I was ticketed by an officer at a red light for the offence: "Drive hand held communication device". This is what is mentioned on my ticket.
This is what happened:
I stopped at a red light and i took the opportunity to check directions on the map as i was lost. A police car pulled up beside me on the lane to my right and it took me a few seconds to notice that. When i looked up the cop was indicating me to roll down my windows and when i did that he asked me to go straight when the light turns green and then pull over. I followed his instructions. After i pulled over he stopped behind me and came over to my window, asked for my license and my insurance. I provided both. He gave back the insurance document but took my license back to his car and then came back with this ticket a few minutes later. He did not ask me any questions and i was too much in a shock of having been pulled over (this is the first time ever i have been pulled over) that i did not even say anything. After giving me the ticket he drove away and I continued on my way.
I was not aware that using a device at red light was also considered an offence. I always assumed that use of device is prohibited only when the car is moving. I am new to this country with no driving history in Canada (even though i have driven over 10 years in my home country) and because of that my insurance is already very high . I really cannot afford my insurance going up because of this charge. I consider myself a very good driver and always obey all rules. If i knew of this rule, i would have never touched my phone.
I don't mind the demerit points or the one-time fine of $490. My only concern is my sky-high insurance going up and i want to avoid it at any cost as it is due for renewal in November.
1. Please suggest if i should go for option 2 (early resolution) or option 3 (trial)? Which option gives me a better chance at this charge being dropped?
2. Will the judges show any leniency at my situation and toss out my charge? Is there a possibility of that happening and judge showing mercy?
3. Is there a possibility of my fine being increased to $1000 if i go for trial and lose.
4. Is there a demerit point being applied here? The ticket does not mention anything about it.
5. I live in Toronto, the incident happened in Mississauga but the ticket says i have to visit the Brampton court house. Is this correct?
Sorry for the lengthy post. Any advice on the above situation is well appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Barring some stroke of luck, the ticket is not going away.
Based on your post, you're looking to have a trial. Select the trial option, wait several weeks, and they'll send you a Notice of Trial. That will have your trial information. From there you can make a disclosure request and you'll be given a copy of some of the evidence against you. If you don't know how to make a request, check their website. Most of the time, they'll even have a generic form you can fill out. Fill it out and send it in. Go over the notes and prepare for your trial.
If you want to try an early resolution, they will only be interested in helping you with the fine amount. They will not lower this to another charge since there is no equivalent. You will still be guilty at the end of the day.
There is 3 demerit points for this. It's not listed on the ticket because demerit points aren't ever listed on a ticket. If you're a G2 driver, you'll be suspended for 30 days. If you're a full G, the points don't really mean much of anything.