This I feel is a unique case under 172 but I would like to seek your input as my summons is on 22 Apr.
I have not previous traffic incidents, tickets in the past 11 years and have no criminal record. Yesterday I was driving along Hwy 7 and I was caught in a speed trap. They tagged me for doing 115 in an 80. There were two officers operating this trap. One manning the laser, the other issuing tickets. The officer with the laser showed the readout was 115 and directed me to the other officer. She then issued me the ticket which she reduced to 90, but also gave me a ticket for not having the current insurance paper. All was fine, I got my tickets, and proceeded to leave. I did not at any point indicate any anger, belligerence or disrespect in this transaction.
Upon leaving, I accelerated hard, perhaps harder than usual given there was no merge lane so I can get up to speed quickly. Unfortunately, I am still running winter tires, there was gravel and silt on the side of the road and my wheels spun a bit causing my engine to rev. I proceeded westbound down the hwy 7 where I noticed the cruiser approaching me from behind, I pulled over IAW law thinking he was in pursuit of someone, but to my surprise he was pulling me over. I thought I may have forgotten something or had a brake-light out or something. However, to my surprise, he ripped me out of the vehicle, slammed me against the car, cuffed me and said I was under arrest for stunt driving. wow, I was in shock, and was trying to comprehend what I could have done. I asked the officer what the definition of stunt driving is and he wasn't able to give a clear response. He said I 'shot out going 100 mph' and laid on the throttle' Under HTA 172, there is no such definition. He proceeded to throw me in the back of the cruiser like a scum criminal, took my license for 7 days, impounded my vehicle for 7 days and left me on hwy 7 with no transport.
The actual summons states: 'Drive motor vehicle - perform stunt - cause tire to lose traction.' The closest definition under 172 states : "Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to cause some or all of its tires to lose traction with the surface of the highway while turning." This is to cover the act of 'drifting' I was not turning, I was merging on hwy 7 so it is my position that I am wrongfully accused.
Additionally, the officer was supposed to be manning the laser pointed eastbound, so he did not witness my departure, only heard it so I can assume he thought the worst that I was spinning all over the place. There was at no point I lost control, nor fishtailed. (i was driving a hyundai sonata, FWD) so Fishtail on acceleration in a straight line is impossible.
I think this is a pretty easy dismissal once it hits the courts as I feel I have a solid defence, but what my concern is compensation for impound fees and reinstatement fees. Do I have any grounds here once I am found not guilty? Also, do you feel the officer was overly aggressive (causing heavy bruising on my arm) for something where I posed no threat to him, the public or myself?
Any points you may have on this case would be much appreciated as I am dumbfounded how I can be punished in this way without any legal proceedings.
Thank-you for any input you may have.
Unfortunately, no. Without getting in to my personal opinion of s. 172, one of the things it does is de-facto impose a penalty without conviction and there is no recourse even if you are found not guilty. That, presumably, was one of the goals of the legislature when they enacted it. No one has mounted a serious constitutional challenge to it, though. The problem is, constitutional challenges of this nature are very time consuming and the types of lawyers who engage it in come with a very hefty price tag. For HTA convictions, most people don't want the hassle of going through the process or bankrolling such an expensive endeavour.bedder wrote:I think this is a pretty easy dismissal once it hits the courts as I feel I have a solid defence, but what my concern is compensation for impound fees and reinstatement fees. Do I have any grounds here once I am found not guilty?
On the face of it, yes. I'd at least file a complaint, at a minimum.bedder wrote:Also, do you feel the officer was overly aggressive (causing heavy bruising on my arm) for something where I posed no threat to him, the public or myself?
As far as your case goes, I would look to hire either a paralegal or traffic lawyer. Although I think you have a very strong case for getting it dismissed or withdrawn, with the serious consequences of a conviction should not be overlooked. If you pulled away and squealed a tire, that is not stunt driving at all. Maybe not the greatest of ideas, but it is not stunt driving.
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca