Just to be clear here - I am not here seeking any legal advice; I am just inquiring what can be done when prosecutors change their position on disclosing evidence they said they had and would be giving it to me.
I was charged with an offence (I would rather not say what it is on here publicly). When writing up the ticket, the police officer said that the infraction was recorded on the police cruiser cam. I wanted to dispute the charge and I wanted to go to trial or plea guilty with an explanation. The intake clerk at the court told me to fill out a "disclosure request form" which I did on the very same day when I requested a trial. The clerk who took my form said that a prosecutor would review my request and give me any video if it is deemed relevant. On my first appearance, the two police offers (the officer who ticketed me and his partner who was with him in the cop car) showed up in court. The prosecutor said that the video evidence was not necessary because the evidence the two officers would be giving would be sufficient eye-witness accounts. The case was then adjourned and the judge told me to speak to an agent or a lawyer.
I have spoken to a few lawyers and paralegals (ie. free 30 minute consultation), they said that there was a recent high-profile case where this dash cam issue was front and centre. It was written about it here:
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/1 ... years.html
And after running a quick Google search, I see that this person ultimately won the case:
http://www.lawtimesnews.com/20170612622 ... ith-jordan
The lawyers said that case was won on some complex legal technicalities that experienced lawyers should handle. Anyway, for my case, they said they can do something called a "Stinchcombe application". I am told this is basically a legal move that would ask the judge to make an order to the prosecution to disclose the video. They also mentioned that this would be an expensive process because it requires ordering of transcripts and stuff that would cost me hefty.
Look, I am looking at losing 6 demerit points, a possible license suspension, a huge increase insurance, possible loss of my job (my job requires that I have a valid driver's license) and a whole lotta other stuff if I am convicted of this bogus charge. What the prosecutors are doing is just plain wrong and unethical in my opinion. They just can't say they have a video of me committing an offence and then not give to me.... but all the lawyers I have spoken to said that "the prosecution can meet its burden on the testimonial accounts of the officers even without disclosing the video", whatever this means.
Can anyone offer some insight? Thanks!
The video can do nothing, add evidence of you guilt, or exonerate you.
If two officers offer strong testimony against your weak testimony (especially one that contains an admission of guilt) then that would be enough to convince a JP that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, one way or another if you exercise all of your legal muscle and if it exists the video must be given to you or you can ask for a stay of the charges so that your right to a full answer and defense of the charges is not compromised. You ask for the video in your disclosure request prior to the beginning of the actual trial. Resend and document additional disclosure requests. If the prosecutor does not turn it over then object at the beginning of the trial that you have not received full disclosure. Ask the JP to order the prosecutor to turn over the video or stay the charge.
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