Charge does not match ticket

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Help with HTA
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Charge does not match ticket

Unread post by Help with HTA on

Hi there, would appreciate if someone can speak to the possibility of this ticket being quashed. Nutshell: the officer's notes are about failure to produce a permit, with the corresponding set fine of $85. However, the HTA section cited is 128, for speeding.

Went through a radar trap and was signalled to pull over. Was told by the officer that I was going 20 km/h over the limit, and asked to produce license and registration. I keep a photocopy of the registration in the car (which I understand is allowed, a "true copy"). On the backside of the photocopy is only the license plate renewal sticker(s) that I stick there when I get my plates renewed. The officer tells me that instead of giving me a ticket for 20+ km/h over and 3 demerit points, they have written the ticket for having an "incomplete" registration, saying that the photocopy, while allowed, is missing the backside information. I appreciate the lesser fine (no demerits) and drive off.

Upon looking at the ticket later, I see that the officer's notes are about failing to produce a permit, with an $85 fine - that correlates to the correct set fine for a violation of HTA s. 7 (permit requirements). But on the ticket, s. 128 (speeding) is noted as the HTA violation. There are no comments anywhere about speeding. Clearly this doesn't match. I think because the officer was running a radar trap, that is what was on their mind when filling out that section of the ticket.

1. The backside of the registration is the blank sections that need to be filled in if you sell the car (transfer of ownership) or change of address. I never photocopied that part. Is that truly required information for a vehicle registration? I do have the plate sticker there.

2. Can I have the ticket quashed based on the charge not matching the ticket? The officer's notes and set fine correlate to a s.7 violation. But s. 128 is cited on the ticket. Does this amount to a "fatal error"? It seems to me to be substantive information that needs to be correct on a ticket. At least it could be argued that, based on the ticket, I cannot understand what I have actually been charged with.

If there is a chance of having the ticket quashed, what is the best way to go about doing that? If I go to a pre-trial meeting and alert them to the error, then it could be amended before the trial. If I go to trial, and assuming the officer is present, their notes would be about speeding and the incomplete permit and I run the risk of being convicted of speeding, (I am charged with s. 128 after all on the ticket), and getting 3 demerits in the process. The other option, similar to London v. Young, is to request trial, not show up and be convicted (deemed not to dispute charge). Under this scenario, I would be convicted of s. 128 for speeding, to which I would appeal and say: "my ticket and the set fine says it is about a permit violation, why was I convicted for speeding? The conviction is in error."

What is the best route to take here?

Thanks.


argyll
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Unread post by argyll on

Interesting. The officer may have pre-filled in tickets before setting up. I don't see that it is a fatal error as there is a charge listed on the ticket presumably with the correct fine amount etc. What you have is a disclosure that doesn't match the charge and so you could argue that you can't prepare a defence to the charge as issued. This is likely only to buy you an adjournment charged against the crown.
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Unread post by Help with HTA on

Thanks for the reply.

Any thoughts on the process of requesting a trial, not showing up and being convicted, and then appealing on the basis of wrongful conviction (for speeding when the ticket is clearly about the permit)?


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Unread post by argyll on

I thought you said the ticket was for speeding. The disclosure was about the permit. If you plan to challenge the fact that you weren't speeding then you would have to go to court and defend yourself. Bottom line is you are charged with an offence with a correct ticket for that charge; you now have the opportunity to defend yourself against that charge.

The notes do not form part of the ticket.

Just to be clear - is the charge written on the ticket for 'Speeding' with sec 128 listed ?
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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Unread post by Help with HTA on

@argyll,

To clarify, this is what is written on the ticket in each section. In "quotes" is what the officer has written.
Did commit the offence of: "Fail to surrender permit for motor vehicle."
Contrary to: "Highway Traffic Act"
Section: "128"
Set fine of: "$85.00" / Total Payable: "$110.00"

But, as per above, s.128 is about speeding and has nothing to do with "fail to surrender permit". Again, I believe the officer wrote s.128 simply because they were operating a radar trap at the time and that is what was likely on their mind.

So, the whole point is, what really IS the ticket for? Speeding? If so, the set fine is wrong.
Failure to surrender permit? If so, the HTA section cited is wrong. Either way, the ticket is misleading, inconsistent, confusing, incorrect... Effectively, the argument is that the ticket is not "complete and regular on its face." Per London v Young (which was about incorrect set fines on a bunch of tickets), the judge states in paragraph 30:
"The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., Vol. XIII, at p. 523, contains a number of definitions or meanings of the word "regular". One definition that appears to be relevant is "recognized as formally correct". If the set fine, as in the case at bar, is incorrectly recorded on the certificate, it simply cannot be regular on its face and must be quashed."

In my case, the HTA section is incorrectly stated... or the offence is incorrectly stated... and/or the set fine is incorrectly stated. In any case, the ticket has a significant error that renders it confusing, and makes it not "formally correct". It is not simply having the street misspelled by a letter, or a misspelling in my address, or some other minor mistake that would not affect the ticket. Citing the wrong HTA section for the offence committed is a substantive error, similar to London v Young.

Thoughts?


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Unread post by argyll on

Now it's clear. Yes I would think that the JP will quash the ticket.
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Unread post by Help with HTA on

Thanks for the quick reply. We'll see how it goes.


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Unread post by Help with HTA on

Oh, one more question... if this goes to trial - could any portion of the ticket be changed under Provincial Offences Act s. 34? eg. could the ticket be amended so that the HTA section cited is changed to the correct section 7? Or do you think at early resolution the prosecutor will see this and just quash it themselves?

Side question: does a prosecutor at early resolution even have the authority to quash a ticket?


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Unread post by argyll on

Prosecutors don't quash tickets but they can withdraw them. Same effect, different name.
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Unread post by Decatur on

Just so you’re aware. A 2017 OCA case R v Davis, allows the officer to modify the ticket after service in most cases.






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