I was waiting on a red light to make a left turn when a Cop van pulled over to my right, when i look over the officer in the drivers seat was being rude while the other cop walked down to my car and told me i was on my device. The device was on the seat next to my lap, my display is always on so when i got in my car i forgot to turn it off. My right had was on my lap and left on the steering wheel. I was not using my device.
The disclosure states Black Samsung Device when it was visibly Silver and states in Disclosure " Phone in right hand on Lap". My court date is tomorrow morning and i am extremely nervous, i am going for a trial but i will get nervous at the time of i know, any suggestions.
Do they actually increase the fine to $1000 if lost?
I Cannot seem to attach the disclosure.
The fine could increase to $1000 if you fight it and lose it's really up to the JP. The thing is, if you really didn't do it your only opportunity to contest the charge is by going to trial. If you present your side of the story without being belligerent the court is less likely to impose high fines even if you are convicted. You are going to have to say you believe that in spite of what the officer is saying that you believe they made an honest mistake in what they are saying they observed. You will have to testify and give your side of the story if you are being honest and the JP cares about the truth then it should come through. Odds are you'll still lose, but I personally would not recommend pleading guilty to something you are sure you did not do.
Set Fine: $400
Victim Surcharge: $85
Court Fee: $5
Total Fee: $490
HTA says that the penalty on conviction is from $300 to $1000 (maximum). So there's a possibility of the fine to be lowered below the OcJ "out of court fine" displayed on your Part I Offense Notice.
REG 366/09 Display Screens & Hand Held Devices: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/090366
Lesson to be learned here is to invest in a "car vent clip", "wind-shield mount" or "sticky-adhesive dashboard mount" and securely mount the phone to your vehicle.
Or keep your phone in your hand-bag/backpack/briefcase.
As long as you're not berating the officer and the courts; and you say your side of what took place. You're unshakeable under cross-examination, I still believe you will be found guilty.
Requirement that display screens be secure
8. "...device is placed securely in or mounted to the motor vehicle so that it does not move while the vehicle is in motion."
The courts will find the device was not secure. It was too accessible, and the display happened to be on during the course of the investigation. The perceived behaviour of texting from your lap and later tossing the phone to the passenger seat.
It's a very challenging charge for police to lay, especially for drivers who're texting with the device on their lap. By the time they're pulled over, the device will be far from their lap or seat.
I agree with @ynotp, that you shouldn't accept a guilty-plea especially if you're not-guilty. Share your side of the story, and let the police share theirs and let the Justice of Peace make a decision. Due to the nature of how the disclosure appears, it's not in your favour.
I don't believe the crown will be seeking a max $1000 fine, they're most likely going to ask for the fine set out on your Part I Offense Notice.
Thank you both for the advice, i actually have my date tomorrow and will let you know how it goes.
Case dismissed, the officer was a NO SHOW!
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