I was driving to work on the first morning of snowfall/rain. Looks like it had been plowed, I didn't see anything visibly on the road, and I did not slip or slide while driving to the highway/on the highway. I assume there was ice on the road though given my current circumstances.
Anyways, I drive through the overpass/bend on highway 8 and I'm going 10 km over the speed limit when the back wheels start to drift on my vehicle. I end up colliding into the left guard rail, and since its pretty narrow, the car circles and hits the right guard rail. The front of the car is totalled, and the airbags went off.
Two bystanders came, but did not witness anything. Emergency vehicle happened to be driving past so they stopped by and called the cops. Cop came, did not question me or anybody, just examined the vehicle and wrote one sentence down on his statement, then charged me with careless driving.
I'll most likely go to an paralegal since this offence is pretty serious, but I have two other traffic charges (speeding), which I think come into play. I'm hoping I can get things settled but I'm not sure if first attendance would do anything because there doesn't seem to be a reasonable excuse other than the speeding factor.
Any recommendations as to what I could do?
Plead not guilty and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get the Notice of Trial, send in a disclosure request for Officers notes and a copy of witness statements and will-say statements.
Once you get this information, then you can decide whether to hire a paralegal or not. There is no point paying them to do these first steps that you can do with very little time.
Careless driving is a hard charge to prove. Lots of times they will lay this charge, but then offer to reduce the charge to a lesser one in hopes that you will just plead guilty to the lesser than, when in fact you had a very good chance of beating the careless charge. Of course we need to see the officers notes first to really decide if this is the case in this situation or not.
Do a google search on "ontario legal services careless driving" and make sure to go thru several of the links to get an idea of what you are up against.
And here are my thoughts, should you decide to hire a paralegal/lawyer...
Points to conisder:
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that suggests they can win without seeing the disclosure first.
- Only hire a paralegal/lawyer that will review the disclosure with you and suggest possible defenses to try and fight it.
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that considers "negotiating a plea deal" a win. Although a plea deal might be the best choice for you, some paralegals do not try to fight at all and will only negotiate plea deals and then they say they "won".
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that "gurantees a win or you don't pay" as this is illegal in Ontario.