Daughter got charged for leaving the scene in. How to fight?

PierreD
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Daughter got charged for leaving the scene in. How to fight?

by: PierreD on
Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:47 am

My daughter was parking her car and while reversing her rear fender scraped a door of a car at the side as she forgot to check and thought there was no car there. It was a large parking lot.

She left and parked very far in the same parking lot. Then she went out to inspect damage, her pickup just had some paint from the other car and no damage. She walked to the other car and saw that its door was dented and had her paint on it.

Her plan was not to leave the scene, she wanted to leave the scene if there was no damage which is why she went back and checked. She waited there in the parking lot near the damaged car for 30 mins. Then she went walking to buy something and went to put something in her car. She immediately saw cops there and the other driver.

She explained what happened and they didn't buy her story and thought she was lying. She got charged with Failing to remain at the scene of a collision.

Can she do anything about this? My daughter is a very nice girl and has had no tickets and has no criminal record? I know its wrong to leave even if there wasn't any damage and that was a mistake on her part but she didn't just flee.

Advice please.


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by: C_B on
Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:52 am

I can understand your concern, the charge laid is one that I believe is considered serious by insurance providers and carries 7 demerits if convicted. I cannot speak to successful defenses to her situation, and hope someone here can. If she is a G2 driver she is also looking at a suspension under the novice driver esculation program, and it is something you may want to keep in mind as you are thinking of options.

I feel such a serious charge is out of line with the incident, as from your description she was still in the area. It doesn't sound like she hit the car, and then they had to track her down through video servalence or the like. I have paid $500 to fix my car after it was hit in a parking lot, and although I would have loved the person responsible to do the right thing, I still feel thise consequences are too high. Never did find out who did it.

Give your daughter a hug and let her know nothing has changed, she is still good, no matter what. I strongly feel people need the room to make mistakes, make good on them, learn and grow - there are sanctions being excercised that don't allow for this as the consequences are too great and the focus must be on defense.

Best wishes.


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highwaystar
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by: highwaystar on
Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:02 am

I think its going to be difficult to come up with a successful defense on this one. After all, your daughter should have either left a note with her particulars on the vehicle or at least called police to report the incident (then there would have been proof of her intention to not leave). Given that she went about the mall/store for some time and didn't ask for a pen/paper or to use the phone to make such a call, its going to be very difficult to defend her actions. Unfortunately, her actions and omissions immediately after the accident are what will be called in to question.

That said, I would definitely request a resolution meeting with the prosecutor and see what offer they might throw your way. Then, if nothing good is offered, I would take the matter to trial in the hopes that either witnesses don't show up or the JP doesn't agree with the 'intention' element that is required.


PierreD
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by: PierreD on
Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:08 am

highwaystar wrote:I think its going to be difficult to come up with a successful defense on this one. After all, your daughter should have either left a note with her particulars on the vehicle or at least called police to report the incident (then there would have been proof of her intention to not leave). Given that she went about the mall/store for some time and didn't ask for a pen/paper or to use the phone to make such a call, its going to be very difficult to defend her actions. Unfortunately, her actions and omissions immediately after the accident are what will be called in to question.

That said, I would definitely request a resolution meeting with the prosecutor and see what offer they might throw your way. Then, if nothing good is offered, I would take the matter to trial in the hopes that either witnesses don't show up or the JP doesn't agree with the 'intention' element that is required.
She went to a security guard. She didn't go to police as she was scared of getting careless driving and damage was really minor.


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by: C_B on
Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:11 pm

Was looking for ticketing guidelines and came across this: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-dr ... le4216574/

If the ticket she received is under Highway Traffic Act, it may not apply to a parking lot. I'm only raising the question, I have no knowledge of this, but worth finding out more about it perhaps.


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highwaystar
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by: highwaystar on
Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:20 pm

You are right that the HTA does not generally apply to private parking lots. The SCC's decision in Mansour is the leading case on that topic. This topic was also address in Ontario in R.v.Tresham. However, you must still keep in mind a few things:

1) The parking lot MIGHT expressly be classified as a 'highway' via local by-law (i.e. plans of sub-divisions, etc.); or
2) The area could still meet the definition of 'highway' because it may be "designed or intended for, or used by the general public for passage of vehicles, and every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited"

So, don't assume if its a parking lot, then that's the end of the story. Its definitely an element that you will need to investigate so as to confirm the status of the lot. Its usually not black or white in these types of cases. That's why legal representation is usually required.

Also, since we ARE discussing the 'private lot' topic, your daughter was presumably charged under section 200 of the HTA (Fail to Remain) which DOES refer to a "highway". However, if she had been charged under section 199 (Fail to Report), the concept of 'private lot' might not even be relevant since you'll notice that section does NOT require the accident to have occurred on a 'highway'. Just an FYI.


PierreD
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by: PierreD on
Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:26 am

highwaystar wrote:You are right that the HTA does not generally apply to private parking lots. The SCC's decision in Mansour is the leading case on that topic. This topic was also address in Ontario in R.v.Tresham. However, you must still keep in mind a few things:

1) The parking lot MIGHT expressly be classified as a 'highway' via local by-law (i.e. plans of sub-divisions, etc.); or
2) The area could still meet the definition of 'highway' because it may be "designed or intended for, or used by the general public for passage of vehicles, and every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited"

So, don't assume if its a parking lot, then that's the end of the story. Its definitely an element that you will need to investigate so as to confirm the status of the lot. Its usually not black or white in these types of cases. That's why legal representation is usually required.

Also, since we ARE discussing the 'private lot' topic, your daughter was presumably charged under section 200 of the HTA (Fail to Remain) which DOES refer to a "highway". However, if she had been charged under section 199 (Fail to Report), the concept of 'private lot' might not even be relevant since you'll notice that section does NOT require the accident to have occurred on a 'highway'. Just an FYI.
Yes she got charged under the HTA. Does HTA apply to parking lots? Are there previous cases on this? What lesser charges could this be reduced to if its possible?






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