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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:26 pm 
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ticketcombat wrote:
Regarding all these issues about set fines, if the court can impose any fine they want within a range, can they also not indicate what fine they will impose by [wait for it] establishing a set fine as a guide for justices?
I'm quoting myself I know but since reading the most recent decisions and judicial dissents I have to clarify this earlier post.

Set fines are for out of court settlements. However, they can be used at the justice's discretion at trial during sentencing. If there is a range, $60 - $500 under s. 214(1) of the HTA for example, the justice can impose any amount in that range including an amount equal to the set fine.

I list on my site (step 5-->sentencing) some of the factors justice's will look for when determining the amount:
  • a sincere expression of remorse;
  • an apology;
  • an expression of desperate financial circumstances;
  • your driving record (it's clean as a whistle);
  • the amount of time and effort you have spent in preparing your defence (lost wages and time off work to come to court) which means you have already paid a severe economic penalty;
  • the minimum social interest at stake in seeing a harsh penalty (does the community really care if you were given a hefty fine);
  • a harsh penalty would not deter others from committing the offence;
  • the affect the sentence will have upon your dependants, including your spouse, children, parents and grandparents who you support; and
  • the likelihood that you would ever commit the offence again.

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bilingual
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:37 am 
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ticketcombat..

Thanks. I sent you a pm after looking at your site since I didn't see a 'contact' page on your site :)

I got the ticket in Toronto but don't live in Toronto. Does that make a difference?


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charter of rights
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:40 am 
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oh and don't forget the charter of rights issue as well that would apply to the set fine issue.


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signs
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:58 am 
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thanks lawmen,

I will be going there next week to look at the sign...which I never saw in the first place anyhow. I honestly didn't know I wasn't supposed to turn there so maybe I have a better chance or using the 'strict liability' defense. This was for section 144(9). The officer signed the ticket and put the following

At: "N/B Bay St to E/B Bloor St W" - so I think that part looks ok. The only thing I'm not sure about is what is the 'year' box on the ticket for next to the plate number box?

I'm not sure where I would look to find out if Toronto passed something saying they need to have bilingual signs. I saw the story from a link from tc's site that linked to a cbc article. I found it humourous that the justice of peace who dismissed that case of the sign not being in french also had a french last name.. are there any other cases of people getting there charges dismissed because of that?

In regards to the strict liability defense, why would the justice care about that when they don't even have to prove that I honestly did not know/see intentially commit the offense? I mean, I can honestly say that I did everything that someone making a turn would do (whatever that is).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:18 am 
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The French defence is a brilliant one. It applies in TO. Moreover, the offence you committed involves demerit points so its a provincial issue, so it doesn't matter if TO pssed the by-law, it's in effect.

The cop never wrote in his info in French. To me that a fatal flaw.

This Frenh argument will turn Ontario upside down. Most cops aren't French. The province needs to make new bilingual forms that only require the cop to check off boxes for the offence committed. Then sign his name in French and English.

If it's a strict liability offence, the Justice cares be cause strict liability offence give you the right to advance a defence. Absolute liabilty offences do not. An absolute liability offence only allows you to question the evidence, it doesn't allow you an excuse. If you committed the act the crown must prove beyond a resonable doubt that you committed it. That's it.

Strict liability requires the crown to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the act, then you can advance a due diligence defence which is only tested on a balance of probabilities.

Different standards of proof.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:26 am 
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lawmen wrote:
The province needs to make new bilingual forms that only require the cop to check off boxes for the offence committed. Then sign his name in French and English.


Brilliant, quicker to write tickets!! Plus no writers cramp! WooHoo!!

My name and signature would not change!

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bilingual
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:06 am 
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Yes I'll have to go back and check the sign again next week.

144(9) would fall under a strict liability right? So what you mean is that once they prove I actually made the turn (which I did but with an innocent state of mind and not intentially) then they have to listen to my reasoning why and if they agree, they dismiss it correct?

Thanks.


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Re: bilingual
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:41 am 
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generalinq wrote:
ticketcombat..

Thanks. I sent you a pm after looking at your site since I didn't see a 'contact' page on your site :)

I got the ticket in Toronto but don't live in Toronto. Does that make a difference?
Thanks for the positive feedback on my site. There is a contact icon on the bottom of every page but it only appears if you have scripts turned on.

I want to discuss the out of jurisdiction situation. If you don't live in the city where you are charged, you ticket should, on the back, list a mail in option. It means, no lineups for you. It also means you have, under section 6 of the Provincial Offences Act the option of writing in your defence, including the bilingual argument. You can avoid court. It may be worthwhile to do this. However, I have to state I do not know of anyone who has ever done this. Ever. It doesn't mean you can't, it just means that a hearing will be held and you won't get to respond to the prosecutor's arguments. The best thing to do is to anticipate their objections. However, they will have the benefit of your letter in advance of the court date and could formulate a response. There are risks. You have to decide if they outweigh the convenience.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:16 pm 
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Careful... I read this a couple years ago and suggested a coworker take advantage of it. Upon further investigation, we were informed there were NO "prescribed parts of Ontario" at that time. Apparently, the section was written in anticipation of parts being prescribed at a future date.

Dispute without appearance, prescribed parts of Ontario

6. (1) Where an offence notice is served on a defendant whose address as shown on the certificate of offence is outside the county or district in which the office of the court specified in the notice is situate, and the defendant wishes to dispute the charge but does not wish to attend or be represented at a trial, the defendant may do so by signifying that intention on the offence notice and delivering the offence notice to the office of the court specified in the notice together with a written dispute setting out with reasonable particularity the defendant’s dispute and any facts upon which the defendant relies.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:48 pm 
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Here's the thing. In London v. Young the justices specifically mention the write in option and specifically leave out the jurisdictional part. The way I read the decision is anyone has the write in option. But 6(1) is specific: "outside county or district". Clearly someone who doesn't live in Ontario has that option. Does Ontario have counties or districts? And when a motion is made to move the trial to another "jurisdiction", then there is the acknowledgment of boundries of some sort.

The other thing is CANLII has the HTA, for example, with sections "to be proclaimed at a future date". The wording of s. 6 of the POA doesn't have that provision.

Again, I know of no one who has ever done it but this section has been in place for awhile (at least since 2003).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:32 pm 
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Ontario has districts and county's.

Prescribed parts of Ontario exist in the regulations. It also applies to s. 5.1 of the POA. They have existed since 1993.

Section 5 and 5.1 work differently in differnet parts of Ontario.

Section 5 allows people to give notice of intention to appear by indicating on the offence notice and delivering the notice to the court.

Section 5.1 requires you to give notice by attending in person or by representative at the court office.

The Prescribed parts of Ontario for the purposes of section 5.1 of the Act are found at s. 4.5 of regulation 950, and the Prescribed parts of Ontario are listed below.

POA

Intention to appear

5. (1) A defendant who is served with an offence notice may give notice of intention to appear in court for the purpose of entering a plea and having a trial of the matter by so indicating on the offence notice and delivering the notice to the court office specified in it. 1993, c. 31, s. 1 (2).

Notice of trial

(2) Where an offence notice is received under subsection (1), the clerk of the court shall, as soon as is practicable, give notice to the defendant and prosecutor of the time and place of the trial. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33, s. 5 (2).

Attendance to file notice, prescribed parts of Ontario

5.1 (1) This section applies in such parts of Ontario as are designated by regulation. 1993, c. 31, s. 1 (3).

s. 5 inapplicable

(2) Section 5 does not apply where this section applies. 1993, c. 31, s. 1 (3).

Filing

(3) A defendant who is served with an offence notice may give notice of intention to appear in court for the purpose of entering a plea and having a trial of the matter by attending in person or by representative at the court office specified in the offence notice at the time or times specified in the offence notice and filing a notice of intention to appear with the clerk of the court. 1993, c. 31, s. 1 (3); 2006, c. 21, Sched. C, s. 131 (3).

Form of notice

(4) A notice of intention to appear shall be in the form prescribed under section 13. 1993, c. 31, s. 1 (3).

Trial

(5) If a defendant files a notice of intention to appear under subsection (3), the clerk of the court shall inform the defendant and the prosecutor of the time and place of the trial.


Regulation 950 - Prescribed parts of Ontario

City of Hamilton
City of Kawartha Lakes
City of Ottawa
City of Toronto
County of Dufferin
County of Essex
County of Haliburton
County of Northumberland
County of Peterborough
District Municipality of Muskoka
Haldimand County
Regional Municipality of Durham
Regional Municipality of Halton
Regional Municipality of Peel
Regional Municipality of Waterloo
Regional Municipality of York

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Last edited by lawmen on Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:11 am 
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this keeps getting more and more confusing.

I think I'll mail my request in for a trial and see what happens.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:19 am 
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generalinq wrote:
this keeps getting more and more confusing.


Exactly!! As a member of this forum, I apologize for other members mindset that cutting and pasting of sections of acts is the end all be all and helps out the initial poster :oops: Add in...babbling about nonsense :oops:

When all most people want is normal/common discussion and thoughts on their own situation.

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cut and paste
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:49 pm 
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Exactly. That's the thing I find confusing. Trying to read between the lines in all the information that is posted and trying to make sense of it all.

ticketcombat has been very helpful as well. I may just use the bilingual sign defense.

What's the current turnaround time for a trial date in Toronto currently? If it's 1 year, can I motion a stay?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:47 pm 
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Bears a cop. He doesn't want people to SEE exactly what the law says. He'd rather have you rely on peoples thoughts and opinions to try and win your case.

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