Looks like I was screwed today - "Unsafe Lane Change" - NOT!

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coolspot
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Looks like I was screwed today - "Unsafe Lane Change" - NOT!

Unread post by coolspot on

Hi all,

So I was heading home to today and I was in the left lane of the off ramp, some lady cut across her lane of traffic and across the off ramp median and hit the back side of my car! After a few meters of bumping (I was dazed and confused) I stopped the car.

I call 911 and was told to move the car to the shoulder.

Cop comes, interviews both of us, and lets the lady go! The cop proceeds to give me a ticket for "unsafe lane change". I was like WTF - what do you mean unsafe lane change, I was in my lane the whole time!

The cop didn't believe I was in the left lane - bummer, I think SOL on this one. It's one of those he said / she said scenarios ...

Cop said:

1. Her front bumper was cracked, therefore I side wiped her?!
2. Damage is inconsistent with her hitting me?!
3. Lady did not move her car, and since I was in front of her car, I must have cut into her lane.


What to do? Goto trial? Not even sure how to defend against this when there were no eyewitnesses?


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Unread post by bend on

coolspot wrote:What to do? Goto trial? Not even sure how to defend against this when there were no eyewitnesses?
The other driver will be considered a witness. Should you request a trial, they'll inform the other driver of the trial date.


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Unread post by coolspot on

bend wrote:
coolspot wrote:What to do? Goto trial? Not even sure how to defend against this when there were no eyewitnesses?
The other driver will be considered a witness. Should you request a trial, they'll inform the other driver of the trial date.
Do paralegals help at all in these sort of cases? Will the paralegal put up a decent defense instead of plea bargaining?

Also, since she lied in the first place, it's in her interest to continue to lie?


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Paralegals do help in these sorts of cases. The paralegal can file for disclosure for you, etc. When you're choosing a paralegal, spend some time talking to them. See if they are genuinely interested in helping, or they blow off most of your concerns. You might hear a few things you don't like, but if they take the time to explain stuff to you, chances are you're in good hands.

Take photos of the damage to your vehicle. That's part of your evidence. Go to the "Courts and Procedures" section of this website for rules on submitting photographs.

When the other driver is put on the witness stand, at that point the paralegal (or you should you choose to represent yourself) should be able to introduce reasonable doubt. For example, ask where she was coming from and where she was going. If she was trying to swing over to the left, it would make sense that she hit you.

If she does not show up, the case is toast. Heck, if you're really enterprising and you are very lucky, maybe one of the businesses along the street has surveillance cameras that shows where the collision occurred. (That would be about 1 in 100 odds.) Doesn't hurt to revisit the scene and have a look.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


coolspot
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Unread post by coolspot on

Since this is a "he said, she said" scenario ... with no eye witnesses, and a cop who came 1 hour later, I assume defense here is to create reasonable doubt? In fact, I would think conviction would be quite hard since there is no video/photographic proof?

I should had a dash cam - if I did, she would have been charged on the stop. Live and learn :(


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Unread post by jsherk on

**DELETED**
Last edited by jsherk on Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Unread post by jsherk on

So I would have plead not guilty and requested a trial with the officer present. Once I got the notice of trial, I would have requested disclosure (officers notes and witness statements).

At trial, the officer will testify to laying the charge and to your identity, but the other driver must also be there to testify of the actual accident. If the other driver does not show up then they will have to drop the charge. If the other driver does show up, then yes you want to drill them with a million questions on cross examination and try to bring doubt to their testimony.

Also, in this case, since you honestly believe that you were 100% not guilty, then you should also take the witness stand and testify as to your side of the story as this will help bring reasonable doubt as well.

When you are cross-examining the other driver, this NOT the time to give your testimony as you are not on the stand and are not under oath. This is your time to ask a million leading questions and try to make them hum and hah a lot so as to make it look like they made their story up (which they did).

Read this thread:
http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7041.html
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Unread post by coolspot on

jsherk wrote:So I would have plead not guilty and requested a trial with the officer present. Once I got the notice of trial, I would have requested disclosure (officers notes and witness statements).
Thanks for the reply; I have been trying to get disclosure since I received my notice back in September. Two faxes and one in person request last week still nothing. I plan on pleading not guilty, see if the "victim" is there and whether or not at that time raise the disclosure issue. If the witness is there but the officer is not, will the Crown also have to drop the case?


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Unread post by jsherk on

Yes the officer must be there as well.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Unread post by coolspot on

jsherk wrote:Yes the officer must be there as well.
The Prosecutor's office finally got my disclosure ready ... with less than 2 days to the trial. Supposedly there is >15 pages worth of material.

Personally I don't think it's fair to have it prepared so late, as such I'll probably request an adjournment.

Since it was the prosecutor who took so long to prepare the package, but I will be requesting an adjournment, will this affect an 11B challenge?

Thanks.


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Unread post by jsherk on

Just make sure you say something like this to the JP :
"Since the prosecutor only got the disclosure ready 2 days ago, I would like an adjournment as I need time to review it and prepare my defense. And I would like this time to count against the prosecution as I have been requesting it since [SOME DATE] and they should have had more than enough time to get it ready and to me sooner than 2 days ago."

Unless you are talking about an 11b at this upcoming trial, then you can still try it and if does not work, try it again at the next one! If you can get the JP to agree to count this adjournment against the prosecution then you might have better chance at next trial for 11b.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Unread post by coolspot on

jsherk wrote:Just make sure you say something like this to the JP :
"Since the prosecutor only got the disclosure ready 2 days ago, I would like an adjournment as I need time to review it and prepare my defense. And I would like this time to count against the prosecution as I have been requesting it since [SOME DATE] and they should have had more than enough time to get it ready and to me sooner than 2 days ago."

Unless you are talking about an 11b at this upcoming trial, then you can still try it and if does not work, try it again at the next one! If you can get the JP to agree to count this adjournment against the prosecution then you might have better chance at next trial for 11b.
Thanks for the advice, I was able to obtain an adjournment due to the fact that the prosecution ignored my fax requests. However, I'm not sure who the adjournment is counted again, although the JP did say she was disappointed the prosecution did not return my requests in a timely fashion.

The witness continues to lie and the police officer was treating her like a VIP and with kid gloves - adding insult to the injury.

The prosecution and I agreed to resume proceedings in June, since the Witness will be out of the country in May. June will be 12 months since the date of the accident ... but only 10 months since I received my trial notice. I guess a 11B challenge is a bit difficult?

Lastly, I read through my disclosure package, the supporting statements are pretty weak. This is entirely a he-said, she-said scenario with the officer throwing his opinion into the matter tipping the scales in her favor.


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Unread post by jsherk on

In order for an 11b to be succesful you would need to be at least 11 months since you requested trial (I beleive it is from when you requested the trial, not from when you recieved the notice of trial, but not 100% sure on this point).

You would also need transcripts of all your court appearances so the JP can review who the time should be against. And if you AGREED to the June date without an objection on the record then it will probably be counted as neutral time. You need to say you object and say you want a trial date as soon as possible and it has to show up on the record in order for it to be counted against the prosecution and not you.
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Unread post by jimm on

any follow up?


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Unread post by coolspot on

jimm wrote:any follow up?
The trial date was pushed off to June ... I picked up the disclosure package and found a few areas to discredit the liar of a witness.

More to come in 6 months time.






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