180 in a 100 zone - charged with racing a motor vehicle

Tazo
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180 in a 100 zone - charged with racing a motor vehicle

Unread post by Tazo on

Hi there everybody,

So as the title says, I made the bad decision to drive 180 in a 100 zone. It happened on Highway 400, a little north of Barrie around 11:30pm on a Friday Night. I've got some questions about how to deal with this charge.

First off, the charge and the ticket itself makes no mention of the actual speed I was going. How will the court know I was going 80 over as opposed to just 50 over? Will the officer need to testify that himself or does the court receive this information from him prior?

I've seen a lot of people on this message board make recommendations to get a paralegal for representation - Is this for cases where there is some ambiguity and/or departure from the typical protocol for being legitimately charged with racing a motor vehicle? Or is it just generally a better idea to have a paralegal argue your case, for the sake of reducing the fine, the charge, etc

I ask the paralegal question because I am debating whether I should represent myself in court or pay to have somebody represent me. While I realize that the speed I was going was irresponsible and that whatever penalties I end up facing will be what I deserve in this case - I think that I could do a decent job representing myself. I was driving a car that I was unaccustomed to, that has a very, very sensitive acceleration (Mazda 3) on a highway that was almost devoid of traffic (didn't have much flow of traffic I could adjust to). My driving record is mostly clean, I believe I only have one ticket in the last three years - failing to present a license, although it unfortunately resulted in a driving suspension as the ticket went unpaid. And finally - I don't know what this will be worth in court - the officer seemed to empathize with me and was generally very kind.

Now maybe I'm kidding myself and all of the above isn't anything remotely close to a good defence. Either way, if I have nothing else, should I still bother with a paralegal? Does anybody know how much they generally cost to defend a case like this?

Very appreciative of any help, thanks guys and gals.


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

You could have a first attendance meeting with the Crown and see what (if any) deal they're willing to offer. You could also (typically free of charge) have a consultation with a paralegal and see if they think they can do any better for you. One important point to consider is what kind of impact the conviction will have on insurance. Sometimes paralegal fees may be more up front, but save you money in the long run with insurance.

As for arguing unfamiliar car, sensitive throttle, etc., that will get you nowhere is terms of a defence against the charge as it stands.


bend
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Unread post by bend on

Tazo wrote:I was driving a car that I was unaccustomed to, that has a very, very sensitive acceleration (Mazda 3) on a highway that was almost devoid of traffic (didn't have much flow of traffic I could adjust to).
If this is how you're expecting to represent yourself in court, i'd beg that you get a paralegal. Speeding is an absolute liability and can't be talked out of. The Justice of the Peace is only interested in whether you were speeding or not. Please don't repeat this sensitive throttle story to anyone else because it doesn't make your story better in the slightest. 50 and over is not something to take lightly. If you're ever going to pay for a Paralegal, this should be the time.

I may be wrong here, but the reason why you received a ticket with no speed is because 50km and over is a straight summons to court. There's no set fine for going 80 over, therefore you are given a date to the courthouse.


Tazo
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Unread post by Tazo on

Thanks for your quick and straight forward replies guys.

I'm going to look for some quotes from paralegals tomorrow. To be honest, I just don't really understand what a paralegal will do for me. They can't change the facts of my case - that I committed the crime and I don't have a leg to stand on in terms of my defence. Can a paralegal do anything other than guide me through the process at this point?


daggx
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Unread post by daggx on

Tazo wrote:Thanks for your quick and straight forward replies guys.

I'm going to look for some quotes from paralegals tomorrow. To be honest, I just don't really understand what a paralegal will do for me. They can't change the facts of my case - that I committed the crime and I don't have a leg to stand on in terms of my defence. Can a paralegal do anything other than guide me through the process at this point?

The paralegal will know the system well and will be able to tell you whether there are any holes in the prosecution's case. Some times the police make technical errors that can be used as a defense in court. The paralegal will see if the police have dotted all the I's and crossed all the T's. If they have, he can then probably tell you what kind of deal can be worked out with the prosecution to help lower the impact this will have on your record.


jayjonbeach
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Unread post by jayjonbeach on

The first thing you need to do is do what you need to and get the disclosure, and a copy of officers written notes, etc. Go to Ticket Combat and follow the steps, there is even a form you can download and fill out to help you get what you need.

Only then will you know how to proceed from there, and whether you have any leg to stand on at all. From what you said so far, it appears you don't, and I'll agree with the others on reasons.

Once you have these things, then you then might want to setup a free consultation with a Paralegal. Of course this will be FREE, so they will only very quickly look through your stuff if you are lucky to look for potential issues to exploit. Also, of course, they want your business, and will make a case on why you will be much better off with them, blah blah blah.

See what I did in this thread:

http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com ... tml#p27314

I updated for you with the final outcome. Good luck, maybe the Crown will take some kind of pity on you (if you are poor in anyway might be worth mentioning) and offer a decent deal, but 180 is really fast, and if the officer caught you on radar (there are arguments against radar and ways to try and lesson the merit but I wouldn't count on them) then you are up the creek I'm sure.


Tazo
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Unread post by Tazo on

Hi folks,

I've got a question. I did a search of my name on the internet recently and was surprised to find an "OPP News Release" describing a 'Racing a Motor Vehicle' offence I was charged with. I ended up accepting an early resolution with the prosecutor, which involved pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Rather than 'Racing a Motor Vehicle', I was convicted of 'Speeding'.

So my question is, do I have any rights with regards to requesting the OPP remove/modify their 'News Release'? I obviously don't want this information on the internet at all - let alone describing a crime for which I was not ultimately convicted of.

Thanks for your time.


bend
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Unread post by bend on

Tazo wrote:let alone describing a crime for which I was not ultimately convicted of.
The article probably states you were charged, which you were. It doesn't mean you were convicted. Factually, it's sound. They aren't obligated to amend articles or releases based on new information unless it was in error.

You can try contacting someone involved and see if something can be worked out.


Tazo
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Unread post by Tazo on

Thanks for the quick reply Bend.

Yeah, I've being doing some research myself, into defamation law, and I've come to the same conclusions.

I've been considering calling the Constable that gave me the ticket, as his contact information is on the News Release. Alternatively, I could try and contact the township in which I received the ticket, as it is posted on their website. I have a feeling that my argument, about being convicted of a lesser charge, isn't going to elicit much sympathy from the Constable. So I think I may try to the township first, and the Constable as a last resort.


OPS Copper
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Unread post by OPS Copper on

Nothing will change The release is factual and correct. At the time you were charged with race a motor vehicle were you not?

I have had people contact me to try and get accidents reports changed after they beat a charge in court. I tell them no there will be no deletions or additions. The report is factual and correct at the time. What happens in court is separate.

OPS


Tazo
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Unread post by Tazo on

Thanks for the response OPS.

I contacted the township and they informed me that they reset the OPP News Releases every new year. Meaning it should only be up there a few more weeks.

Appreciate all the help everybody, happy holidays.






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