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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Charge lowered by officer-Can JP charge you with the origina
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:14 am 
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If an officer pulls you over for a traffic offence and lowers the charge at the scene (speeding 22 over to 15 over for example), if you go to trial can the Justice of the Peace or the officer bring back the original charge?

I understand that he was giving me a break, but it still counts as a minor conviction. I'm just trying to figure out if they can bring to light what the original charge was and proceed with that.

Thanks a lot!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
yes, can be brought back up to original speed.

http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic1393.html

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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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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:38 am 
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Thanks Hwybear.

My situation is a little bit different actually but I wanted to keep the idea simple.

I was pulled over for pulling a U-turn at the famous Scarborough Costco where it says no U-turns.

I had just moved to the city so I think that's why he gave me a break. The officer dropped the ticket to: "U-turn interfere with traffic" according to the "Metropolitan Toronto By-Law 32/92."

The fine is less than $20 dollars but it's still the conviction I'm worried about. So I have two questions.

1. Would the insurance company see a by-law ticket as a moving violation and would it count as a conviction?
2. Can the officer change the actual offence? I understand for the speeding that the speed can be changed but the charge remains the same, but in this situation, the charge was completely changed and changed to a by-law. Could he turn the charge back into the HTA U-turn charge?

Thanks again Hwybear!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:29 pm 
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pr1244883 wrote:
1. Would the insurance company see a by-law ticket as a moving violation and would it count as a conviction?


In this case, no. This is why the officer gave you a by-law ticket. It's a one-time slap on the wrist.

pr1244883 wrote:
2. Can the officer change the actual offence? I understand for the speeding that the speed can be changed but the charge remains the same, but in this situation, the charge was completely changed and changed to a by-law.


You were charged under the by-law with the actual offence that occurred. The ability to "amend up" was for speeding on the day of trial. That said, what could happen is if the Prosecutor finds out that you got a by-law ticket and want to fight it, the Prosecutor could withdraw the by-law offence and charge you with HTA Disobey Sign, which is $110 and 2 demerit points, and probably will affect your insurance.

If I were you, I'd just pay the ticket. There are lots of offences and circumstances I'd recommend fighting/challenging, but not this one.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:20 pm 
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With speeding though it's different because although the speed gets ammended up, you are still being charged for the same offense under the HTA. Whereas in this case the prosecutor would have to lay a different charge at court. In my opinion they should not be allowed to do this but I do not know for sure.

Imagine you received a relatively minor ticket after a collision and you intended to fight. Then when you got to court the prosecutor decides they feel that careless driving could potentially stick so they choose to charge you with that instead. You prepared your defense against the other minor ticket and then you find out you really have to defend a much more serious careless charge? You may have also wanted to hire professional help if you knew you were facing a careless charge originally.

Anybody else have opinions?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:15 pm 
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Plenderzoosh wrote:
Whereas in this case the prosecutor would have to lay a different charge at court. In my opinion they should not be allowed to do this but I do not know for sure.


They have up to 6 months after the date of the offence to withdraw the charge and issue a new one in its place. If they do that, though, they have to give you notice of a motion to amend the charge... unless, as you said, it is speeding, where the speed can be amended at trial. Speeding aside, the number of occasions where Prosecutors will pull the switcheroo to hit the defendant with a bigger, more serious charge is very rare.

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


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