I was involved in a collision where a man was making a left had turn as I was going straight as I had a green light. our cars collided. Three witnesses present, one said he didnt see the color of the traffic light whilst two pedestrians claimed I was going through the red light. The pedestrians have been summoned to be present in court along with the person whom I collided with. My question is do all the witnesses have to be present?
Witnesses for the prosecution are usually present for trial if they have been issued a subpoena/summons to appear in court, and they may be charged or arrested for failing to do so (although it is unlikely for a minor provincial offence).
If they have the other driver and at least one additional witness that will say you went thru red light, it then becomes 2 against 1 and most likely the JP will believe them over you.
So no, all the witnesses do not have to be there, but they will want at least two people to testify that you went thru a red light.
Basic information for Red Light Fail To Stop can be found here and the specific section of the Highway Traffic Act can be found here. The offence carries a 3 demerit point penalty (and 5 CVOR points for CMV drivers).inmycity wrote:I was involved in a collision where a man was making a left had turn as I was going straight as I had a green light. our cars collided. Three witnesses present, one said he didnt see the color of the traffic light whilst two pedestrians claimed I was going through the red light. The pedestrians have been summoned to be present in court along with the person whom I collided with. My question is do all the witnesses have to be present?
The Prosecutor will decide whether or not to proceed based on their reasonable expectation of being able to win the trial. If there are witnesses that you require to be present to argue your defence, it is your responsibility to ensure their attendance.
If the police officer testifies, since s/he wasn't there to witness the accident, you can object if s/he says something like "Witness A told me...", because that's considered hearsay.
If you are offered a plea deal for a lesser charge, you may choose to accept it. This will still be a conviction on your record and it may still result in increases in your insurance rates. It may be less likely for a prosecutor to offer a plea deal before trial if all the witnesses have shown up already.
Were you issued an offence notice (ticket) or a summons or an information?
If no plea deal is offered then you really have nothing to lose by taking it to trial. Maybe the JP will believe you, as there might be contradictory testimony given by the other witnesses.
Some prosecutors will not tell you that they are going to withdraw the charge, and will try and intimidate you into pleading guilty. If you have nothing to lose, then you can take it all the way to trial and maybe the prosecutor will withdraw the charge because they dont have enough witnesses or officer did not show up.
If they try to adjourn it and set a new for trial because somebody is not there, then you should OBJECT and say that this is the day it was scheduled and you took a day off work and can't afford another day off work and you are ready to proceed.
a) cop doesn't show- it's a mistrial
B) pedestrians show- I have to find a discrepancy in their statements- which there isn't as I had den both pedestrians in the officers' car at the time the statements were being taken
c) pedestrians don't show- I need to not plead guilty and object to a new trial date.
Should I still invest in one of the traffic ticket paralegal? If I don't win can I be charged for the accident? My ticket only has not stopping for red light offence.
c) If witnesses do not show, then prosecutor should withdraw the charge, but may also try to set new trial which you should object to.
b) If officer shows AND at least one of the witnesses shows, then you may have a hard time beating this ticket. Do you have copies of the officers notes and copies of the witnesses statements and copies of the other drivers statement?
Your insurance company will make it's own determination of who was at fault for the accident, whether or not you are convicted. Your conviction is irrelevent to the insurance.
Should you hire a paralegal? You can certainly call around. Maybe there is something that we missed that they will pickup. The only advantage of having a paralegal is that they know the rules of court procedure and how to run a trial. If they think they can take it to trial and win, then it might be worthwhile to fight it, but if you are going to pay them to lose then whats the point.
But again you have nothing to lose by saying NOT GUILTY and continuing with the trial. The worst that can happen is that you are found guilty at the end of it, but best case is that you actually get the charge dropped.
If you just plead guilty then it is over and there is no chance at all of getting a better outcome.
Regardless of whether you plead guilty up front, or continue with the full trial and are found guilty, you will get to make submissions as to the fine and time to pay. So sometimes a good sob story about how tight finances are may lead to a lesser amount. You can also ask for extended time to pay like 6 months or a year if you need it.
If you are found guilty though, it will go on your record and it is up to your insurance company to decide if you will get an increase or not because of the charge. Since I assume your insurance company already knows about the accident, you may face an increase anyways if they determine you are at fault even of you are found not guilty of this charge.
The man in the other vehicle is coming to court as a witness to the accident. The prosecution needs at least one person that saw the accident at court to testify. In theory the other driver does not need to be there as long as one of the pedestrians are there. But the prosecution and police will have asked the driver and pedestrians all to show up as it strenghthens their case against you the more witnesses they have.
The officer has 6 months from the date of the offence to lay any new or additional charges, but they can not use anything that happens in court against you. How long ago did it occur?