Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fer...

Windrays
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Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fer...

Unread post by Windrays »

Hey guys, was hoping you guys could give me a bit of advice (sorry for the long post in advance):

For premise, this happened around midnight tonight on Bloor St in Toronto (right near Parliament). I was driving across the Bloor Viaduct to get back to my apartment; I hit a stop light and wait (for those in the GTA, I'm at the corner of Bloor and Castle Frank). As the light changes, sirens go off behind me. At first I think that the cop is trying to get around me, so I pull to the side -- he follows, and I realize I'm being slammed for something. I have no idea what; I figure I'm being hit for a bad brake light or something.

So the officer comes up, gives me the whole "being recorded" protocol, and informs me that I was going 76 in a 40 across the bridge. Hand to god, I had zero clue that I was doing this. He tells me that based on that, and because of the weather conditions (it wasn't snowing, and the roads were quite clear), traffic (of which there really wasn't much), I was getting a speeding ticket AND a careless driving charge. He goes, prints the tickets, comes back. He alludes to me taking the opportunity to fight the tickets, but says that he can't say any more without facing trouble for himself from TPS.

I go home and I'm furious that I now have close to 800 bucks in charges to fight off, given that I'm a really broke university student. But this is where things get interesting. I get a knock on my door: it's the cop, who's forgotten to give me my license back. Now that he's off the record, he tells me very candidly that I should fight both tickets and that most likely, I'll get the careless driving charge dropped and the speeding charge reduced, which is okay by me: I'll concede to my speeding, whether or not I was cognizant of it, but not to careless driving, which I felt I was not guilty of because I was well aware of what was going on around me at all times and didn't feel the roads/traffic were at a condition to warrant more prudence on my part (I used to live in Buffalo, so I'm very well aware of when I need to go into safe mode while driving; hell, I will refuse to drive if the weather is too bad despite having twelve years and about 300,000 km of driving experience under my belt).

So, with his advice in mind, my question is this: do I plead to have a resolution meeting with the prosecutor on BOTH charges, or do I go to trial for them? Or do I plead early resolution for one and go to trial for the other? What would be the most efficient course to minimize damage to me (and preferably, avoid points)? And whatever course of action I take, what would be my best course to approach the resolution meeting/trial? As in, what should I say and do?

Thanks for the advice, friends! :)
-C


lolwut
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by lolwut »

Start by pleading not guilty and requesting disclosure. Once you have that come back and post it here
With that information the users of this board can assist you with assessing the merits of the case and what your best options may be.


jsherk
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by jsherk »

I would plead NOT GUILTY to both charges and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get the Notice of Trial, then you can request disclosure (officers notes and copy of speed measuring device manual and any audio/video recordings).

We need to see the officers notes to really determine if you can fight it or not.

But lets assume there really isn't much in the notes to support the careless charge... in this case the prosecutor MIGHT offer you some kind of plea deal that if you plead guilty to the speeding charge they will drop the careless charge. They do NOT have to offer you any kind of plea deal, and we have not seen the officers notes yet, so I am saying this could possibly be one potential outcome. Careless driving on your record is the same as a DUI for insurance purposes so you really may want to hire a lawyer once you get the disclosure if it looks like they have a good case.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


OTD Legal
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by OTD Legal »

Windrays wrote: So the officer comes up, gives me the whole "being recorded" protocol, and informs me that I was going 76 in a 40 across the bridge. Hand to god, I had zero clue that I was doing this. He tells me that based on that, and because of the weather conditions (it wasn't snowing, and the roads were quite clear), traffic (of which there really wasn't much), I was getting a speeding ticket AND a careless driving charge. He goes, prints the tickets, comes back. He alludes to me taking the opportunity to fight the tickets, but says that he can't say any more without facing trouble for himself from TPS.
Hi Windrays,

That does sound like an unfortunate situation. Some general information on the two offences:

The Speeding offence is a 4 demerit point offence and may be classed either as a major or a minor offence for risk assessment depending on your insurer. General information can be found here and the specific section of the HTA can be found here.

The Careless Driving offence is a 6 demerit point offence and is generally classed as a serious offence for insurance purposes which generally results in no longer qualifying for standard insurance coverage. General information on Careless Driving offences can be found here and the specific section of the HTA can be found here.

If your driver's licence is a novice driver's licence (ie. G1 or G2) by offence date, a conviction for either offence will result in a mandatory suspension or cancellation of your licence as outlined here.

Fortunately, although the demerit points for the two offences total 10, convictions for multiple offences only apply the demerit points for the single offence with the highest number of demerit points. Although it is important to understand that all offences convicted due result in records of conviction for licencing and insurance purposes despite the reduction in total demerit points applied.

Given the charges issued against you, you may wish to seek out a licenced paralegal to handle the court filings and appearances on your behalf. Alternately, you can proceed to self-represent if you feel reasonably knowledgeable and confident in doing so. Either way, once a court date has been set, certainly the first step would be to file for a disclosure of evidence from the Prosecutor's Office and set a meeting with a Prosecutor to review the evidence and its legal merits. Careless Driving trials can be somewhat ambiguous to predict but do place a reasonably high burden of proof on the prosecution. Speed trials are generally fairly black and white in determining how the court would likely rule.
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.


screeech
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by screeech »

Given the scenario as posted by the OP, there is no chance of being convicted for careless drivng...Speed alone does not constitute careless driving, and if the weather was as he sated, there is no reasonable prospect of conviction...


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bobajob
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by bobajob »

why was careless added ?
I can't see/understand
--------------------------------------------------------------
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


lolwut
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by lolwut »

Unless the OP is not telling us something. I'd bet the disclosure for this case will be revealing.


Zatota
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by Zatota »

Quota? The month and year were almost over.


Whenaxis
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by Whenaxis »

Zatota wrote:Quota? The month and year were almost over.
I don't know about other jurisdictions. But in York Region, police officers actually have a quota - they're asked to issue one traffic ticket per shift. I thought quotas were just an urban myth.


argyll
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by argyll »

Where I was we were expected to issue either a ticket or warning per shift.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


Zatota
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Re: Just got slapped with a Careless Driving/Speeding two-fe

Unread post by Zatota »

My point exactly. I don't know about TPS, but YRP officers are expected to write a certain number of tickets per month and per year. YRP calls that a "performance measure," but it's really a quota. That's why many people I know say they drive a little more slowly the last few days of each month.


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