I was recently charged with stunt driving on a 60kmh road. When I was pulled over, the officer told me I was going almost 100kmh (still 40kmh above the limit) but was charging me for stunt driving because I accelerated quickly from an intersection on an empty road (in a straight line). I know nothing justifies driving in a rash manner and I regret my demeanour deeply. When I got pulled over, the officer returned my license and told me she would come to my residence to impound my car and take my license. 10 days later (during which time I was still driving), she came to my house, took my license but let me off the hook for impounding the car (I am really grateful for that alone). What confuses me, is that when I went to the MTO to get my license reinstated, the told me my suspension had started as soon as I had been pulled over and I had been driving for the entirety of its duration. Only when the officer came to my house to take my license, did she tell me that I was not allowed to drive for 7 days. Beyond that, when I was served my summons to court, it read "50kmh over" which was most certainly not the case. Does anyone have insight as to the "unruly" nature of my stunt driving charge?
I plan on representing myself for the first appearance to request disclosure, attempt early resolution with my prosecutor (is my first day in court the time to do that?), and plead not guilty. If I cannot reach an early resolution, I plan on hiring a lawyer to represent me through the remainder of the trial. Any advice on my situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
You'll need to get your disclosure first to see what the officer is alleging. It may very well be that you are not being charged for stunt driving as a result of speed. A lot of other scenarios can amount to stunt driving, including:
- intentionally doing burnouts, drifts outs or donuts
- driving in the oncoming lane next to a vehicle for longer than necessary to pass
- intentionally preventing another vehicle to pass
- 'brake checking' or stopping/slowing your vehicle intentionally to interfere with another vehicle's movement
- intentionally driving as close as possible to another vehicle, pedestrian or object on the road
- turning left before traffic commences through the intersection when the light turns green for both traffic directions
Thanks for the reply highwaystar. None of those were the case. Nonetheless, would you know anything about the way the officer handled my situation in terms of the license suspension?
There seems to be a serious flaw in the process that the officer has followed. Under section 172(5) it states that the if the officer believes on rpg that a person has driven in contravention of subsection 1, the officer shall request that the person surrender their licence and SHALL detain the motor vehicle. IMO this process must be followed if the stunt charge is laid. If itâ€™s not followed, then the officer can not lay a stunt charge.
You may want to read section 172 in its entirety.
Decatur is correct; once they charge you with stunt driving they MUST take your licence and detain the vehicle. Its not discretionary.
They only have the discretion whether to charge you with stunt---but don't have the discretion to decide whether to take your licence and vehicle away once they DO charge you.
In any event, I think the court will simply view this as an 'added gift' towards you; not any reflection of the lack of evidence towards making out the actual charge. In other words, the officer can be disciplined for their error/decision, but it won't be critical for the court to assess whether you truly WERE stunt driving. If anything, it should only have any bearing on any penalty you receive since its an 'after-the-fact' consequence or lack thereof in your case.
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