In case anyone is interested I had my trial this week. My plan was to: A) ask for dismissal because they charged me with the wrong section of the Act [148(8)(b) instead of 148(8)(a)]. I planned to tell the JOP that there was no evidence to support the charge; B) if they would not dismiss I'd ask for an adjournment to prepare for the amended charge to 148(8)(a).
There was good evidence in the cop's notes to support my side of the story that the road "in front and to the left" of me was clear when I made the pass. The cop's own notes indicated he was around the bend, and couldn't see me until he rounded the bend, and I was already in the act of passing. So by logic, if he couldn't see me then I couldn't see him. So from my perspective the road was clear.
However.... I had a chance to talk to the prosecutor before the trial. He was making deals all morning. To the point where I was the only trial that might have a chance of proceeding, out of a list of about 20. He asked what I wanted and I told him "I want the charge dismissed, but I'd settle for something with no points". So we had a chat with the cop (who was there) and we all agreed to Interfere with Traffic - it's $85 fine and no points.
Bottom Line for me: Always fight it. Always go to trial. There are so many opportunities to deal along the way. Right up until they call you to the stand. And at that point if you have no case you can still ask the JOP to go easier on you. But from what I could see they are looking to deal. Nobody wants a trial. The cop actually thanked me afterward since he could get out of there.
I don't know if a simple fine like that will hit my insurance. I still have a conviction - but a far lesser charge that carries no points. So we will see. Enjoy the weekend!
Your insurance provider doesn't base its surcharge percentages off of how many demerit points a charge has. It just so happens that more serious charges tend to come with more demerit points. Demerit points last 2 years from the date you were charged. If you were charged December 2016, the points will disappear December 2018. For your average fully licensed driver, they tend to be completely useless.jcorn wrote:I don't know if a simple fine like that will hit my insurance. I still have a conviction - but a far lesser charge that carries no points. So we will see. Enjoy the weekend!
Your provider will put everything in 3 categories. Practically every run of the mill charge will fall into the first category.
The second category is usually the same charges with a safety element (school zone, school bus, school crossings, etc), breaking graduated license conditions, false statements and things of that nature.
The third is for the worst. Careless, racing, speeding over 50, impaired, driving with no insurance, etc.
Trading one minor charge for another isn't going to necessarily help with your insurance, no matter the points or the lesser fine. However, your provider may not charge you for the first minor conviction, so you might not end up paying anything extra at all. Hopefully that will be the case. Good luck.