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failure to obey lane sign $110 fine
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:42 am
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Hi,

I was driving in the right hand lane which eventually became a right turn lane. When I realized I was in the right turn lane, I tried to change to the left hand lane since I did not recognize the street where the road was turning to. Since it was rush hour, there was a long line of cars on the left hand lane so I patiently waited putting my signal on until someone let me in. As I was waiting, I made sure there was no car behind me trying to turn right.

well, the police officer was sitting in an unmarked car on the street (where the right turn lane leads to) and stopped me as soon as I made the lane change and gave me the ticket. I tried to explain I was from the county and not familiar with the area enough to make that turn.

What chances do I have in terms of (reduced fine or points) if I choose option #2 and plead guilty? What are my best arguements? how should I proceed? any advice is much appreciated.


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Re: failure to obey lane sign $110 fine
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
How far along had you actually driven in the lane and how close were you to the intersection when you changed lanes? I'm not sure how the section actually reads, but in my mind you only would have committed the offence if you had carried straight through the intersection from the right turn lane.

As for option 2, the Justice of the Peace will frequently reduce a fine if you plead guilty, but it depends on the JP, the jurisdiction and the circumstances surrounding the offence. Demerit points on the other hand can't be avoided since the Courts have no control over them. The only way to avoid demerit points is to be found not guilty, or make a deal with the Crown to plead out to a different offence that carries none. You may want to choose option 3 and request a first attendance meeting with the Crown. See if they're willing to offer you any deals if you're planning to plead guilty.


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Re: failure to obey lane sign $110 fine
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:42 am
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Thanks for your reply. I stopped to signal about 50 meters from the intersection, slowly inching my way to change lanes and then I changed lanes 25-30 meters BEFORE the intersection. There is no way I could have driven straight through the intersection since the lane I was in ends at the intersection and turns right.

what steps do I have to follow if I choose option #3? Will it require many trips in person to the court? I'm confused about what you said, "See if they're willing to offer you any deals if you're planning to plead guilty." From what I understood, if I choose option 3, I thought I was pleading not guilty to the offence? Will they still make me plead guilty to a lesser offence in order to reduce the points?


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Re: failure to obey lane sign $110 fine
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
Yes, option 3 would be a plea of not guilty. You can always change your plea to guilty later at a later time though, you don't have to go to trial. When you pick option 3, you can either request or will be offered what's called a first attendance meeting. This is an opportunity to sit down with the Crown and see if you can work out any kind of deal. Sometimes they will offer you a reduced charge and/or fine on the condition you plead guilty. The Crown and/or Justice of the Peace cannot do anything about demerit points once you're found/plead guilty to an offence that carries them. The only way to avoid them is if you're offered a plea to a different offence that doesn't carry them. The whole process could involve 2-3 trips to Court depending on what jurisdiction you're in.


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