My mother was driving EB on a 4 lane street (2 lanes EB, 2 lanes WB).
She was in the left hand lane and started a left hand turn so as to enter a side street, crossing WB traffic. There was NO intersection. She hit a cyclist who was heading WB. Police where called but none showed up. My mother waited almost 40 minutes and was the last one to leave. She provided her information to the fire department who arrived.
A cop came 2 days later and, without asking for her side of the story, gave her a ticket stating Improper Left Turn 141(6).
(1) As there was no intersection within the vicinity, was 141(6) the proper charge?
(2) Can a police officer lay a charge like this without having even spoken to my mom and without even attending the accident scene to ascertain where the accident happened?
I truly thank all those who read this and take a moment to reply!
I hate to break this to you but if she was turning left into a side street then it is an intersection.
The officer can lay a charge based on what the cyclist or other witness said to them without taking a statement from your mom but it isn't great procedure. In order for your mom to be convicted at trial the witnesses who spoke to the officer will have to testify.
So I recommend that your mom should NOT give any statement or try to explain what happened to anybody. Most likely it will just incriminate her further. She should use her right not to incriminate herself and say nothing about it to anybody.
I would plead NOT GUILTY and ask for Trial with Officer present. Once you get notice of trial, I would request disclosure (officers notes, witness statements, witness will-says, etc).
Once you receive the disclosure, post it here (with personal info blanked out) and we will advise if there is a good course of action to pursue.
Thanks to all who have replied. I appreciate the straight-forward honesty!
I don't think your mother was charged under the correct section. Section 141(6) deals with the requirement for drivers to use the left most lane when making a left turn (which your mother did). I believe the correct charge would be under section 141(5) or 142(1), both of which lay out the requirement for drivers to yield right of way to approaching vehicles (which your mother did not).
Stanton wrote:I don't think your mother was charged under the correct section. Section 141(6) deals with the requirement for drivers to use the left most lane when making a left turn (which your mother did). I believe the correct charge would be under section 141(5) or 142(1), both of which lay out the requirement for drivers to yield right of way to approaching vehicles (which your mother did not).
I re-read the sections in question and though I'm not an expert, I believe that Stanton is correct! Section 141(5) is titled Left turn, across path of approaching vehicle.
My mother has asked for a trial. Would this would be a fatal error in the charge?
Once again thanks to all who have commented
Fatal error is not the right word in this case.
But remember that within 6 months of the event, they can re-charge her with the correct charge. So do NOT tell the prosecutor that it is the wrong charge ever... do not even mention it right before the trial if you are talking with the prosecutor. You have to wait until the trial starts and then show that the officer has no evidence of the charge she was charged with. Hopefully the trial is more than 6 months after the event so they can not re-charge her.
You basically go to court, keep your mouth shut, let the trial begin and watch them try to prove the essential elements of the offence and when they fail introduce a motion of non-suit. A motion of non-suit is essentially asking the JP to rule that the prosecutor has not and cannot prove the case with the evidence they presented. Before adopting this strategy I would review the ticket to make absolutely sure it says the 141(6) and also review disclosure to ensure that no witnesses plan on testifying that you were not in the left lane when making a left turn.
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