge, and most of them will. If they try to adjourn it, make sure that the JP makes it pre-emptory on the Crown. If the officer does show up (odds are she will), see how you feel. Use your best judgment. Plea-bargaining takes a lot of the stress away and it is a guaranteed result. If you believe that you will be successful in a trial, reject their offer and go for it.

Thing is, you were not charged with disobeying an amber light. Disobeying an amber light is not included in the offence of "red light - fail to stop." They cannot convict you of a different offence once the trial starts in a case like this. So if the Crown or the officer says "well actually it was amber," then you have won - stand up and say "motion of non-suit." The case hinges solely on whether or not you entered the intersection on a red. If you can introduce doubt, even show that you entered on an amber, and specifically hammer the officer on the point of "are you sure you didn't look at the vehicle, then look up and see that the light was red after the vehicle was across the line" then you have a decent chance. You, as a defendant in this case, are allowed to ask leading questions like that. If the officer falters and you are adamant and steadfast, the "credibility" issue should go in your favour. Remember to bring a copy of R. v. Sandhu to court with you. It is not binding, but it is relevant.

Good luck tomorrow. You're the one who is in the best position to judge if you think you can win or not, and what course of action to take. If you start to feel doubtful, a plea-bargain is never a bad idea. One final tip: Show up early. Keep us posted on the result, too.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

How do I go about pleading to the disobey lane light? Where do I go? What do I need to say?

If my trial is set for 1:30pm, I expect my name to be called around 2pm-2:30pm. Let's say I arrive around 1pm. If the officer plans to show up, she should already be in the courtroom at this time, right? Is it safe to go in, check, then go back out and plead to disobey lane light?


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

I just went out at the break of dawn and recorded several cycles of the lights with my video camera and came to this:

(This is for the lights facing me the day I got the ticket)

Green - 40 seconds average
Green, Pedestrian flashing - 17 seconds each time
Yellow - 4 seconds average
All red - 3 seconds average

Now what would be the best way to incorporate this into my defense? I really need help on this, hopefully one of you can reply right away. Getting close to judgment hour now.


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

I guess I logged on a little too late to provide any help (1:13 PM now, start of trial 1:30)...

Even if you admit you entered on an amber light, that is not Red Light - Fail to Stop. Whether you could've stopped for the amber or not isn't the issue here, it's whether or not you crossed the line against a red.

Plea-bargaining: Check in with the Prosecutor, mention your name and the case, and they'll usually discuss the options with you.

So how did it go?
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Mazda
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Unread post by Mazda on

As smooth as a slimy fish. Officer didn't show up and the charge was dropped. Wore my best tux and the lawyers and judge thought I was an attorney, hah.
Afterwards my girlfriend accidentally closed my door with the keys still in the car, so I had to spend $35 for a tow truck to open it LOL

Today was a great day. Thank you all for your help, especially Radar for holding my hand throughout this grueling couple of months.






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