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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Force Fatal Error?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:14 pm 
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I understand that the officer writing down the wrong vehicle type (says 1994 Sunfire instead of Sunbird) is not a fatal error, and if brought it up at trial the Justice can just change it and fix it.

If I hypothetically already have a trial date set, can I force a fatal error by not showing up for the trial, and then making an appeal based on an error of law: the justice should have quashed the traffic ticket based on POA section 9(1)b: "where the certificate of offence is not complete and regular on its face, the justice shall quash the proceeding."
http://www.ticketcombat.com/offences/fi ... forceerror

Or does this type of error only work if the fine amount is incorrect?

Thanks

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Re: Force Fatal Error?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:30 pm 
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The incorrect vehicle description is not a reason for a ticket to be quashed.

How is the JP supposed to know, based on the face of the ticket, that you were driving a sunbird as opposed to a sunfire (or vice versa)? Fatal errors are errors on tickets where certain information is omitted or incorrect, rendering the ticket of legally invalid (quash).

What you CAN do, during the trial, is create doubt that the offence occurred by bringing up things like incorrect vehicle description. However, I think the difference between sunbird and sunfire is so miniscule that I don't think it would create any doubt in the mind of the JP, especially if all the other descriptors provided by the officer during testimony are accurate (colour, 4-doors, licence plate, etc).

PS- where did you receive the ticket where it has the vehicle description on the face of the ticket???

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Re: Force Fatal Error?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:48 pm 
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I've never seen a spot on a ticket for a vehicle year and description. Just a plate number.


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Re: Force Fatal Error?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:57 pm 
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The only kind of ticket I've seen vehicle description on is a parking ticket.


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Re: Force Fatal Error?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:40 pm 
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So on the ticket, at the bottom of the section where it says CONTRARY TO , he wrote in whatever highway traffic act and section and then there was some right above where he you write the plate number and he wrote
1994 PONT GRN SF

And then I requested disclosure and got a copy of the officers notes and in his notes he wrote:
1994 Green Pontiac Sunfire

So can I force a fatal error because he wrote it on the ticket even though he did not have too?

Thanks

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Re: Force Fatal Error?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:35 pm 
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jsherk wrote:
So on the ticket, at the bottom of the section where it says CONTRARY TO , he wrote in whatever highway traffic act and section and then there was some right above where he you write the plate number and he wrote
1994 PONT GRN SF

And then I requested disclosure and got a copy of the officers notes and in his notes he wrote:
1994 Green Pontiac Sunfire

So can I force a fatal error because he wrote it on the ticket even though he did not have too?

Thanks


The case which provides the legal basis for forcing a fatal error is London v. Young. In that case the Judges were very clear in stating that not all errors on a ticket are significant enough to warrant quashing the ticket. I think listing the wrong make of car on the ticket would be viewed by a judge as too minor to warrant quashing the ticket, especially since listing that information is not even required for the ticket to be valid. Now you may be able to use the discrepancy at trial when you cross examine the officer to try and trip up his testimony, but it won't be enough to force a fatal error. Here is a link to the case if you would like to read what the judges had to say. http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onca/doc/20 ... ca429.html


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Re: Force Fatal Error?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:17 pm 
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I agree with Daggx and tdottopcop. The wrong vehicle type is likely not going to result in the ticket being quashed. Actually, it won't, because the JP only examines the ticket for known fatal errors (missing date, missing defendant name, offence not known to law, missing/incorrect set fine etc). They only need enough to convict. If they've got a name, offence, offence date & location, set fine & total payable, the "force fatal error" is off the table.

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