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Brief questions about next steps for stunt-driving summons
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:31 pm 
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I am new to the forum and am hoping for some guidance from forum members. Having recently been charged with Stunt Driving (speeding 157 in 100 zone on Hwy 407) and received a summons (for about a month from now), I had the following questions that I would be gracious for some feedback:

a) what is the actual process for next steps? My understanding is that when I appear at the summons, it is not a trial yet, it is only to potentially meet with the prosecutor (and hopefully negotiate a lesser charge), and if not successful, to set a date for trial?

b) Can a paralegal or lawyer assist with the negotiations with the prosecutor at the summons (better than I could?). (I know the answers from the paralegal sponsors here will be ‘yes’, but I would like an honest opinion here). I am considering going to the summons myself and discussing with the prosecutor, and if unsuccessful, requesting disclosure of evidence. Is that how it works? Do I need to provide my own disclosure of evidence at that time as well if I request it? My thought was (to potentially save some costs) to do this, and then IF negotiations with the prosecutor are unsuccessful, to then enlist a lawyer or paralegal for the actual trial (and provide them with the disclosure documents upon receipt).

c) Can I request disclosure BEFORE attending the summons, or is that the place that it is requested?

d) My proposal for the prosecutor would suggest that this was my first ticket in 4 years, I am legitimately remorseful and recognize that I could have caused serious injury to others by doing what I did, I am a father of 2 children and my wife and I only work part time and I need a vehicle for work to travel to client sites so a further license suspension would cause undue hardship, and asking the prosecutor if they would consider reducing the charge to speeding of 149 (and paying a hefty fine). Are prosecutors generally willing to consider this, or am I likely to get ‘cry me a river, take accountability for what you did and unless you have evidence to suggest your charge is invalid, there is no reduction being offered’?

e) My understanding is that filings for Stunt Driving being unconstitutional are no longer applicable, is that correct? (despite seeing many paralegal sites indicating that “a Charter Application arguing against the constitutionality of the offence will be filed).


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Re: Brief questions about next steps for stunt-driving summo
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 9:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
1) Correct. You can enter a plea of not guilty at your first appearance and a trial date will be set for a few months down the road.

2) You’ll probably be fine on your own, but it’s a bit of a hard question to answer. Would a professional get offered a better deal? Not necessarily, but they’ll be more experienced negotiating with the Crown. The other benefit is that they may see a weakness in the Crown’s case that you wouldn’t. Or maybe you’ll end up paying a lot of money for something you could have done yourself.

3) Perhaps other people with more recent experience will correct me, but I believe disclosure will typically be provided at your first appearance.

4) I think your chances of getting the deal are quite good.

5) What particular aspect? Perhaps certain arguments have been shot down by the Courts, but it doesn’t eliminate the possibility. The question then becomes one of how much time and financial resources are you willing to invest if you plan to go down this route? Legal representation would probably be recommended.


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Re: Brief questions about next steps for stunt-driving summo
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:33 am 
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:53 pm
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Hi Stanton, thanks so much for your feedback, it's very much appreciated! Just a couple of follow-up questions based on your responses:

1) am I forced to enter a plea at the summons? (or am I permitted to wait to review the evidence from disclosure before entering a plea)?

2) I am assuming that the summons is the first opportunity to meet with the prosecutor (i.e. I can't book an appointment any earlier to negotiate with them?)

Cheers


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Re: Brief questions about next steps for stunt-driving summo
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
1) You can enter a plea of not guilty to start. This does not commit you to trial, as you can later change your plea to guilty if you reach a plea deal with the Crown.

2) It varies from one jurisdiction to the next. Best way to be sure would be to call the Court or Crown’s office.


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Re: Brief questions about next steps for stunt-driving summo
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:53 pm
Posts: 4
Thank you Stanton, very much appreciated! One last question for the forum: in speaking with a variety of paralegals today to obtain quotations and understand their backgrounds, it was mentioned to me by one that if I were to represent myself at the summons (with a remorseful plea to the prosecutor for a reduction), that I may attorn (i.e. "implicitly or explicitly consent to a transfer of a right"). Is this true? Are there any negative repercussions of representing myself at the initial summons and requesting disclosure at that time whereby I could have been better off with a paralegal there instead?
Cheers


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Feedback or recommendations re: lawyers to defend charges
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:53 pm
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Hello,
I've recently been charged with a stunt driving offence (speeding) and am considering enlisting a lawyer rather than a paralegal (or potentially a paralegal only for initial steps, and a lawyer only if trial is required). Can anyone suggest positive feedback for a lawyer who has been well accoladed for traffic-related offences in the Burlington area (or GTA?). Many firms indicate they have lawyers on staff or can work with lawyers if required, but I must admit I am a bit dubious of whether this is really the case. For this particular case, where a trial may be my only resort if the prosecutor doesn't agree to negotiate, I would like to entertain utilizing a lawyer.
Any guidance/feedback would be greatly appreciated!


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Re: Brief questions about next steps for stunt-driving summo
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:39 am 
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please stay on one thread for the same incident, others can help you better and faster, prevents duplication of topics

thank you
HB
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Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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