Prosecutor threw out my offence but still got a court date

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Ankaizes
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Prosecutor threw out my offence but still got a court date

by: Ankaizes on
Mon May 09, 2011 9:43 pm

Hello,

Just looking at advice as to my case...

I was pulled over for speeding driving 63 on a 50 zone as per the officer. The problem was when this happened, It just happened on the day I also forgot my wallet and thus my licence and insurance card at home. I was a couple of km away from home at that time.

I politely explained everything and identified myself to the officer. I ended up having 3 tickets - speeding, failure to surrender lic, and failure to surrender proof of insurance. He told me he needed to ticket me but if I went and meet with a prosecutor, they will throw away my failure to surrender lic and failure to surrender proof of insurance tickets. He also told me if they didn't that he will personally ask them if I get a court date. We didn't talk about the speeding ticket at all.

So when I went to court to schedule a First Attendance with a prosecutor, I just booked for all 3 tickets since I was there already. When I got the mail for my first attendance meeting, I noticed I didn't have one for the speeding ticket. When I met with the prosecutor, he told me he doesn't have a schedule for me for the speeding ticket only for the failure to surrender lic and failure to surrender proof of insurance tickets. He also told me some information was missing from my failure to surrender licence ticket and it is automatically thrown out. He took a look at my insurance card and threw out the ticket for that as well.

I checked with the court service desk regarding my speeding ticket, and although they can see it in the system they don't know whats wrong with it. They told me I have no appointments for the speeding ticket and just told me to wait.

A month after, I received a mail that I have a court appointment and I thought that this must be for the speeding ticket. Opened the mail and found out to my surprise that it was for the failure to surrender my licence. The very one that the prosecutor told me was missing some information! The thing is I never asked him what was missing on that ticket and it looks exactly just like my other 2 tickets. This was 3 months since I got pulled over and there is still nothing on my speeding ticket.

-Can I defend my failure to surrender licence ticket using what the prosecutor told me on the first attendance? I don't have any paper record or receipt, just the word of the prosecutor on that day.
-Could this court date actually be for my speeding ticket and can I be tried for that on the court even if that is not what is on the scheduled paper?
-What do I do with my speeding ticket? Do I call and follow up or just wait as they say?

Thank you very much!




Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Wed May 25, 2011 11:59 am

You should only be facing the charge listed on the summons. Without notice of the other charges, you can't prepare a proper defence. If they want to proceed on other charges, they would first have to serve you notice and allow you time to prepare a defence.

I would contact the Court and Crown's office. Sounds like they have some serious paperwork issues with your file. I would hope the Crown would have some record of withdrawing your earlier charge.


Ankaizes
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by: Ankaizes on
Fri May 27, 2011 12:45 pm

Thanks Stanton!

I am pretty confident I can defend my failure to surrender licence ticket in court given all the circumstances.


As to my "missing" speeding ticket (still no word about it), I am thinking I can use it to my advantage.

1. I have followed up once and was told to wait. I can follow up again later in the year and hope the backlog in Toronto will end up giving me a court date thats far ahead enough from the offence date that I can file for an 11b. My court date for my other ticket was actually 11 months from the offence date. Would this work?

2. Any merit to just ignoring that ticket altogether and hope it goes away? Will I have any liability at all if I dont follow up anymore and is there a possibility that it will just come out again in the future to bite me?


Thanks again!


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by: Stanton on
Fri May 27, 2011 1:01 pm

Assuming you are given a Court date for your speeding ticket, I think an 11b strategy would be pretty sound if a full year has passed. I'm hesitant to say just to forget about it all together. If somehow the ticket is found and you're convicted in absentia, you could have your licence suspended for non payment of fine. You should receive notice of the conviction, but with the way everything else is messed up, who knows. I'd at least try following up with the Courts once more, maybe on your next Court date.

What is the defence strategy you're referring to for failure to surrender licence? If it's simply the fact you left your licence at home, that isn't a defence. It's a pretty cut and dry charge, you either surrendered it or you didn't. I'm not sure the Crown originally telling you he was going to withdraw it would be relevant in Court either since you've been served notice and given time to prepare for trial.


Ankaizes
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by: Ankaizes on
Fri May 27, 2011 1:49 pm

Yeah, it's pretty cut and dry the way it is. I was hoping I can negotiate with the prosecutor or the officer before even facing the JP. The prosecutor since they supposedly threw out that ticket already and the officer maybe try to make him remember his word that he will personally ask to have the ticket thrown out if it went on trial.

I have 2 notices for first appearance both on the same day and time for the insurance card and drivers licence. Since the ticket for my insurance card was thrown out hopefully it proves I did attend that first meeting. Barring that, I don't really have much in terms of defence.

Is failure to surrender licence an absolute liability offence?


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by: Stanton on
Fri May 27, 2011 2:12 pm

Ankaizes wrote:Is failure to surrender licence an absolute liability offence?
Not that I'm aware of. However from my experience simply having forgot your licence at home isn't an excuse the Courts except. In fact I'm not really sure what the Courts would consider an acceptable reason to be as I've never seen anyone win at trial. Again hopefully the Crown will have a record of your earlier deal.


Ankaizes
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by: Ankaizes on
Fri May 27, 2011 2:57 pm

Thanks again Stanton!

It makes a bit of sense no one has won at trial for failure to surrender licence because it seems the norm for these tickets is to be thrown out at first attendance. Thats what the cop, the prosecutor, even the service desk girl at court says. It's even what the Toronto Court Services website says. So if you ended up in trial you might have really messed something up or in my case, they have...

Here's hoping I catch another break! Cheers!


nerd
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by: nerd on
Sat May 28, 2011 7:42 pm

If you received a summons for court and they cannot find it in the system, give them the offence numbers on the tickets to find their status. If you should be in court but do not show, it will only make the judge angry and end up with a charge for failure to appear. They probably dismissed the speeding ticket because they usually don't seek penalty for 13kph over the speed limit.

The best way to ensure you don't have problems like this in the future is to keep your vehicle registration and proof of insurance in the vehicle at all times. Your drivers licence should be on your person when you leave home, regardless of whether you're driving or not. I realize in retrospect it seems obvious. Unfortunately, sometimes we don't give it much thought until it's too late and have the hassels you're experiencing now.


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by: Simon Borys on
Sat May 28, 2011 10:08 pm

nerd wrote:If you should be in court but do not show, it will only make the judge angry and end up with a charge for failure to appear.
Actually you don't get charged for fail to appear in POA court. They just ask for a conviction in abstentia under s. 9.1 if it's a Part 1 ticket or have an ex-parte trail if it's a Part 3 summons.
nerd wrote:They probably dismissed the speeding ticket because they usually don't seek penalty for 13kph over the speed limit.
Sure they do, under s. 9.1.
http://www.boryslaw.ca
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.


Ankaizes
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by: Ankaizes on
Sun May 29, 2011 12:29 am

Hi nerd! I did receive a summon, but it was a summon for a ticket that I was told by the prosecutor will be thrown out on my first attendance. (failure to surrender licence)

I have not received a summon or any acknowledgement or schedule for my speeding ticket. Last I checked I was told to just wait.

I keep a copy of my documents in the car now - lesson learned for me. I used to keep everything in my wallet since I cannot go anywhere without my wallet anyways, but I guess even the most prudent guys end up forgetting their wallet at one point. I have been driving for 10 years and these are actually my very first tickets. It was a speed trap on a stretch of road that was for the most part 60kph but dips to 50kph on a small 2km portion.


Ankaizes
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by: Ankaizes on
Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:25 pm

Hello everyone! I was discussing my case with a lawyer friend of mine and he suggested to me a possible defence I can use. He's a corporate lawyer so this is not his area of expertise so I would like to put it in here for comments.

He told me I should argue that because the prosecutor has thrown out my case, the ticket should no longer be valid and there should be no trial. He told me as well to write to the prosecutor, explain the situation and request for all documentation on what happened during my first attendance. I do remember the prosecutor had a printout of cases he has on that day where he was crossing out names with a ruler. He said I can try and build a defence based on whether they can provide it or not and what it contains in case they provide it.

I was hoping it would show I did not attend so they proceeded with a trial because I can pretty much prove I was in there because of my other ticket that got thrown out.

Would this defence work at all?


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