Disclaimer: Yes, I recognize what I did was a crime, but nobody wants to pay $900 + increased insurance out of the goodness of their heart.
Background: I am an under-25 male, I had never gotten a ticket or been in an accident prior to getting a ticket for going 27 over literally 2 hours before this incident. Go figure. Likely going to post that one in a different forum.
So a few days ago, I got pulled over by an RCMP officer for “holding my cell phone in my left hand” (this is what the officer told me he had pulled me over for after he approached my window). It is true that I had it in my right hand around 30 seconds before he turned his lights on (I was moving it from the ground to the passenger seat as it had fallen) but as he turned his lights on the phone was on the passenger seat.
I explained this to him when he pulled me over, before admitting to having touched my phone prior (like an idiot) because I didn’t think it was a crime so long as I wasn’t using the phone.
I was driving my girlfriend’s car at the time, and he made me call my girlfriend who is a nurse, while she was at work in the ER even after I told him this, to confirm that I was allowed to use her car (?). He then accused me of being under the influence, to which I said it’s 11am on a Wednesday and I am working (I was driving around for work and was wearing dress clothes with a lanyard around my neck and all my work supplies on the passenger seat)
Then he wrote me the big ticket and we went about our ways.
So I’m in a pretty shitty situation to begin with since he informed me as he approached my car that he was filming our interaction and I admitted to a crime while on camera.
I would like advice on what I should do (completely ignoring morals and ethics). I am a safe and careful driver who was discombobulated on my first week driving for work with my materials all over the place. I want to know how to best reduce the pain of this ticket.
I’m going to request a trial, but given how seriously this charge is taken, and that it was given by an RCMP officer, will I even get a plea deal? Additionally, is getting 2 tickets 2 hours apart a bad look? Does this officer realistically have any hard evidence other than my confession? What should I do if I want to cover my ass as much as possible?
As you seem to be already aware, you only need to be holding your phone for a conviction. They wont need to prove anything beyond that. So, it becomes a case of did you or did you not hold your phone.
There has to be an equivalent charge that's lower if they're going to offer you a deal. In this particular situation, there really isn't anything for them to lower it to. The fine nearly doubles if you go to trial, so I'd assume your deal will likely be to plead guilty and take the lower fine.
If you're in a situation where there's an opportunity for them to make you some sort of offer, your prior history might matter.
Probably isn't going to matter much here. It's definitely not going to help your insurance, though.
The officer likely observed you holding your phone, which is good enough for a conviction. It certainly wont help that you admitted to it.
If you want to see the evidence against you, you'll have to make a disclosure request after you ask for your trial. At the very least, you'll receive a set of the officers notes. Usually, it'll say "observed driver holding device" or something similarly brief. If you made notable remarks during the stop, they'll usually write that down too.
Be aware that distracted driving now comes with a 3 day suspension upon conviction, so make plans for that when attending the courthouse.
Thanks for the response. So in essence, your advice would be ask for a trial and take the plea deal, because you're SOL in trial?
Other than requesting a trial and hoping the officer doesn't show up, which is a long shot in itself, you don't exactly have much to go on.
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