Driving With Handheld Device Ticket (cellphone) - Need Advice Hta 78.1

FirstTicket007
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Driving With Handheld Device Ticket (cellphone) - Need Advice Hta 78.1

by: FirstTicket007 on
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:36 pm

Hi,

I just left the parking lot of my workplace, still on local roads, and I got stopped for using my phone at a red light. I was just putting an address on my maps but I have to admit, it was clear to the officer I held my phone.

Fine is now $615, 3 day suspension and 3 demerit points...I am extremely worried my insurance premium will double...what should I do? Can a ticket like this even be fought? If I go to trial and the officer shows up, does my fine increase to $1,000? If he doesn't show up, will all my charges be dismissed? (just asking cause this is my first ticket). Would it make sense to hire a paralegal to handle this case with a chance it won't be won? Will early resolution help at all with cellphone tickets, considering how strict the act is now (my driving record prior to this is clean)? if so, this is the route I most likely want to take.

On top of the cellphone ticket, the officer gave me a ticket for my window tints being too dark...I plan on fighting this one since I got the tints done from the dealership and it was dark at the time I got pulled over, but can this be fought? This was never an issue for me in the last 4 years...

Thanks!

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by: bend on
Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:52 am

FirstTicket007 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:36 pm

I am extremely worried my insurance premium will double...what should I do?


While the province has taken a hard stance on distracted driving, auto insurance companies have always been slow to catch up on this one. I believe they still consider this one a minor offense even after the new handheld fines. Realistically, it would be treated much the same as a speeding ticket.


FirstTicket007 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:36 pm

Can a ticket like this even be fought?


Any ticket can be fought. However, it doesn't take much to prove you were either holding a phone or you weren't.


FirstTicket007 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:36 pm

If I go to trial and the officer shows up, does my fine increase to $1,000?


Your fine will increase if you show up to court on your trial date and still want a trial.


FirstTicket007 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:36 pm

If he doesn't show up, will all my charges be dismissed?


It is extremely rare these days for an officer to not show up. They are paid, it's their job, and there will likely be others there to see the same officer.


FirstTicket007 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:36 pm

Would it make sense to hire a paralegal to handle this case with a chance it won't be won


Paralegals aren't really interested in taking on this kind of ticket. There isn't much they can do for you.


FirstTicket007 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:36 pm

Will early resolution help at all with cellphone tickets, considering how strict the act is now (my driving record prior to this is clean)?


They may decide to drop the tint ticket if you plead guilty on the handheld. Otherwise, no, there's no room to budge on this charge.


FirstTicket007 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:36 pm

On top of the cellphone ticket, the officer gave me a ticket for my window tints being too dark...I plan on fighting this one since I got the tints done from the dealership and it was dark at the time I got pulled over, but can this be fought? This was never an issue for me in the last 4 years...


Unfortunately, It doesn't mean much that you haven't had a ticket in four years over the tint.


As for the dealership installing/contracting out your tint job, it's the drivers responsibility at the end of the day.


There is no tint percentage guideline for Ontario. Basically, it's up to an officers discretion.


It's not illegal to install dark tint. However, it is illegal to drive a vehicle on Ontario roads with tint an officer deems to be too dark. Dealerships spend all day installing plate covers on every vehicle they sell and those are illegal too. Canadian Tire will sell you a tinted plate cover even though you can't use it on Ontario roads. Long story short, it's not a defense that you purchased it through legitimate means. You aren't charged with buying it, you're charged with driving with it. They might offer you a deal for a guilty plea on the handheld charge, but that's totally up to them.


If they really wanted to nail you on this tint charge, I don't see why they couldn't.

FirstTicket007
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by: FirstTicket007 on
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:02 pm

Thanks for the advice, really appreciate it!


I have some more questions given my two options:


1) Early resolution and meet with a prosecutor: If I go this route, would they consider dropping my tint charge if I plead guilty to the cellphone charge? Or does early resolution automatically mean I plead guilty to all the charges? Would they budge AT ALL with the cellphone charge if I describe my financial situation?


2) Trial option for both tickets: With this option, can I still plead guilty? I intend on pleading guilty for the cellphone ticket but can I ask the JP to waive my tint ticket? Will a trial only take place if I plead not guilty? (I definitely don't want to go to trial). And will the officer be in uniform? I don't remember his face that well. I ask because if he doesn't show up by some miracle, I will plead not guilty to both charges. Is there any benefit at all in reviewing the officer's notes before pleading guilty? How can I go about this?


I think a handheld device charge is now considered a major infraction, since I had a 3 day license suspension as a result...either way, will insurance only find out about this during renewal? Or do I have to report this to them?


Thanks in advance : )

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by: bend on
Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:03 am

FirstTicket007 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:02 pm

1) Early resolution and meet with a prosecutor: If I go this route, would they consider dropping my tint charge if I plead guilty to the cellphone charge? Or does early resolution automatically mean I plead guilty to all the charges? Would they budge AT ALL with the cellphone charge if I describe my financial situation?


I was giving you a best case scenario at an early resolution. If you explained the tint was installed by your dealer, you were unaware that it was going to be problem, and you'll look into fixing the issue, they MIGHT cut you some slack in return for a guilty plea. It's also possible that they wont care. But if you're looking for a "what's the best outcome from an early resolution meeting?", that would probably be as good as it's going to get. Don't get your hopes up though.


You are not making a plea by requesting an early resolution meeting. If you don't like whatever the offer is, you can just request a trial.


They are not going to cave on your handheld charge based on your financial situation. If you're expecting them to toss it aside as a goodwill gesture or replace it with a parking ticket, that's not happening.


FirstTicket007 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:02 pm

2) Trial option for both tickets: With this option, can I still plead guilty? I intend on pleading guilty for the cellphone ticket but can I ask the JP to waive my tint ticket? Will a trial only take place if I plead not guilty? (I definitely don't want to go to trial). And will the officer be in uniform? I don't remember his face that well. I ask because if he doesn't show up by some miracle, I will plead not guilty to both charges. Is there any benefit at all in reviewing the officer's notes before pleading guilty? How can I go about this?


Again, it's not a common occurrence for an officer to simply not show up. The officer is not always sitting there waiting, but they might be. They may be in the building, they might be on the road. They are only needed if there's a trial. You can plead not guilty and they'll just let the officer know he's needed in the courtroom.


FirstTicket007 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:02 pm

I think a handheld device charge is now considered a major infraction, since I had a 3 day license suspension as a result...either way, will insurance only find out about this during renewal? Or do I have to report this to them?


The penalty issued on the street is not always equivalent to the surcharge issued by your provider (example: blood alcohol content warn range suspension). These are administrative suspensions. They are not supposed to count against your rates. It's the conviction that you should be worried about. The facility association, which every insurance provider in Ontario is required to be apart of, still lists this as a minor offense. If you really want to know, just call your provider and ask.


Your provider will be made aware of any convictions whenever they decide to check. That can be next week, next month, next year, next renewal... whenever.


Do you have to report it? Technically, yes. It's in your insurance policy which you've signed. You're required to inform them of any changes that may affect your rates. Does anyone do it? Most probably don't. I don't even think your average driver even knows they are required to do so.


However, if you switch providers in the next couple years, you're going to have to disclose everything upfront.

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