On Friday February 18 my buddy and I were hit with a racing charge and our cars impounded for 7 days, along with a license suspension for 7 days. We were heading down mavis road south and just decided to gun it, not intending to race however, just speeding. Indeed, we were going faster than the speed limit but we weren't doing 50 km over. Mavis road is a 60 zone and there was a fair amount of cars that night. The max we did was 90-95. The cop however thought we were doing 140, without any proof. The officers didn't have a radar gun. They just saw us zoom through the intersection, going faster than the other cars. Theres no way in hell we did over 100 km. we weren't going for that long. I have set up an appointment with a paralegal to deal with this.
Can someone tell me what I will likely face? This is my first speeding ticket. Ive never been pulled over prior to this. Was it reasonable for the cops to impound our cars and slap us with a racing charge without a radar gun? This is costing me a lot of money, including the impound charge and towing fee.
If someone could help me with this, that would be great.
Stunt driving isn't simply for going 50 km/hr over the limit, but includes numerous other driving offences.
From your description of events, your driving sounds like it could fall under the following section:
For the purposes of section 172 of the Act, "race" and "contest" include any activity where one or more persons engage in any of the following driving behaviours:
1. Driving two or more motor vehicles at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed and in a manner that indicates the drivers of the motor vehicles are engaged in a competition.
2. Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to chase another motor vehicle.
3. Driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway or in a manner that may endanger any person by,
i. driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed,
ii. outdistancing or attempting to outdistance one or more other motor vehicles while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed, or
iii. repeatedly changing lanes in close proximity to other vehicles so as to advance through the ordinary flow of traffic while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed.
Marked departure from the lawful rate of speed means a rate of speed that may limit the ability of a driver of a motor vehicle to prudently adjust to changing circumstances on the highway.
So to answer your question, no a speed reading isn't required to lay the charge, but it would strengthen the evidence.
It is a serious charge you're facing, so consulting with a paralegal is probably a good idea. Hopefully your charge can be reduced to something less serious.
I understand now, thanks. Will I likely face a license suspension after my court date? I was pretty cooperative with the cops and they kept saying over and over how they would write in their notes that i was very cooperative and they kept telling me how i looked like a good kid (laugh out loud). Hopefully that influences the crown's decision.
Well I would certainly hire a paralegal for this particular charge, as Stanton suggests. Even if they do try to explain to the Prosecutor that you were "cooperative," if the Prosecutor decides to go hard-core, it won't really help you much. You're looking at $2000 in fines (minimum), a possible further licence suspension, and, albeit unlikely, jail time. Then there's the insurance implications.
Obtaining the officer's notes will be the key point here, which you (or your paralegal) would do ASAP via a disclosure request. That will provide evidence as to if the officer believed you were "racing" or simply driving at a high rate of speed. If they can't articulate that you met any of the definitions of O.Reg 455/07 (which is what defines racing/stunt/contest as per the Highway Traffic Act), then you're off the hook, but I'd think that may not be as easy as it sounds.
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca
Thanks for your advice.
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