I hope everyone is enjoying our warming days!
My 17yr old daughter has an early resolution meeting this week and I would like some advise on how to deal with a difficult situation. She is a G2 driver, charged with careless, following a minor fender bender, where momentary inattention lead to her hitting a car from behind. No injuries, under $1000 damage.
She has the disclosure. Only copies of the officer's notes (weather report and note of returning other driver's, father's call), accident report, statement from other driver who was never questioned (her father went to police a few days after the accident with a prepared statement), and a statement signed by my daughter, and a copy of the ticket with no notations on it. Officer did not question my daughter at any time.
My daughter did not write the statement given to police, I did. I'm not proud of it an recognize it was a mistake; at the time of the accident and the days following there was a great deal of stress and anxiety for both of us. I decided to "take care of it" as dealing with the upset was so overwhelming given the 11 months we had just came through (critical illness of my husband, loss of my job after 20 years, and armed - home invasion style robbery where all of us were present and my spouse was seriously assaulted) all in less than a year, followed by this. I made her sign what I wrote, she had not told me what had happened in detail at the time, and with the anxiety she was displaying I had no interest in pushing her, we were still trying to recover from the earlier more serious incidents. The statement provided to police does not reflect fully what happened, and was only given to the officer (a different officer, no the one who laid the charge) after i was told it was necessary, and that the accident was so minor that there was nothing to be concerned about, police "had better things to do".
We plan to be open to hear what the prosecutor offers, if anything, but will go to trial if it is not an offer 3 points or below. My question is should we let the prosecutor know there is information not included in the disclosure? That the statement was not prepared by her, and she signed it under pressure from me, and why? Would there be any reasons why she would or would not want to tell the prosecutor what happened, what she will testify to if it goes to trial?
I will hire a representative if we go to trial. Affordability is a large issue for us so I don't want to pay for representation when she may be able to settle it herself through the early resolution. I also do not want to make another mistake that could impact her ability to defend herself if she goes to trial.
I am so grateful for the information shared here. Thank you.
She will not have the privledge of driving any longer if convicted, because of affordability. She already paid for the repairs to the other car, she has nothing left to secure representation with before the appointment this week. The economic losses for our whole family following all of these events was significant, and we will be back on our feet soon, but not soon enough to pay for representation this week.
If you had chosen trial, there is the chance the other driver may not appear and therefore the careless charge would be withdrawn. It's up to you, how you want to proceed. A similar 3 point offer would most likely be offered again at trial if all the other parties are present.
@ynotp is correct, trial could be very tricky and there is the possibility that Criminal Charges could apply down the road. It's in your best interest to seek legal counsel if you choose to fight the crown at trial.
Here is a real example as to what can happen.
This same thing happened to a case I was involved with. It was for not pulling over for an emergency vehicle. The fine was 110 at the time. The husband wrote the statement for his wife who was in the passenger seat and she passed it off as her's. This came out in court and they were pretty much convicted at that point.
When it came time for sentencing the prosecutor made a motion to raise the fine from 110 to 500. The JP agreed and that is what happened.
While you are minimizing it this is a huge deal and criminal charges can come from it. Are criminal charges likely probably not but it is a risk.
Have had an acquaintance who is a Toronto force sergeant offer to go with us; we have met so many officers in a very short period of time with the other events. Will get through this just in time to testify in the trial against the charged assailants in the home invasion. The advise offered is greatly appreciated.