144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

inmycity
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144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by inmycity »

HI fellow Ontarians

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?

THANK YOU!


Whenaxis
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by Whenaxis »

Generally speaking, it is up to the prosecutor to decide whether or not to proceed with trial if a witness is not present. The prosecutor will probably ask for an adjournment to another date.

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).


inmycity
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by inmycity »

Thanks for getting back to me. When I received the disclosure it had a page that said those witnesses who will be present. so if 2 of the 3 isn't does it turn in to a He said She said situation? The cop wasnt present at the time of accident the cop went with the words of the two witnesses. Also if the witnesses are present should I accept the charges or plea for a lesser fine? Thanks for helping me out.


jsherk
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by jsherk »

They could probably proceed without any witnesses except the other driver, although that would not be a strong case for them as the other driver will say you went thru a red light and you will say it was green so it comes down to who the JP believes more.

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.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


OTD Legal
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by OTD Legal »

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?
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).

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.
The content of this post is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided after a licenced paralegal has been retained, spoken with you directly, and reviewed the documents related to your case.


Whenaxis
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by Whenaxis »

If the witnesses do not appear, and it's a "he said, she said" situation, then the justice will conduct a R. v. W.(D.) analysis, which basically says that if you are credible and you provide your testimony without wavering, the justice must acquit you. If the justice believes you, s/he must acquit. If the justice thinks you are probably or even likely guilty, that is still not enough to convict. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offence. This is not an absolute or perfect standard, but it gets very close to being so.

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?


inmycity
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by inmycity »

Thanks everyone for replying. I was not offered a plea deal in the first meeting with the prosecutor. The options I had was to goto trial or plead guilty. So if no plea deal is offered then I must accept the charge on the trial date? Also should I bother paying for a paralegal in this situation or is it a waste of additional funds?


jsherk
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by jsherk »

If no plea deal is offered then you must either just plead guilty to original charge or take it to trial and try to beat it.

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.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


inmycity
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by inmycity »

Thank you! So because in my first meeting the PROSECUTOR said no deal I asked for a trial. At the trial there will be the officer, the man whom I got into the accident with, along with two witnesses who were pedestrians that claimed I had run a red. If

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.


jsherk
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by jsherk »

a) If officer does not show, then prosecutor should withdraw the charge, but may also try to set new trial which you should object to.
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.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


inmycity
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by inmycity »

Thanks for the details! I think I am gonna pass up on the paralegal. If the witness that shows up happens to be the man who I got into the collision then it becomes a he said she said situation? Do I only plead guilty when I am standing in front of the JP?


jsherk
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by jsherk »

Yes you only plead guilty when you get in front of JP and they read the charge and ask you how you plead.

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.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


inmycity
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by inmycity »

Thanks JSHERK I am ok to pay the fine...its the insurance that I am really worried about. I already pay such a high rate...if I get 3 demerit points my insurance would go sky high. Furthermore, why is the man who i collided with coming to the court anyway? I cant be charged reckless driving causing injury after the fact could I?


jsherk
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by jsherk »

Remember that DEMERIT points are meaningless to insurance companies. For example a 0 demerit speeding ticket and a 3 demerit speeding ticket are both considered a MINOR offence by insurance companies and will both cause the same increase.

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?
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


inmycity
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Re: 144(18) accident involved PLEASE HELP

Unread post by inmycity »

It actually happened in 2015 so it's been a while. Hopefully the pedestrians don't show. But if the man from the car shows it would be biased no? Thanks


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