Hoping for some guidance or recommendations.
I was driving past the ACC today in heavy traffic trying to eventually make the turn to go right to start my trek onto the gardiner. I had my Phone in my lap I was using it for GPS when I hear a knock on my hood. A police officer was just walking through the gridlock traffic to see who was on their phone. He immediately asked me to roll down my window and give me my phone. I immediately complied and I told him as you can see I am only using it for gps he fiddled with it for a couple seconds and asked me to pull over.
He asked for my license and registrations and came back 2 minutes later with a ticket.
I understand I am guilty but is there any advice to handle this correctly. I spoke to an xcopper guy and he said I have to fight it because I don’t want a 3 day suspension on my record but it’s a really uphill battle. He said the worst case scenario I can represent myself and delay paying it for a while often times there are errors or cops don’t show up. Any advice?
The fact they told you to represent yourself says a lot. They aren't wrong either.
From their prospective, it's a losing situation for them. At the very least, they can't even get you a reduced charge. It's either you're convicted of the handheld charge or not. Their bread and butter is speeding tickets. You get charged with 40km over, they walk in and get it reduced to 29km in a couple minutes. It's easy money for them and your average citizen is happy with that outcome. That's not a possibility in your situation.
They are right. It's an uphill battle. Your phone has to be mounted and you can't be handling it. That's about it. There isn't anything more they have to prove beyond that.
However, you can still go through the process. You'll need to start by requesting a court date. From there, you'll get a Notice of Trial in the mail after approximately 6-8 weeks. Essentially it's just a piece of paper with the time and date of your trial. From there, you can make a disclosure request. This will give you a copy of the notes the officer made regarding your stop along with any other evidence. The City of Toronto provides you with a generic form here. The instructions on how to submit it are also in the link.
I heard that if you go down that path and are found guilty you can be charged 1000 instead of the 615. Is that true? Can I request a court date, get the information from the police officer and decide on how I would like to proceed after I get to review the officers notes? Would that take away the risk of having the penalty increased?
You can still receive the set fine of $615 if you go through the disclosure process and decide to plead guilty in court or at any time before that. It's only if you plead not guilty, have a trial and are subsequently convicted that the set fine is no longer available.
I would like to see the police disclosure before paying the ticket. If I go by the trial option or choose the early resolution option and try to get the disclosure to see if there are any flaws in what the officer wrote am I at risk in having my fine increased?
If it looks clean I will end up paying it or pleading guilty but I really want to be able to look at the disclosure.
I've merged your posts since you already have a topic open.
Your question has already been answered.
If you want to book a court date, request disclosure, plead guilty and pay the set fine, you're certainly free to do so.
What constitutes a summons?
Already a year and court date coming up in a month. I requested the disclosure a couple of months ago which they provided but they have not provided the DVD. They said I would have it, I have followed up twice and said it is not available yet. I really wanted to have a paralegal look at all of this before proceeding
Will a lack of the DVD get me an adjournment of trial? I only have the written notes.
You're entitled to all available evidence that is relevant and related to your charge. If the prosecutor's office suggested DVD with data, video or audio evidence is available, than that should be provided to you prior to trial.
If you don't have all of the crown's evidence, then an adjournment is required so that more time is given to the prosecutor's office to make it available to you. However, keep in mind it's your responsibility to follow up with the prosecutor's office.
I don't believe anyone would advise you not to seek the advice of a paralegal.
The reality of the situation is that if any part of the disclosure suggests a phone was found on your lap, there's nothing anyone can do to help you. The crown has secured a guilty-conviction with just that sentence alone + information identifying you as the driver and being on a public highway.
As stated earlier, your phone needs to be securely mounted to your vehicle at all times. Being found on your lap, on the floor, in a cup-holder would not be interpreted as secure.
Regulation 366-09 Display Screens & Hand-held Devices: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/090366
Thank you for the response. I followed up again on the DVD evidence and the person at the wicket told me that the police officer ignored her request for the DVD and didn’t state whether one was available or not. She said she would email him again and let me know.
Any recommendations on how to proceed with this at court?
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