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Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead guilt
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:09 pm 
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I'm contesting a speeding ticket which has already been reduced to no demerit points and have a court hearing coming soon. Now I'm afraid that if I challenge this in court, there is a possibility that they may amend the charge and if I lose, I'll end up with demerit points. I certainly don't want to take that chance. On the other hand, if the officer doesn't show up for the trial, I'd want to take advantage of the fact. My question is how do I find out if a) the officer has shown up or not and b) if they intend to amend the charge before making my decision whether to plead guilty or contest the charge? If I tell the prosecutor about my intention to plead guilty, can they still continue with the process even if the officer hasn't shown up?

Thanks!


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Re: Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead g
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Forgot to mention, I am a careful driver and have a completely clean record for the last 10 years (and I'm trying to keep it that way). If I can be assured that the charge is not being amended, I'd want to contest and make sure I was actually clocked at that speed (just for my satisfaction - I really believe I wasn't speeding).


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Re: Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead g
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:35 am 
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yyzyyz wrote:
I'm contesting a speeding ticket which has already been reduced to no demerit points and have a court hearing coming soon. Now I'm afraid that if I challenge this in court, there is a possibility that they may amend the charge and if I lose, I'll end up with demerit points. I certainly don't want to take that chance. On the other hand, if the officer doesn't show up for the trial, I'd want to take advantage of the fact. My question is how do I find out if a) the officer has shown up or not and b) if they intend to amend the charge before making my decision whether to plead guilty or contest the charge? If I tell the prosecutor about my intention to plead guilty, can they still continue with the process even if the officer hasn't shown up?

Thanks!

You can go early and the da? will ask names.
If you answer they will most likely offer you a lesser ticket.

Your choice at that point.
If it is just your first time /just say not guilty and see what happens.

Cheers and good luck
Viper1

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Re: Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead g
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:52 am 
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Thanks for your response. So there's no way of finding out if the officer has shown up until I plead not guilty and trial has started...?
Is it usual for them to amend charges where ticket was issued for a reduced speed?


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Re: Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead g
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:42 pm 
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You can ask if the officer is present, but be aware that if you've pushed it right to a trial and they had the officer show up, they may not be inclined to give you a deal anymore. They're certainly not obliged to just because there was discussion about it earlier. The purpose of a plea deal is, in part, to reward those who take responsibility for their actions early on in the process, thereby relieving the crown of it's burden to prove the charge and saving time and money. If it goes to the morning of a trial you haven't saved them much.

Also, in most jurisdictions it's more than a possibility that they will ask for it to be amended back to the original speed.

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Re: Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead g
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:03 pm 
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With the ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal that the speed can be "increased to the original" at trial, most Prosecutors will seek to amend the charge. In the GTA and Ottawa it's less likely than other jurisdictions, but, it is what it is. Such is the risk you take if you fight a reduced speeding ticket, that is, unless they've made some goofs (eg. no disclosure, took too long to bring it to trial, errors in officer's notes).

Technical Note:

DA is a District Attorney, which is American. We don't have them in Canada. CP is Crown/City Prosecutor, which is what we have here.

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Re: Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead g
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:19 am 
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Thanks for your feedback everyone - very much appreciated! So I can go ahead and strike a sweet deal with the prosecutor (not knowing whether the officer is going to show up or not). But eventually, if the officer doesn't show up, do they have to drop the charges or can they still hold me to the guilty plea that I agreed to earlier (which, I've heard is done before the trials begin)?


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Re: Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead g
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:14 am 
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I can only tell you what I've seen in 7 POA courts. If a deal/resolution is made with the prosecutor, it is made in good faith. All pleas are usually done before trials start. If the officer did not have any other matters or trials sometimes the prosecutor allows the officer to go back on the road. When called up to speak and the person all of a sudden pulls a fast one and wants a trial, the prosecutor will ask that the matter be stood down (for later in the day), have the officer called back and will be going to trial at the original speed and/or charge.

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Re: Is officer required to be present if I intend to plead g
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Prosecutor may also ask that the maximum fine of $500 be imposed upon conviction (and JPs can do that) if they show that you acted in bad faith.

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