Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

JayT
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Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

Unread post by JayT »

Hi!

This is my first time ever getting a ticket and I am completely frustrated and don't know what to do.

On July 7th, I was driving to work, taking my usual route and it's about a 15 minute drive for me. At the first red light, I noticed I had a bit of time thanks to the countdown so I quickly reached into my bag to grab a lip balm. I noticed I had brought the wrong one so I just kept it out and left it in my cup holder. My cellphone was in the bottom of my bag the entire time and I did not even look at it.

I continued on my way and suddenly I was pulled over by a cop. I don't speed and I signaled with abundance of space for each lane change/ turn that I did. I could not imagine why this officer needed to pull me over but I thought maybe something was wrong with my car and I couldn't see it.

Imagine my surprise when he tells me I drove past him twice and he saw me using my cell phone. I explained that I did not and he could see my cell phone was in my bag and I only had sunglasses and a lip balm out of my bag at the time. He insisted on what he saw so I explained that at some point I did reach for my lip balm from my bag, but that was it. Only a lip balm, nothing else. I offered to show him my cell phone so he could see all my unchecked messages and the call log. He didn't even look at it and went to issue me a ticket.

I'm completely flabbergasted. I have never used my cell phone while driving so I cannot fathom why on earth he would think it okay to accuse me.

I have mailed in my ticket to request for trial (Newmarket Traffic Court) as I am obviously NOT guilty and won't be pleading as such either.

The only problem is that now, while I await my trail date, I am unclear of what I can do. Does anyone have a similar experience and is there anything I can do at this point?

Thank you in advance!


Zatota
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Re: Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

Unread post by Zatota »

You mailed in your request? I didn't think Newmarket accepted mail-in requests. I know I've had to go there in person whenever I've needed to request a trial.

For now, do nothing. When you get your trial date, you can request disclosure. Disclosure will include the officer's notes and any other evidence the Crown intends to use against you. When you receive the disclosure, post a copy here (with any personal information blacked out) and your helpful friends will give you some suggestions. Look for any description the officer has given of what he saw. At trial, he must be able to describe your phone. Otherwise, as you said, he could be describing your lip balm, a mirror, your wallet, a pack of gum, etc. The same description should be contained in his notes. If he can't describe your phone, the Crown can't convict you.

Until you receive the trial notice, though, just try to think optimistically and to get on with your daily routine. There is absolutely nothing you can do between now and then.


JayT
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Re: Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

Unread post by JayT »

Yes the court house hours are in between my work hours so I had called in to check if the mailing option is safe. I sent it via registered mail so it can be tracked all the way. I called in today to check and they confirmed it has been received and I should receive a court date by the end of September.

I will post disclosure notes once I receive them.

Until then, I will do as you say and just think optimistically. :) Thank you Zatota!


Whenaxis
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Re: Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

Unread post by Whenaxis »

@Zatota -

Yes, York Region is heeding the advice of the Ministry of Attorney General (as are other jurisdictions) to make the Provincial Offences court process more 'accessible', 'modern', and 'convenient', including mailing trial requests instead of making people come in person. And now disclosure requests are being facilitated by email instead of fax. Just some of the POA 'modernization' changes recently.


Zatota
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Re: Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

Unread post by Zatota »

It's about time! Those of you who are my vintage or older will remember the days when mailed trial requests were the norm. Then some genius had the bright idea of making things less convenient for defendants. I know some jurisdictions, such as Barrie, are accepting disclosure requests by e-mail. The last one I did was by fax; that's not so bad.


Whenaxis
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Re: Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

Unread post by Whenaxis »

Just a heads up, as of July 1, apparently York Region is no longer accepting disclosure requests by fax and must now be sent by email or delivered in person.


JayT
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Re: Falsely Accused of Handheld Device Usage

Unread post by JayT »

I finally received my trial date earlier on October-- which will be late May of next year. :( So now I am just super anxious driving. I feel like I'll get pulled over randomly anytime just for sneezing or something.

I mailed and emailed in a request for disclosure as per the mailed instructions on October 10th and have still not heard anything back yet.

Thank you friends for your words of advise so far! I will post the disclosure once I get it.. hopefully I'll receive it very soon!

- JayT


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