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Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with speeding
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:07 pm 
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So yesterday I was driving in a residential area (50km/h limit) and I was pulled over by a police officer and his partner. He told me that he was following me at 80km/h and I was going faster than him, and that I didn't stop at a stop sign. I was given a ticket for a failure to stop, but while reading me the options I had he said something along the lines of 'remember that I didn't charge you with speeding' when he told me of my right to take this to court. I'm worried that if I contest this charge, I'll get charged with speeding as well - and the failure to stop is essentially my word against two police officers, or perhaps a dashboard camera (in which case even a slow rolling stop would make me guilty). What should I do? I have 14 days to declare an option as of today.


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Re: Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with spee
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:03 pm 
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Police have up to six months to lay an additional charge. That being said I`d say it`s extremely rare for them to actually do so. More likely the fact that you were already given a break for speeding means it`s less likely the Crown would offer any type of reduced fine or plea deal for the stop sign offence.


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Re: Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with spee
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:23 pm 
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Wow.

Extrapolating from what you are saying, the officer is, of course, not obligated to inform the driver of any additional charges he MIGHT CONSIDER in addition to the offence notice he is actually handing out.
If so, would this not open the door to a "and NOW I am going to teach you!" reaction when the driver decides to plead not guilty? If this happens within the six months, the officer can then decide to introduce additional charges "from left field"? In the case outlined above, can it really be sufficient that the officer makes a note to the effect of "was also speeding XX km over the limit" and the first time anyone hears about that is when the officer introduces this additional charge within the 6 months?

Ethically, that comes close to the "breaks" that an officer gives when issuing an offence notice and how this interferes with subsequent pleas of guilty with an explanation or not guilty. Either the offence was committed as written on the ticket or it was not. The whole idea of "well, the officer recorded the offence as being X but decided to charge you with Y, so you already got a break and the Crown will not back down any further" is questionable. Either the offence we are discussing is as stated on the offence notice, or it isn't - if it isn't then the notice should not be considered further. My ETHICAL two cents.


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Re: Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with spee
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:29 pm 
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So... with that line of thinking, every time someone is stopped for a certain infraction the officer should have no discretion and lay all applicable charges? Speeding (for the full amount), Fail to produce valid insurance card, fail to produce valid permit, ooops your licence plate light is out, oh my, the validation on your plate is in the wrong spot. I"d much rather have an officer who can use his/her discretion and if I'm stopped take the offence notice that's given, be respectful and if I feel I've been wrongly charged, then I may take the chance that the notice may be "amended up" to the original speed.


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Re: Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with spee
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:13 pm 
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cattlerepairman wrote:
Wow.

Extrapolating from what you are saying, the officer is, of course, not obligated to inform the driver of any additional charges he MIGHT CONSIDER in addition to the offence notice he is actually handing out.
If so, would this not open the door to a "and NOW I am going to teach you!" reaction when the driver decides to plead not guilty? If this happens within the six months, the officer can then decide to introduce additional charges "from left field"? In the case outlined above, can it really be sufficient that the officer makes a note to the effect of "was also speeding XX km over the limit" and the first time anyone hears about that is when the officer introduces this additional charge within the 6 months?

Ethically, that comes close to the "breaks" that an officer gives when issuing an offence notice and how this interferes with subsequent pleas of guilty with an explanation or not guilty. Either the offence was committed as written on the ticket or it was not. The whole idea of "well, the officer recorded the offence as being X but decided to charge you with Y, so you already got a break and the Crown will not back down any further" is questionable. Either the offence we are discussing is as stated on the offence notice, or it isn't - if it isn't then the notice should not be considered further. My ETHICAL two cents.

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Re: Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with spee
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:42 am 
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cattlerepairman wrote:
If so, would this not open the door to a "and NOW I am going to teach you!" reaction when the driver decides to plead not guilty? If this happens within the six months, the officer can then decide to introduce additional charges "from left field"? In the case outlined above, can it really be sufficient that the officer makes a note to the effect of "was also speeding XX km over the limit" and the first time anyone hears about that is when the officer introduces this additional charge within the 6 months?


I've never actually heard of this being done, but am simply stating it's possible. I think the Crown/Police know it would be considered "bad form" for lack of a better term. But yes, as long as the officer has notes relating to the offence, the charge could be laid within the six month time frame (or possibly longer depending on the Act the offence falls under).

Typically if any additional charges are laid, it's for one of two main reasons. The first reason is that sometimes additional offences are later discovered through further investigation after the initial stop & ticket (i.e. proof of insurance provided at time of stop is found to be false). The other common reason is that the Crown reviews the charges and recommends additional and/or different charges that better suit the offence(s) committed. Neither reason is to punish the accused, as both examples typically occur well before the accused has even decided how they want to plea.


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Re: Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with spee
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Decatur wrote:
So... with that line of thinking, every time someone is stopped for a certain infraction the officer should have no discretion and lay all applicable charges? Speeding (for the full amount), Fail to produce valid insurance card, fail to produce valid permit, ooops your licence plate light is out, oh my, the validation on your plate is in the wrong spot. I"d much rather have an officer who can use his/her discretion and if I'm stopped take the offence notice that's given, be respectful and if I feel I've been wrongly charged, then I may take the chance that the notice may be "amended up" to the original speed.


Sorry StevenMagnet for the hijack.

No - I do not like the "getting the cake and eating it, too" attitude of HAVING the discretion to only charge with what the officer believes to be appropriate, but then, at a later date, decide to "WAIVE" that discretion and pull the full Monty out from the back pocket. The offence notice should accurately reflect the offence the officer wished to have recorded. In other words: What the officer charges the defendant with is the only relevant fact.
"I clocked you with 120 but decided to only write a ticket for 100" means that the defendant is charged with exactly that - driving 100. For the Crown or the Officer to treat the offence notice as irrelevant a few months later and state that, no, the offence was in fact going 120 is ethically shady. THAT is what I am saying. If the officer wishes to have the defendant on record for having done 120, then the offence notice needs to state that.

I completely understand that charges may be ADDED as a result of an investigation or when additional facts become known. This is in contrast to such facts being already known to the officer at the time of the traffic stop where the officer used HIS DISCRETION to discount said facts.


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Re: Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with spee
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Except it's not the Crown or the officer who makes the final decision about whether or not the charge can be amended. Its the court and it's not automatic in all cases.


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Re: Failure to stop at a stop sign, but threatened with spee
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Two thoughts:

1) Charging someone with additional charges to "teach them a lesson" for exerting their right to a trial would be an abuse of process under s. 24(1) of the Charter. The remedy, if it was proven, would be to stay the charges.

2) Who has time to draw up a long form summons for an additional charge of speeding?? That's the reason why it usually doesn't happen (in my experience).

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