Unnecessary Noise for Bass?

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UnluckyDuck
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Unnecessary Noise for Bass?

Unread post by UnluckyDuck on

I was driving last night around 11:30 P.M. and was stopped at a red light. An unmarked cruiser pulled up next to me, and as I looked over at the officer, he signaled me to pull over into the gas station. As the light turned green, I did as he said. I accelerated and pulled into the gas station, with him behind me with his lights on. As he approached the car, I got all my information ready like I normally do. Without saying a word, this officer starts laying it into me. The Coversation went like this:

Officer: "Do You Have Any Idea Why I Pulled You Over?"
Me: "No Sir, I do not."
Officer: "So your trying to make me look like a ******* idiot?"
Me: "No Sir, I'm just trying to get home. I saw you signal me to pull over so I did."
Officer: "Your music was too loud. I was sitting in my car and you were shaking it. You know some people are trying to sleep. They have jobs to attend to early in the morning. They don't need to be woken up by some idiot blasting his music down the street."
Me: "I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was that loud."

Then he takes my license and insurance slip, goes back to his car and writes me up for HTA 75 (4).

I'll admit, my music was turned up, but I thought it was a municipal charge, not a HTA.


I'm planning on fighting it, but have no idea on a defense. Any Suggestions?


bend
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Unread post by bend on

There's no dBA level chart or anything like that when it comes to a charge like this.

An officer will use his own discretion. It's up to him to determine whether your noise is unnecessary and/or a hazard to yourself and others around you.

It's not all about being annoying to neighbors, but hearing horns, warnings, and not being a distraction or impairment to others driving beside you.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

This is NOT legal advice, just my opinion.

Exercise your rights... Always choose Not Guilty and ask for a Trial WITH the Officer present.
- You have the right to be assumed innocent until proven guilty.
- You have the right to a fair trial by an impartial party.
- You have the right to a speedy trial.
- You have the right not to testify against yourself.

Once you get your Notice of Trial, make a disclosure request to get a copy of the officers notes. And just a suggestion... NEVER take the witness stand and do not testify against yourself. You can win by cross-examining the officer and his testimony and bringing doubt to his evidence. You already admitted above you were guilty so if you take the stand you will also have to admit it and then you have the officer AND yourself testifying against you.

Why exercise your rights?
- It is possible that he spilled coffee on his notes or lost them, or that they are not very good and lack details.
- Officer may not show up for court (very unlikely, but always a chance). Object if the crown tries to reschedule to another day, and ask for charge to be dismissed because of lack of evidence.
- If court date is more than 10 months away, then look into whether you can get it thrown out for charter violation of not being a speedy trial. There is good chance of this if you live in a big city like Toronto where the courts are backed up and take a really long time to give you a court date.

75(4) says:
A person having the control or charge of a motor vehicle shall not sound any bell, horn or other signalling device so as to make an unreasonable noise, and a driver of any motor vehicle shall not permit any unreasonable amount of smoke to escape from the motor vehicle, nor shall the driver at any time cause the motor vehicle to make any unnecessary noise, but this subsection does not apply to a motor vehicle of a municipal fire department while proceeding to a fire or answering a fire alarm call. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 75 (4).

So the first does NOT apply because that says "sound any bell, horn or other signalling device". Next part is about "smoke" so does NOT apply either.

However the third part is where they can get you "cause the motor vehicle to many any unnecessary noise". They have to prove that you "caused" unnecessary noise. How did you cause it? Your radio was too loud. So unless you can prove that you did not "cause" it, you wont' win on that point.

So the next point you could try to win on, is that "unnecessary noise" is in the subjective opinion of the officer. Since there is no specific decibel level set as to what is unnecessary noise, it is up to the officers opinion. So you need to question him on his training to determine noise levels. Of course he does not have any, so the questioning needs to lead to the conclusion that the officer is "not an expert" in this area. Then you ask for a motion to exclude his evidence because it is an opinion, and only experts can give opinion evidence, and the officer just admitted he is not an expert in that area. (I will be trying this one in a couple months. Not sure if it will work or not, but worth a try).

The only other point you can try is what @bend said above... it is NOT about annoying neighbors, but about not distracting/impairing other drivers. So based on what the officer says in his notes you could challenge on the validity of the reason he pulled you over. If he pulled you over because you were making noise that was disturbing the neighbors, then you could argue it was not a valid reason to pull you over. So in your questioning you need to ask him about him saying something like "You know some people are trying to sleep. They have jobs to attend to early in the morning. They don't need to be woken up by some idiot blasting his music down the street" and then work that in with the outcome being that is why he pulled you over.

Closing points would be:
- that he is not an expert witness, so his opinion has no weight, and
- he had not grounds to pull you over for annoying people in their houses as 75(4) is concerned with public safety distractions/impairments.

This is a good case to represent yourself and learn how the system works, whether you win or lose, because there are no demerit points (but it will still be on your permanent record). Unfortunately most people representing themselves do not do a very good job, but the only way to get good at it, is to actually do it!
A good paralegal could probably beat this for you fairly easy (but of course will cost you a little more). The key to success in the court room is the cross-examination of the officer and knowing what elements the crown must prove.

Either way, you should try to fight it.

This is NOT legal advice, just my opinion.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


bend
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Unread post by bend on

jsherk wrote:So the next point you could try to win on, is that "unnecessary noise" is in the subjective opinion of the officer. Since there is no specific decibel level set as to what is unnecessary noise, it is up to the officers opinion. So you need to question him on his training to determine noise levels. Of course he does not have any, so the questioning needs to lead to the conclusion that the officer is "not an expert" in this area. Then you ask for a motion to exclude his evidence because it is an opinion, and only experts can give opinion evidence, and the officer just admitted he is not an expert in that area. (I will be trying this one in a couple months. Not sure if it will work or not, but worth a try).
An officer is no more required to be a "sound expert" than he is to be a tint installer [73. Equipment obstructing view], mechanic [75. (1) muffler], etc.

Is the person who charged you an officer? Yes. Does he/she have ears? Yes. They are now qualified to provide evidence.

jsherk wrote:The only other point you can try is what @bend said above... it is NOT about annoying neighbors, but about not distracting/impairing other drivers. So based on what the officer says in his notes you could challenge on the validity of the reason he pulled you over. If he pulled you over because you were making noise that was disturbing the neighbors, then you could argue it was not a valid reason to pull you over. So in your questioning you need to ask him about him saying something like "You know some people are trying to sleep. They have jobs to attend to early in the morning. They don't need to be woken up by some idiot blasting his music down the street" and then work that in with the outcome being that is why he pulled you over.
This was just banter amongst an officer and a guy with his annoying music. Disclosure isn't going to go into that much detail. Also, the officer just needs to provide evidence that the noise was unnecessary. If it's loud enough to make a comment regarding waking up the neighborhood, it's safe to assume it's loud enough for other reasons also. It's not like he'd be laying in bed before pulling the individual over anyways. He/she doesn't need to provide evidence that a siren, horn, etc couldn't be heard that that very moment.


UnluckyDuck
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Unread post by UnluckyDuck on

Update: Had My Trial Today, Officer was a no show. A Win is a Win.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on





+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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