Am am hoping someone can help as I am confused about some advice I was given.
I was given a ticket by an officer after making a right hand turn on a red light 8am-6pm Mon-Fri. My ignorance of the area is really my only defense - I never drive in this area at this time. As soon as I made the turn the office was waiting. He asked if I saw the sign and I said I did not - his response was that it is busy in this area at this time (assuming he was reasoning why there was a sign). I apologized for not seeing it. Got a ticket anyways - Disobey Sign 182(2). I opted for trial and pleaded not-guilty - on the advice of friends.
I received a notice in the mail with the attach Early Resolution sheet. I went this morning and spoke to the prosecutor. She asked me what I wanted to do and I said I was hoping to reduce the charge. She said it was the lowest possible charge already and couldn't reduce it. I explained what happened: I turned right on a red light whereby a sign was posted no turn on red Mon-Fri- 8am-6pm. I explained I was not aware of this sign as I don't drive in the area during that time etc etc. She stated that her advice was for me to go to court and fight it as the officer may have charged me under the wrong charge. She stated its not illegal to turn right on a red light and thereby couldn't be charged with it. She then said she couldn't make a decision until she heard the officers evidence as to whether this was the case. She said you should plead not guilty and go to court and we will see if the evidence shows up or not. I responded, so you mean either it will go to trial or it will not. She said yes. I just nodded and left.
Upon returning home just now and checking my mail - received a notice of motion stating that I need to appear in court this Friday as an application has been made to to change the date of my trial as "the officer is not working a day shift".
It sounds like the officer is going out of his way to make it to my trial - so its unlikely it will be dismissed on those grounds.
I am confused by what the prosecutor said about being charged wrongly.
Would turning right on a red when a sign is posted no right turn under 182(2) Disobey Sign or is it an inproper turn - if it is wrong do I bring it up? Maybe they will recharge me with something else. Do I request disclosure on Friday at the trial to move the date? Is this a loss cause and should I just pay the fine and get it overwith. I know this was my error but I think a warning should have been enough, I don't want to end up in worse trouble. It is my first ticket of any kind and I am really anxious!! This occured in Guelph and I know the English/French thing does not apply here.
Any help is greatly appreciated!!
The charge was "sort of" correct. An Improper Turn would've been if you made a right turn directly into the left lane, for example. What you actually should have been charged with is Proceed Contrary to Sign at Intersection, which is 144 (9) of the HTA. While it is not illegal to turn right on a red per se, it is illegal if there's a sign prohibiting that movement. The use of 182 (2) versus 144 (9) is a technicality - they're both for disobeying signs. Is it enough to get the charge tossed? Depends. Don't get your hopes too high, though.
For your appearance on Friday, you could file your disclosure request at the courthouse so you can get the evidence against you. Since it is not a "trial date," it is the perfect opportunity to do so. This would include asking for an "explanation and clarification" of the charge. Once you have the information (should include the officer's notes, also they often include the by-law erecting the sign) you can post an edited version (excluding personal info) here and we can figure out how to help. Basically the re-scheduling of the trial will look for a day when both you and the officer can appear.
You could also try hiring a paralegal, but the odds of them being able to help you any more than you can do on your own in this case are pretty much nonexistent.