I was charged with having a handheld in my hand while driving. The fees are ridiculous (615 plus 280 for license reinstatement and the forthcoming insurance rates). I was wondering if prosecutors have shown mercy with the severity of the fines on these matters, or if I should not bother to ask. Anyone have experience of the prosecutors taking mercy on a young and struggling family, something other than a payment plan for the same amount of money?
Prosecutors can no longer lower the fine, the points nor the suspension period on that charge. The set fine on Drive Handheld is already at the minimum and the Ontario Court of Appeal has decided that the minimum penalty is the base (re: the Henry of Pelham decision). Of course, if you choose to go to trial, then the fine may also go up (but that's rare on a first offence). So, don't waste your time with an Early Resolution meeting. If you just need time to pay, you can set it down for trial and then plead guilty on your trial date and ask for time to pay then. That way, you get a few extra months till your trial day and then whatever additional time the JP gives you on your trial date.
Thanks for your post, but I'm confused. As I read it, Henry of Pelham only limits s.59(2) of the POA as it applies to individuals - it affirms a high burden, apparently. But I don't see any basis to think that the decision eradicates the prospects lowering the fine. Of course, I could be wrong.
Unfortunately, you are limiting the decision's actual practical effect. You see, in practice, all offers must go before the court for acceptance. You can't just go to the counter and pay the lower amount offered by the prosecution after a resolution meeting. So, given the Henry of Pelham decision, the JP's hands are restricted in accepting any penalty that is lower than the minimum, even if both sides agree on such. So, prosecutors will not waste the court's time with offering penalties below the minimum. The defendant can still make a s. 59(2) POA application for relief on the minimum penalty but that's the exception now in success (especially given the remarks of the court), unlike in previous years when joint-position offers were proposed by the parties and JPs felt they could rely on discretion.
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