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Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth Ave
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:53 pm 
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I have been driving very carefully for the past 23 years but I got my first ‘Disobey sign fail to stop’ ticket on April 21, 2010. I was late for my massage therapy appointment located at Warden and Steele area and I use to drive along Bishop Ave and left turn at Maxome to get to Steele. However, there was a traffic jam at Bishop, so I made a right turn to Kenneth Ave heading to Finch to avoid the traffic. It is my FIRST time travelling along Kenneth Ave and I was looking for the exit to Finch. I was so excited finding a traffic light to make a left turn to Finch. However, there was a police car stopped my car making the left turn. The police said I did not stop for the Stop sign and he had to give me a ticket. I was so honest telling him that I was looking for the exit to Finch and I did not see the stop sign. He gave me the ticket anyway and said ‘ Since you are a nice lady and have a clear driving record in the past years, you do not need to find an agent for this case. Just plead not guilty and I will talk to the judge drop the 3 demerit point charge and pay a fine less than $110’ . Can I believe what he is saying and plead not guilty? Please advice. Thanks.
p.s. Since it will take months for the trial, how can he remember what he said ?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:33 pm 
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maucheung wrote:
Can I believe what he is saying and plead not guilty?


You can always plead not guilty. Whether he remembers or not, don't know. He may have written some information down in his notes that will jog his memory about that.

In this case, the first step would be to go to the courthouse with the ticket and a Notice to Appear filled out (print off this form here):

http://www.toronto.ca/court_services/forms/nia.pdf

Within six months of filing the notice, they'll send you a Notice of Trial in the mail. Then you can make a disclosure request, asking for the officer's notes.

What the officer was probably saying was that if you go to trial, he'll help you plea-bargain to a lesser charge, like a municipal by-law infraction. If you get convicted of a municipal offence, it won't go on your driver record and your insurance won't go up. It may be a lower fine, too.

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'municipal offence' and plea bargain
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Hi Radar,
Thanks for the quick response. I will go to the courthouse to fill out the 'Notice to Appear' this Wed.. I still have the following issues.
1) Would you please give an example of 'municipal offience' ? Do you
mean 'municipal offence' will not be counted as a conviction ? My
insurance premium will go up by 10% even with the first conviction.
2) Based on the articles I read, a crown representative will offer plea
bargains before court is in session, do you mean the police will talk to
the prosecutor at that time to make this offer ? If not, does it mean I
will have a cross examination with the police in the court before
reaching the plea bargins ?
3) The police said if I have any further question regarding to this charge,
I can call the police station to look for him and he will return me a call.
Should I do this ?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:04 pm 
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To answer your questions:

1. Something like "disobey official sign" under Metro Toronto by-law 32-92. Make sure that the Crown Prosecutor understands that you're not asking for "disobey sign" under the Highway Traffic Act, but a municipal offence. A municipal offence like that one would not be counted as a conviction because it would not go on your driver record, so your insurance company wouldn't be notified, either - same as a parking ticket.

2. Before trial, check in with the Prosecutor. At that point, the Prosecutor will probably offer you a deal. If the officer is there, he will likely have looked over his notes, and may suggest to the Prosecutor that you be given the offer of a municipal by-law infraction, or some other lesser offence. Cross-examination only occurs during trial, and at that point, the time for plea-bargaining has ended. All plea-bargaining happens prior to the trial actually starting. You'll reach a deal with the Crown, then all you have to do is stand before the Justice of the Peace and plead guilty to the new (lesser) offence. If the officer isn't there, they should drop the charge.

3. It probably won't be necessary, at least for now.

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http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:05 pm 
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Thank you Radar. I will keep you posted. You have been a great help. This is my first offence and I am going to spend 1/2 day in court to see how this is proceed. I am quite nerviou about it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:50 pm 
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Visiting the courthouse as an observer is a great idea. This shows you how trials will proceed, and you can learn from those who are successful, and those who are not. It's free, too.

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* 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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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:01 pm 
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I just received 'Notice of Trial' but there are some mistakes in the Notice. Information in the ticket is correct but the Notice has the mistakes described below
1) Date of Birth is incorrect. Since driver license depends of date of birth, the license # is incorrect as well.
2) The charge should be 'Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth Ave' but the notice stated the address as 'PEPTGEGETON Ave & Kenneth Av' and I am charged with 'DR Wrong way divided Highway' instead.
Questions :
Q1) Do you think they will drop the charge in this case as the Notice information is wrong ?
Q2) Is it possible for me to request to speak to the police office before accepting the Prosecutor offer ?

Thanks.


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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:31 pm 
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1) It usually seems to depend on whether the errors have prejudiced your ability to make a defence. If you can show that they have, you have a better chance of having the charges dropped or preventing the prosecutor from making amendments. Be aware though that the "charging documents" are usually the ticket/summons and/or information, not necessarily the notice of trial.

2) You don't have a statutory or common law right to, but if you are reasonable in your requests, most crowns and officers are reasonable in their responses.

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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:57 pm 
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Thank you for the quick response.
It sounds like that even there are so many mistakes in the 'Notice of trial', there is not a good chance for me to have the case dropped as the prosecutor has the right to amend the Notice.
Do you have any good example how to prevent the prosecutor from making amendments ? I am still struggling whether I go to the court myself or hire x-copper to do so. The police did said I should appear to court myself and he will help me to drop the points and reduce the fine. Should I get the disclosure first before I make the decision ? Please advise. Thank you.


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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:06 pm 
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As Simon mentioned the ticket/offence notice is the "official" document referred to in court for the offence. The trial notice is simply that, notifying you of the court date.

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Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:26 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
the ticket/offence notice is the "official" document referred to in court for the offence. The trial notice is simply that, notifying you of the court date.


And since the trial notice isn't the charging document, it doesn't need to be amended. It doesn't even apply except to notify you of the court date.

With respect to how to object to the prosecutor amending the certificate, when (s)he asks the JP to amend you just say, "I object because______" and have a reason why. As I said, prejudice is usually the best reason because it makes it hard to justify the amendment - and rightly so, because people have the right to make full answer in defence and that's difficult or impossible to do if you don't know or are mistaken about some important information because it's wrong on the charging document.

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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:47 pm 
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When's the trial date?

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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:16 am 
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Simon : Thank you for your full explanation.
Radar : Good to hear from you again. My trail date is March 29, 2011.

Since I am really guilty that I did not make a full stop, I do not know to defence myself. Is there anyway I can convince the prosecutor to change the charge into municipal offence from Highway Traffic Act. By doing so, does it mean there will be no record in insurance company or policy file ?


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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:46 pm 
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I can tell you that it is possible to get a charge amended to a by-law. But no one here will be able to tell you if it is probable. Depends on too many factors. Not sure how insurance companies view by-law offences, but it doesn't show as a conviction on your driving history.

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Re: Disobey Sign Fail to stop at Pemberton Ave and Kenneth A
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Hi Simon & Radar,
It is unlikely that the police will not show up in the court nowadays. I would like to just pay the fine without keeping any record. Is it possible just simply tell the Crown Prosecutor that I accept the charge but since I have clear record for the past years, it will be very kind of him/her to charge me "disobey official sign" under Metro Toronto by-law 32-92 which was suggested by Radar last year ? Also, will police keep any record for this kind of changed charges ?
Like a law student, I am looking for case examples. Is there any website I can found case example how to turn 'Highway Traffic Act ' into municipal offence ?

hwybear : Thank you for your response as well. I am so fortunate to be advised by professionals like you, Simmon and Radar.


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