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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:39 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Hi. I would be so grateful if someone could please advise me. I tried asking on another similar site a few days ago and got no response. I'm really desperate because my trial date is 17 days away (May 3) and I'm completely confused about what I should do. I've never had a ticket before. Please help me!!

The offence is disobeying a stop sign, charged at end of September 2012. I am almost 100% positive that I stopped. I filed immediately for a trial date and I only just received the trial notice a few days ago on Thursday, April 11. My trial is set for May 3. So my questions:

1. Given that the trial is less than 30 days away, do I still file for disclosure, even though it's not likely I'll get the info. in time for the trial??
2. Or do I file now to have the trial adjourned given the insufficient time to prepare for the trial?
3. If I do go ahead and request disclosure, should I say in the letter that due to the short trial notice, I'll be filing to adjourn if I don't get disclosure promptly??
4. How long after I file for disclosure do I file to adjourn? What is the deadline? Is it 15 days before the trial or 15 business days before??
5. Sorry, forgive my ignorance but is adjourning and staying the same thing?? If not, am I better off adjourning the trial or staying the proceedings??

Thank you so much in advance for any help that you can offer me!!!!! :)


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:47 pm 
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ask for disclosure now.
show up and they may have it there for you.
ask for an adjournment so you can prepare.


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:14 pm 
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Thank you avangel. I faxed my disclosure request today. So I can ask for an adjournment at the actual trial? I don't need to do this in advance?


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:21 am 
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Ariell wrote:
Thank you avangel. I faxed my disclosure request today. So I can ask for an adjournment at the actual trial? I don't need to do this in advance?


Realistically, you're probably not going to get your disclosure before the trial. There's just not enough days for them to process the request or for you to prepare. Neither side is at fault considering there's been 3 weeks. You can settle everything on your trial date.

Either they will go over the circumstances with the Justice and request a new date for trial, or they wont. Some prosecutors will offer you disclosure right then and there, tell you to read it over as quickly as possible, and that they will continue with the trial as usual. The prosecutor is going to say how your request for disclosure has been satisfied and they are ready to continue with the trial. You're going to politely argue to the Justice that you requested disclosure days after receiving your notice of trial and you are not ready to continue minutes after receiving disclosure as you haven't been given a fair chance at preparing. They will then give you a new date unless there's good reasoning to not consider your request. Be prepared for both scenarios.


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:59 am 
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bend wrote:
Realistically, you're probably not going to get your disclosure before the trial. There's just not enough days for them to process the request or for you to prepare. Neither side is at fault considering there's been 3 weeks. You can settle everything on your trial date.

Either they will go over the circumstances with the Justice and request a new date for trial, or they wont. Some prosecutors will offer you disclosure right then and there, tell you to read it over as quickly as possible, and that they will continue with the trial as usual. The prosecutor is going to say how your request for disclosure has been satisfied and they are ready to continue with the trial. You're going to politely argue to the Justice that you requested disclosure days after receiving your notice of trial and you are not ready to continue minutes after receiving disclosure as you haven't been given a fair chance at preparing. They will then give you a new date unless there's good reasoning to not consider your request. Be prepared for both scenarios.


Thank you so much bend. Sorry, do you mean there's a chance that the Justice will make me go ahead with the trial even if I've only been given disclosure a few minutes earlier?? That seems completely unfair. Doesn't that violate my right to a fair trial? What would be a good reason to not consider my request?


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:52 am 
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Ariell wrote:
Thank you so much bend. Sorry, do you mean there's a chance that the Justice will make me go ahead with the trial even if I've only been given disclosure a few minutes earlier?? That seems completely unfair. Doesn't that violate my right to a fair trial? What would be a good reason to not consider my request?


What I meant was be prepared for an adjournment, but also be prepared to push for one. You can easily get pushed into a trial if you don't make an argument. Some people just go with the motions and may end up in a trial right after reading their disclosure for the first time.

I don't see any reason why they wouldn't reschedule your date, so i wouldn't worry. You can relax.


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:05 am 
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Thanks very much bend!!


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days! (Now tomorrow
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:15 am 
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In case I do have to go ahead with my trial tomorrow, is there any advice that you can give me to defend myself?

This is a picture of the stop sign in question:
Image

I am 99.9% positive that I stopped. I travel on that road almost weekly so am familiar with the area and I'm a very careful driver. I've never had a traffic ticket in 20+ years of driving. Also, as you can see, the sign is completely visible so there's no way that I could miss it.

The officer stopped me 3 blocks away and claimed that I didn't stop at the previous stop. He told me that neighbours have complained that people just drive through that stop. It was the end of the month so maybe he was just trying to get a certain quota?? It's a very quiet street with no one else around.

My questions:
1. Is the fact that there is no stop lign useful in my defence? i.e. if there's no lign, maybe the officer couldn't really tell that I stopped? (I have no idea where he was. I'm guessing on the side street to the left).

2. Is the fact that he stopped me several blocks away relevant? Is there any requirement that he stop me where the supposed offence took place?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days! (Now tomorrow
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Ariell wrote:
It was the end of the month so maybe he was just trying to get a certain quota??

No. I'm quite sure the officer believes you didn't stop.

Ariell wrote:
1. Is the fact that there is no stop lign useful in my defence? i.e. if there's no lign, maybe the officer couldn't really tell that I stopped? (I have no idea where he was. I'm guessing on the side street to the left).

The officer should be able to tell if you stopped or not regardless of any line on the ground. You could try questioning them on their view of the intersection and seeing if they had a clear view of where you’re required to stop when there is no line (which would be immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk, or if no crosswalk the nearest intersection).

Ariell wrote:
2. Is the fact that he stopped me several blocks away relevant? Is there any requirement that he stop me where the supposed offence took place?

This is pretty normal. Police will wait to stop a vehicle for any number of reasons, such as running licence plates, waiting for a safer location or just watching to see if the driver will commit any more offences. Unless the officer lost sight of your vehicle for an extended period of time and can't say the vehicle he stopped was the same one that went through the stop sign, it's not relevant to your defence.


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days! (Now tomorrow
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 3:02 pm 
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Quote:
The officer should be able to tell if you stopped or not regardless of any line on the ground. You could try questioning them on their view of the intersection and seeing if they had a clear view of where you’re required to stop when there is no line (which would be immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk, or if no crosswalk the nearest intersection).


Thank you. I read section 136(1)(a) which says: "S. 136(1) Every driver or street car operator approaching a stop sign at an intersection,
(a) shall stop his or her vehicle or street car at a marked stop line or, if none, then immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk or, if none, then immediately before entering the intersection;"

I'm not sure if I'm interpreting it right, but does it mean that if there is no stop line (like in my case), then I don't need to stop at the stop sign??? :shock: So instead I just need to stop at the nearest crosswalk or if no crosswalk, then the nearest intersection??? That can't be right but isn't that how it's written or am I misunderstanding? And by the 'nearest intersection' does it mean the intersection where the stop sign is or the next intersection after that???


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Ariell wrote:
I'm not sure if I'm interpreting it right, but does it mean that if there is no stop line (like in my case), then I don't need to stop at the stop sign??? :shock: So instead I just need to stop at the nearest crosswalk or if no crosswalk, then the nearest intersection??? That can't be right but isn't that how it's written or am I misunderstanding? And by the 'nearest intersection' does it mean the intersection where the stop sign is or the next intersection after that???


If there is no line, you stop before the sidewalk, whether it be on your left side or your right side. If there is no sidewalk, you stop at the edge of the intersection.

The picture doesn't show what's to your left, but if there is a sidewalk there, you'd stop before it. Either that or before the intersection.


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 5:00 pm 
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The photo you posted doesn’t show the intersection very clearly, but I can see a sidewalk meeting the road for oncoming traffic. Oncoming cars would be required to stop there. Can you tell us what the intersection is so we can see it in Street View?


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:01 pm 
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It's the corner of Ernest Ave. and Edmonton Dr. in North York (M2J 3T4)


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:07 pm 
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The crosswalk is well before the manhole cover seen in the lower right corner of your picture. You must stop immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk.


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Re: Desperate! PLEASE help!! Trial in 17 days!
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 11:38 pm 
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It's difficult to say based on Google street view alone, but I don't think the southbound stop sign is properly placed. It appears that it's actually in the intersection, when in fact it should be placed before the intersection. It's still quite visible and likely fully legal due to the double driveway making proper placement impracticable, but thought I'd mention it.


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