I was visiting Sudbury and arrived at a red light where I looked down at my phone to check the address I was going to and then looked back up at the light. It was raining and grey outside. During that time apparently an OPP officer saw me and backup up his car (I didn't even notice him drive by me) and was hanging out of his window trying to get my attention. He claimed that he saw me on my phone and I said I was just checking an address - I didn't admit to holding my phone. He asked me to pull over then issued me a ticket. I was trying to talk with him and he was stuttering and appeared extremely angry then walked away.
I cannot go up to Sudbury to go to court. On the ticket it says if I want to request a court date I cannot mail in my ticket I have to hand deliver it to the courthouse, so I was going to request a meeting with the prosecutor. What does the law actually state? That you had to have been holding the phone or just "using" the phone? Should I solicit a lawyer in Sudbury to fight this?
It has to be mounted in your vehicle. If it's loose at all then that's a problem. If you're looking at your lap the you'd better have a mount down there.
The section reads:
Hand-held devices prohibited
Wireless communication devices
78.1 (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.
You don't have to be holding it, just using it. So if it was just on the seat and you did not touch it, but looked at it, then you could probably testify this in court. But if you touched it to get the information, then you do not have an argument and you do not want to testify in court.
I think if you live far away, you can setup a meeting by phone with prosecutor. However most likely this will not resolve it as these meetings are not a time to present your argument. So if the phone meeting does not achieve what you want, you can tell prosecutor that you want to go to trial and get disclosure (officers notes). This would be the only way to get trial without showing up.
You should plead not guilty and get the officers notes before you decide whether to take it to trial or not.
Honestly I think our system is broken in the fact that you can not request a trial by mail in all municipalities.
Absolutely. You should have to go to the place of the alleged offence for the trial but making people take multiple trips is not reasonable.
Does anyone know if the prosecutor would send the disclosure notes to a person that lives more than 75km away?
You have to ask for a trial first, and then you ask for disclosure (can do both at same time if on phone with prosecutor).
Some places will email them to you, some will mail them to you, and some will make you come in to office and pick them up... you will have to ask which they will do at that office.
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