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Defense for Sign not Visible
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Recently I got a ticket for disobey sign under the HTA. From where I turned on to the street, the sign was visible for less than 10 metres, during which time I was performing safety checks for upcoming turn. ( I'll post full details after I first get some advise. )

What is the best defense for this? I took some digital pictures but my camera does not do .raw photos and at that time I had not yet read the topic on submitting photos. They were also not date coded. I also have an older film camera, although it doesn't have a date stamp function either. What is my best option? I'm thinking take the pictures with the film camera and provide the court with 3 copies of each. What size should they be to be accepted? How do I go about proving the distance? I would assume that if I take the photo from where I turned on the road, it would be obvious that the sign was not visible for 60 m, but I'm guessing obvious isn't enough for court.


Thanks for your help,


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Go back ASAP and take the time-date stamp. Keep the other photos; the court may still accept them (unlikely, but they might). As for size, the standard 4x6 should be enough, although you could get a professional print of 8.5x11 done if you really wanted to.

60 metres is one argument, although the Prosecutor may argue that, due to the characteristics of the road, it wasn't possible to make it visible for 60 and 10 metres is "as close as possible." What was making the sign impossible to see until 10 metres? Also... you'll need to measure off the exact distance.

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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:19 am 
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Details:

There is a google maps link at the end of this post.

I was travelling North on Don Valley Parkway when it suddenly backed up badly just before Lawrence. I bailed to avoid delays but when I got to Lawrence realized it ramped Eastbound when I wanted to go westbound. There was no Westbound traffic but some Eastbound traffic a safe distance away. I checked mirrors, did my shoulder checks and did a U Turn. I didn't see a sign indicating a no U Turn zone.

Afterwards when travelling westbound I looked in my rear view and saw a cruiser approaching with his lights on.

Conditons:

Roads were clear and dry.

Weather was clear at the time but by the time I got the ticket snow streamers had moved in so conditions deteriorated after I was pulled over.

This was in the evening so it was dark, although the street is well lit.

You mention to get the exact measurements. Should I take the pictures and note the distance from the sign of each? How can it be proven that the measurements are accurate so they don't throw out my evidence? At first glance do I have a strong chance of winning? I haven't had any tickets / accidents for years, not sure if that will have any bearing on anything. All comments are welcome.

The google map link is the end of the ramp from the Northbound DVP to Lawrence East. If you go forward you can see the no U-Turn sign better - but this would have been where I was checking blind spots and preparing to turn, hence it was too late.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=lawrence+ave+don+valley+parkway&aq=&sll=43.181147,-78.859863&sspn=0.699969,1.08078&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Don+Valley+Pkwy,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario,+Canada&ll=43.739596,-79.330934&spn=0,0.002111&z=19&layer=c&cbll=43.73955,-79.331038&panoid=d4UP4II643NRF-Ke9-eHTQ&cbp=12,70.3,,0,8.55


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:28 am 
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I'm all ready to take the pictures, just out of curiousity .... can they be taken from the side of the road using a tripod, or do they need to be taken from a vehicle showing the windshield to give the court a better idea of viewing angles etc? The reason I ask is it can be busy and it is a no stopping zone.

Thanks for all your help.


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:50 am 
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I know that area well. In fact, I know the sign you're talking about (I drive by it daily).

Unfortunately, because the "no U-turn" sign is visible to traffic for greater than 60 metres (not necessarily for you, though), it is still a valid sign. You can try the defence you are suggesting, but I'm not completely confident it will work. Take the photographs and then exact measurements, as you suggested. There is no way to prove the measurements are accurate, just your testimony that you used an accurate measuring device. You can take the photos from the roadside with a tripod.

What is likely to happen is that the Prosecutor will offer you a plea-bargain to a lesser offence. (I'm guessing that the trial is at 1530 Markham Road?) If the officer is not present, they should withdraw the charge. I'd still also recommend getting disclosure, just to see if they goof or if there is some kind of odd omission in the officer's notes.

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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: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:18 am 
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Wow, I honestly thought this would be an open and shut case. The sign is obscured by some small trees at the side of the road as I'm on the ramp (although it wouldn't be in my cone of vision due to the ramp curve at that time anyway) and as I approached it was doing my due dilligence (mirror and shoulder checks) in order to make a safe turn.

I agree that for traffic on Lawrence, the sign is visible for 60 metres or more, but for those on the ramp, significantly less. I haven't gotten a trial date yet, but yes the back of the ticket said 1530 Markham Road.

Will I know if the officer is present when they offer me a plea bargin? How can I find out before the trial? I'm not keen even on accepting a plea bargin because I don't believe I'm guilty. :shock:

Thank you


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Yep, "not visible" will not work for that sign.

Generally the Prosecutors will offer you a plea bargain at Markham Road. They usually want to avoid a trial almost as much as you do.

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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: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:38 pm 
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I hate to be a pain here but there's something I don't understand. I'm not claiming the sign is obscured. While I'm on the ramp, due to the angle of the car, as well as some small bushes and that I'm doing due dillegence by paying attention to cars that I'm merging with, how is that sign legally visible for long enough to charge someone coming from the ramp?

I have the figures at home, but if I remember correctly - from where the ramp ends (and before the car would be parallel to other traffic) to the sign is less than 15 metres. If I had of seen the thing I honestly wouldn't have done a U-turn, but I digress.

Assuming you still feel I'm doomed to be found guilty of something, can you recommend a non moving violation to try to plea bargin to so that they get their money buy my insurance rates aren't affected, or am I pushing my luck here too?

Thanks again for your help


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:02 pm 
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Hi again,

My time in court comes up Mid December and unfortunately due to personal issues haven't followed any of the actions that I should have so far.

Is it too late to request disclosure?

Is there anything else I should do to help me get either no conviction or a much reduced charge (prefer something that won't affect insurance). Can anyone recommend any 'insurance friendly' things that they may agree to in a plea bargin if it comes to that?

thanks


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:34 pm 
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BTW as can be seen in the first post, the offence was Mid February. Is there anything I can do at this time that will get this throw out due to the length of time? Must I fill out form after form or would it be sufficient to show up in court and request a Stay? (I'm tossing this stuff out there now - I know that if I'm to pursue this course I have a lot of reading to do to catch up.)

thanks


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:01 am 
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Anyone? From what I've read I should have requested disclosure 8 or 9 weeks before trial. Mine is 3 weeks away. Should I forget about even asking now or should I go now and drop off the forms?

thanks


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Disclosure question - urgent
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:39 pm 
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Due to personal matters, my trial date snuck up on me. I'm up in 3 weeks and haven't asked for disclosure. If I go now will they refuse point blank due to the time constraints or change my trial date and blame me, or maybe change the date at and not blame me? I'm really confused on how to handle this disclosure thing or if I'm just too late.

When I show up for trial and if the officier is not there and I plead not guilty, case is closed, not adjourned - right?

Is there any reason they could or would adnourn to a later date? If they adjourn, and I see now if it's in the 11 th month, my chances of getting a Stay are better.

Should I try to get the date changed in the hopes they reschedule and the officier is not present that day in the future?

thanks for your help


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:29 pm 
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I'm in my last 3 weeks before trial and no one will reply? Sorry if I've upset someone here, but there must be a simple 2 minute answer for the questions I've asked.


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Re: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:11 pm 
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Bit of a late reply... been house-hunting so a bit tied up.

Anyway, you could try plea-bargaining to a lesser offence. For a U-turn, if there was no conflict with other cars, you'd probably be okay in doing that. The Prosecutor might offer a simple by-law infraction or something with no demerit points.

As far as an 11B goes, I think you're probably shy of the time required.

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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: Defense for Sign not Visible
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Sorry for being a bother, I was beginning to panic. Good luck on the house hunting, I know that can be a lot of work.

Thanks again for the help


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