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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Urgent help needed: Handheld Comm Device-Trial is on Dec22
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:21 pm
Posts: 3
On March 7th, 2016, I got my ever first traffic ticket for "Handheld Communication Device". I am an experienced driver for more than 10 years; apparently, not so experienced in taking traffic ticket.

It was on Don Mills and north of York Mills. I was driving my CRV in the middle lane when I noticed a PPV moving parallely at the right side: a police woman and a police man in it. My first reaction was to slow down as I thought the PPV wanted to change to the middle lane. Then soon I realized I was their objective. So I pulled over with a big "WHY". It was the police woman came close and talked to me. She asked me if I had known why she called me off. I said NO. Then she said they had seen me use my cell. I said I didn't as my cell was on passenger seat. Then she said they saw me from one of those videos installed on an intersection I had passed through. I confirmed that I didn't use my cell at all. She said I had touched my phone which I had no impression but couldn't deny completely. I said, my biggest mistake, "I can't remember if I have ever touched my phone; but if I did, it could just one touch."

My ticket was $490 plus 3 points. I booked a trail which is on Dec 22nd; requested for a translator and a disclosure. The following is the info provided in the disclosure.
"Monday March 7, 2016 / Overcast day mild temp / roads clear, traffic is heavy
Marked Scout 3312 as call sign 3321.2 (not sure what this is)
General patrol S/B Don Mills R at Duncan Mill Rd in Curb Lane.
Observed black Honda CRV in middle lane stepped at red light / clear view through her passenger window / observer female holding, a cell device in her right hand, appeared to be manipulating it with her right thumb. (my question is why they didn't call me off at the traffic light!)
a cell is capable of receiving and transmitting e-data; I saw silver along the edges and top of phone. as I pulled forward in the passing lane the vehicle remained stopped until the traffic light turned green.
Observed the vehicle proceed through the intersection -which indicated it was still in drive and in a live lane. initiated traffic stop south of Duncan Mill rd.
Driver advises she wasn't using it, only checking something (not what I said). "

Further info:
1) in morning peak time, driving from the previous intersection (Heavenbrook Blvd) to Duncan mill rd could be more than 10 mins easily. I don't understand why cop followed me for 10 mins after they "observe" me using my cell.
2) CRV is higher than PPV. If the cop saw me use my phone; I must have held my cell in front of my chest or even higher - which had never happened indeed.
3) During the whole process, the policeman didn't come close and talk to me at all.

I have no experience for fighting traffic ticket. My friends have suggested me to hire a lawyer. The advice I would like to get from you are:
1) Should I hire a lawyer? If I should, would it be too late?
2) Any chance I can get this ticket dismissed? How should I defend myself?

My appreciate your help!


Last edited by cavanessa on Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BTW, there isn't a video tape included in the disclosure
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:21 pm
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And the Office's note didn't mention the video at all.


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Re: Urgent help needed: Handheld Comm Device-Trial is on Dec
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:18 pm
Posts: 1722
Is the officer that gave you the ticket the same one that says they saw you on the phone?

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


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Re: Urgent help needed: Handheld Comm Device-Trial is on Dec
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:44 am
Posts: 1051
cavanessa wrote:
Marked Scout 3312 as call sign 3321.2 (not sure what this is)


It's the police vehicle information. It was vehicle number 3312. It was marked, meaning the police decals are plainly visible and not one of the more hidden vehicles.

cavanessa wrote:
Observed black Honda CRV in middle lane stepped at red light / clear view through her passenger window / observer female holding, a cell device in her right hand, appeared to be manipulating it with her right thumb. (my question is why they didn't call me off at the traffic light!)


It's completely normal for an officer to not pull over a vehicle immediately. One scenario being the officer can determine that you're obviously not in some emergency situation where your vehicle is immobilized in the middle of the road. Another being the officer wants to check your plates first to know if there's anything else they should worry about before pulling you over.

cavanessa wrote:
1) in morning peak time, driving from the previous intersection (Heavenbrook Blvd) to Duncan mill rd could be more than 10 mins easily. I don't understand why cop followed me for 10 mins after they "observe" me using my cell.


It looks to be less than 1000m and is the next intersection. It doesn't seem all that abnormal.

cavanessa wrote:
Any chance I can get this ticket dismissed?


Charges don't get dismissed simply because you disagree with them. You have a trial date. If you disagree with the officers version of the events, you can challenge them at trial.

It's hard to comment on your charge because it's a lot of he said/she said and none of it really seems to match up with the notes.

Good luck.


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Re: Urgent help needed: Handheld Comm Device-Trial is on Dec
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:00 pm
Posts: 89
It sounds like you've been charged underHTA section 78.1:

"78.1 (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages. 2009, c. 4, s. 2; 2015, c. 27, Sched. 7, s. 18."

Unfortunately, even holding the device can result in a conviction and the less said to police at roadside, the better for the defence. A conviction carries 3 demerit points, and G1 or G2 drivers are subject to a mandatory suspension or cancellation of licence under the escalated sanctions legislation for novice drivers.

Generally these cases are trial matters unless there is a pre-trial agreement to have the offence withdrawn based on problems with the Prosecutor's case. In some rare cases, an agreement can be reached to a lesser offence, but these deals are not common.

Hopefully this helps!

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The content of this post is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided after a licenced paralegal has been retained, spoken with you directly, and reviewed the documents related to your case.


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Re: Urgent help needed: Handheld Comm Device-Trial is on Dec
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:21 am
Posts: 504
this is annoying, I understand the leg and why it is important, seriously I do, but moving a phone off your seat to stop it falling, is a far cry from holding a phone to your ear, or texting
Letter of the law, or common sense...

when I get into my car I have bluetooth, I switch it on and put the phone in my door pocket, never touch it

_________________
--------------------------------------------------------------
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


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Re: Urgent help needed: Handheld Comm Device-Trial is on Dec
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:21 am
Posts: 504
to confirm, this is a GOOD piece of legislation stops lots of needless accidents and deaths
but execution is NOT good

_________________
--------------------------------------------------------------
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


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Update after the Trial on Dec 22: Handheld Device
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:21 pm
Posts: 3
I went to the trial on Dec 22, 9am. The first step was to meet the Prosecutor. When my turn came, the Prosecutor told me that he could drop the fine to $200 (3 points can't be waived). I didn't comment, instead, I told Prosecutor that the cap saw me use my phone through a video but there wasn't a video included in the disclosure. The Prosecutor looked up my disclosure and told me that the note didn't mention video, however, I have the option to reschedule the trial for the purpose of seeking legal advice.

I agreed to reschedule the trial to April.

Now, I am making cold calls to see if I can get a good lawyer or Paralegal to help me out.

Welcome for referral!


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Re: Urgent help needed: Handheld Comm Device-Trial is on Dec
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 09, 2017 3:34 pm
Posts: 1
Hello

I am curious to know how did the trial worked with you . I would appreciate your reply.


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