I received a stunt driving ticket earlier in the year (171 km/h in a 100 km/h zone) and attended my summons earlier this week, where I received the disclosure.
I set a meeting for an early resolution for this Friday (March 16th, 2018). Would any of you be able to help me review my disclosure and help me assess my options? I'd also very much appreciate any advice for the meeting with the prosecutor (what I should say, etc).
Needless to say, I feel awful about my behaviour and have learned a very expensive lesson ($1500 impound/tow fees). I need advice on how to proceed and hopefully put this behind me.
- It was early morning (7:30 AM on 401 near Scarborough), I was on my way to work and late for a meeting
- The road was mostly clear with light traffic, high visibility, sunny day and clear driving conditions
- The officer was on the road side, clocked me driving at 171 km/h at a distance of 148.35m
- I promptly pulled over when he came after me, was polite and cooperative during our interaction
- In the disclosure, I can see the officer's notes which says that he had tested the LIDAR at 3m, 10m and 45m as per manufacturer's guidelines and found it to be in good working condition.
If they end up doing so, it might be worth considering the offer. The difference between 49km over and 50+ is way too big to pass up on.
I've heard dressing well and looking like you give a *EDIT* helps. Any advice on what to say?
Also, the facts I've included is essentially everything from the disclosure. How do I gauge whether or not that is a good set of evidence for the crown? I'll 100% take the 49 or under deal if given, but I still would like to know whether they have a strong case against me or not.
At early resolution, if the prosecutor doesn't offer you a deal, you can simply ask for 49km/h and say that you will plead guilty to that charge. The prosecutor may or may not accept your request. If the prosecutor does not accept the request, it would be a good idea to get legal representation for trial (lawyer or paralegal). The consequences for stunt driving are significant:
* fine between $2,000 and $10,000 OR
* imprisonment of up to 6 months OR
* license suspension of up to 2 years
Unfortunately, at the early resolution meeting, the prosecutor did not offer me a deal to reduce to 49 under. He simply said to plead guilty and request a lowered fine. He said that if I go to trial, they will go for maximum fine and license suspension.
Is he just trying to scare me into pleading guilty? Can someone advise if it's genuinely a good idea to just plead guilty now so I get a relatively low fine and no license suspension or should I pursue a trial?
Please advice, I'm clearly out of my depth here.
It's still worth asking for the trial. You still have the right to make a full answer and defence and to receive full disclosure of the evidence, including any evidence that may work in your favour. Before the trial begins, you can still try to negotiate a deal. But it's probably a good idea to invest in a lawyer or paralegal, just in case the prosecutor is not in a negotiating mood that day.
Correct, I'd be willing to plead guilty to a 49 under charge. Unfortunately, I wasn't offered such a deal.
I'm meeting with a paralegal tomorrow to review my disclosure. I'm hoping to get a good sense of whether or not I want to go to trial. I'm not opposed to going to trial, I'm just concerned whether going for a trial will make matters worse for me.
Do you know if that's something that happens? Is it possible that simply pleading guilty will give me a less severe final result than going to court? The way the prosecutor from the early resolution meeting made it sound, I got the impression that going to trial will push them to go for more severe punishment and I'd like to avoid that...
I have another question, but I won't bombard you with them all at once. I'll ask in my next reply to you. Looking forward to your reply.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there is a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 for stunt driving. The justice of the peace (JP) is required by law to give you a fine (or imprisonment - this is extremely unlikely though unless there is injury/death). The lowest fine you can hope for is $2,000 (unless you can show exceptional financial circumstances to warrant a lower fine). $2,000 would be given in instances, for example, where there is a guilty plea. It would be a lot less likely to get the minimum fine after going through a full trial and being found guilty after the fact.
A licence suspension of up to 2 years may result upon conviction. The JP has discretion whether or not to suspend your licence at all. It is more likely to face no suspension or a shorter suspension if you plead guilty. Again, it is a lot less likely to get no suspension at all or a shorter suspension on the lower end of the spectrum (i.e., 30 days) after going through a full trial and being found guilty after the fact.
The evidence against you provided in disclosure is enough to convict you of stunt driving (speed, and device tested). Unless you're able to show otherwise (which is hard to do for speeding-related offences), pleading guilty may be the best option. You should still retain a lawyer or paralegal if you plan on pleading guilty. They will help you make submissions on penalty (fine and licence suspension) to get you the best possible result.
In your previous message, you suggested that it'd be a good idea to set up for trial if denied a 49 under plea deal.
To confirm and clarify, are you suggesting now that it's a good idea to plead guilty because there is a potential for worse punishments if I lose the trial? I'll be meeting a paralegal today to discuss what sort of defence I have, if any at all. Based on that I might be able to decide better what decision to make.
You should still retain a lawyer or paralegal if you plan on pleading guilty. They will help you make submissions on penalty (fine and licence suspension) to get you the best possible result.
Considering that it would cost me $1300 to retain, I'm not sure the benefit outweighs the cost? To me it seems unlikely that the lawyer would be able to offset his fees in reduction of penalty. The prosecutor informed me that they will not pursue a suspension if I plead guilty. So unless the lawyer is able to arrange a $700 fine ($1300 lower than minimum of $2000), I'd be losing money by retaining, no? What is your opinion on this thought process?
There's still one benefit to retaining a paralegal, despite the fees. If the paralegal is able to get the prosecutor to accept 49 over, you'll be looking at a minor offence for insurance purposes. Stunt driving is a major offence. The insurance implications are huge.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !