Use and Possess Illegal Licence (35(1)(a))

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lawabidingmax
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Use and Possess Illegal Licence (35(1)(a))

Unread post by lawabidingmax on

I am 18 years old and was in London, ON this past weekend heading into a club with some friends. We all got our 'fake IDs' ready (real Ontario drivers licences from legal friends who look like us) and headed in. I had no problem getting in, but I realized one of my friends did. I headed back towards the bouncer to figure out what was going on, and the bouncer threw me out, claiming my friend was acting in a way that prevented him from getting in. As I processed this, I asked if I was going to be able to get back into the club, as I had already paid the cover. The bouncer asked to see my ID, and when I gave him my 'fake' (for the second time), he decided to ask for a second piece. I told him I didn't have one, to which he responded "Let me see your wallet." I refused and he decided that he would keep my 'fake ID'. When I told him to give it back and I'll leave, he said that if I wanted it back I would have to go talk to the police stationed in a cruiser right outside the club. I stupidly went to talk the police and one officer put me under arrest (handcuffed in the backseat) while he decided how to charge me. We sat outside the club in the cruiser for an hour and a half, and as he searched my wallet, he found two other completely fake, novelty IDs (two identical fake Manitoba drivers licences) that I bought 4 years ago, legally, from a store in downtown Toronto, and have never used for anything like getting into clubs, or buying alcohol (they just sat in my wallet for no reason). The officer consulted with another, and ultimately charged me with two counts of "Possess Illegal Licence", for the Manitoba ones, and one "Use of Illegal Licence", neither with set fines, and both contrary to section 35 (1)(a) of the OHTA. I am required to appear in court back in London in November, and am wondering (1) what the best defense would be, (2) if the two charges for possessing illegal licences hold any water, as they were for novelty IDs that I have never used, and (3) if I will be convicted and fined, what is the possible range for the fine(s), and are there any points/other penalties associated with these convictions.

Thanks!
Max


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jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

Were you given a summons? If so, then when you appear in November I would say you plan on pleading not guilty and would like disclosure (officers notes AND any witness statements).

Once you get these, blank out any personal info and scan and post here for use to review.

You can not figure out if you have a defense or not until you get disclosure.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


lawabidingmax
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Unread post by lawabidingmax on

jsherk wrote:Were you given a summons? If so, then when you appear in November I would say you plan on pleading not guilty and would like disclosure (officers notes AND any witness statements).

Once you get these, blank out any personal info and scan and post here for use to review.

You can not figure out if you have a defense or not until you get disclosure.
What I referred to as 'tickets' appear to be summons' and I was told that this means I have no choice but to appear in court (no option to pay it off in advance). I will definitely take your advice into consideration. Thanks a lot.


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Unread post by jsherk on

So for a summons, the first appearance date is NOT your trial date. You can certainly show up and just plead guilty and be done with it, but that is not recommended. The summons date is just a date where they figure out what the fine will be and then set the trial date.

If you tell them you want to plead not guilty and want disclosure, then they will set your actual trial date for you. I would imagine it would be in 2017, as they need time to get you the disclosure and you need time to review it.

You should also do some research and find out if these tickets can cause your insurance to go up or not.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Decatur
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Unread post by Decatur on

The discussion the officers were having was deciding whether to charge you criminally with personation. Section 403 of the Criminal Code. You might want to read that as well and consider that you can still be charged Criminally.


lawabidingmax
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Unread post by lawabidingmax on

Decatur wrote:The discussion the officers were having was deciding whether to charge you criminally with personation. Section 403 of the Criminal Code. You might want to read that as well and consider that you can still be charged Criminally.
I could hear the whole conversation and that's not what they were discussing. The officer couldn't find the proper offence to charge me with on the computer so he consulted another officer. I was told that it is not a criminal charge and only would have been if the ID had been reported lost or stolen, which it wasn't, as it was from a friend of mine who gave it to me willingly.


lawabidingmax
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Unread post by lawabidingmax on

jsherk wrote:So for a summons, the first appearance date is NOT your trial date. You can certainly show up and just plead guilty and be done with it, but that is not recommended. The summons date is just a date where they figure out what the fine will be and then set the trial date.

If you tell them you want to plead not guilty and want disclosure, then they will set your actual trial date for you. I would imagine it would be in 2017, as they need time to get you the disclosure and you need time to review it.

You should also do some research and find out if these tickets can cause your insurance to go up or not.
Sounds like my best bet. Another thing to note is that as the officer was releasing me, he told me that it would be a good idea to 'call the crown' and give them a rundown of what happened and tell them that I was just being a teen and made a bad decision. Any advice regarding that and/or any idea to what degree that could help me?

I'll research a bit more about the tickets and their impact on insurance.

Thanks.


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Unread post by OPS Copper on

it is actually a criminal offence and does not need to be reported stolen. If it is stolen that is just a second charge.

Section 56 Criminal code
Identity documents

56.1 (1) Every person commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, procures to be made, possesses, transfers, sells or offers for sale an identity document that relates or purports to relate, in whole or in part, to another person....


Definition of identity document
(3) For the purposes of this section, identity document means a Social Insurance Number card, a driver’s licence, a health insurance card, a birth certificate, a death certificate, a passport as defined in subsection 57(5), a document that simplifies the process of entry into Canada, a certificate of citizenship, a document indicating immigration status in Canada, a certificate of Indian status or an employee identity card that bears the employee’s photograph and signature, or any similar document, issued or purported to be issued by a department or agency of the federal government or of a provincial or foreign government.


OPS


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Unread post by Stanton on

It may not seem like it, but the officer probably did exercise some discretion as you certainly could have been charged under various sections of the criminal code or other acts, such as the liquor licence act.

In regards to your actual charges, the HTA makes it an offence to simply possess a fake licence, regardless if you intended to use it or not. I've highlighted the relevant parts below:
Displaying licence that has been suspended, altered, etc.
35. (1) No person shall,
(a) display or cause or permit to be displayed or have in his or her possession a fictitious, imitation, altered or fraudulently obtained driver’s licence;
(b) display or cause or permit to be displayed or have in his or her possession a cancelled or suspended driver’s licence or a driver’s licence that has been changed in respect of its class, other than a licence card that has been marked by the Ministry as valid only to show the driver’s photograph;
(c) lend his or her driver’s licence or any portion thereof or permit the use of it by another person;
(d) display or represent as his or her own a driver’s licence not issued to him or her;
(e) apply for, secure or retain in his or her possession more than one driver’s licence;
The fine range for that section is between $400 to $50,000. I cannot reasonably see the Crown seeking anything more then the minimum fine, but it's sill obviously significant. A conviction would also appear on your driving abstract as an HTA conviction and would presumably impact your insurance rates like any other HTA offence.

As stated above, your first attendance date is not a trial. Nothing wrong with seeing if the Crown is willing to offer you a reasonable plea deal (I'm guessing they'll ask you to plead guilty to one charge with the minimum fine). You can then decide how you want to proceed.






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