Automotive

Ask me anything about fighting your traffic ticket (Speeding, Parking, etc.)

Newbie
Oct 10, 2018
3 posts
1 upvote
I am in Quebec, in a small town with its own police force and court. My son got a ticket for passing a school bus with its stop sign out. Is it possible to ask for the ticket to be dismissed? Or can you only plead guilty or not guilty? I would like for it to be dismissed based on these grounds:
It is a 9 point penalty and loss of license for 6 months which is an appropriate penalty for someone who is reckless or endangering the life of children. My son (17) was doing neither. The bus was parked across the street where all of the students were being funneled into the schoolyard at 8:15am. The crossing guard had cleared the intersection because no children were present. My son saw the stop sign on the bus, saw the stop sign at the intersection he was approaching, saw the 3 cars ahead of him proceed through the intersection, and decided to proceed at 5mph to the stop sign at the intersection and stop there. He made a rookie mistake on a probationary license that did not endanger children and was not a reckless act worth the harsh penalty. Would the judge listen and dismiss the ticket? Is dismissal even a thing?
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 23, 2008
7112 posts
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Edmonton
colourmg wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 7:25 pm
Hello,

thanks in advance for your time and willingness to share your knowledge.

My situation is:

Received a careless driving ticket for $490 while on the 404 going Northbound. I was driving in the most left lane--the fast lane. Had pain in my right eye suddenly. It was really bothering me, and at the time I had a really nasty cold sore that I wouldn't stop touching because it made me feel so self-conscious. That week, I remember being haunted by the thought of getting ocular herpes while excessively researching how to heal and treat cold sores so I wasn't going to pick at my eyeball with any of my fingers--while the sores are draining fluids, they are extremely contagious. At the moment, I thought it would be smart to try and remove what I thought was an eyelash in my right eye with a pen I had handy in my glove box. Rubbing my eye with my wrist would've removed my eye make-up that I had on. I understand why it looks like I was applying make-up to the cop, I had my mirror down too.

I didn't believe that I was doing anything wrong. In fact I thought driving with one eye closed was dangerous so I began to merge into the next lane on the right because I was going to drive slower and more cautious with this eye bothering me, heading for the shoulder to stop. (Does this help prove that I wasn't driving "without reasonable consideration for others" while on the road?) This is when I noticed a big black truck was following behind me really closely from my rearview mirror. Then suddenly he turned on his police lights and motioned me to pull over. When stopped, he tells me that applying make-up while driving with your visor down isn't the appropriate venue, and hands me my ticket, after seeing my license, ownership and insurance. 

Concerns and other points to note:
- Don't know how long the OPP cop was watching me for (notes might say 18m unobstructed view). He was in an unmarked black, giant pick-up truck, similar to Ford F150 or maybe it was just a SUV.
- I don't recall if he drove beside me first and some point, or just saw me from behind
- Sent my disclosure early January, got my ticket late October. Trial date a little over 12 months since ticket was received. Received disclosure 2 months ago.
- Asked specifically for dash-cam video footage and typed notes with clarification if short form was used (it was).
- My trial date is less than 15 days away, so I've missed my chance to apply for a stay with improper disclosure.
- For some reason I can recall there was someone in the passenger of the cop's truck, another cop? So I asked for witness statements too.
- In the disclosure the cop notes that I slapped the visor with the light up when I was being pulled over--I did, not because I was guilty but because I knew it looked bad.
- He also notes that I didn't have tinted windows
- He says he saw a cosmetic pencil, it was just a pen I keep in the glove box
- Can I argue that if I wasn't a young female he would not have pulled me over? He would not believe that a male driving would be "applying cosmetics".
- I have cellphone photos of the cold sore and would be happy to show my browser history to prove my logical of action
- I keep my purse in the backseat and do my make up at home in the morning.

Would be happy to send you the disclosure which was a scan of his notes. They were pretty detailed but not completely legible.

Any insight you have about my case would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
So you thought that poking yourself in the eye with a pen (looking in the visor mirror, of course) while driving in the fast lane of the 404 was a wise move? You took the time to dig your pen out of your glove box (which is in itself a distraction), flip down your visor, and focused your attention on your eye, rather than the traffic ahead and beside you. In that same time, you could have pulled over to the right shoulder of the road and stopped. To me, this would imply that it wasn't a momentary distraction, but a deliberate/conscious act. I'm not trying to be all judgmental on you; merely trying to show you what may be argued against you.

You don't actually say what the officer notes contained, but your reasons/excuses isn't necessarily going to help you. Nor will the "if I was a guy, I wouldn't have gotten pulled over" logic, I don't think. I think you'll need to attack the vague definition of careless driving and work on that. Was there lots of traffic, or very little? Was this a momentary thing, or were you poking at your eye for 5 minutes?

You can also go online at canlii.org, and search for defenses used in other careless driving cases. Another option is for you to plea bargain down from careless driving to something else. What you don't want is a careless driving conviction on your record, because it can have a MAJOR impact to your insurance. Like, drunk driving kind of impact, with significant impact to your insurance for a number of years.

C
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 23, 2008
7112 posts
4067 upvotes
Edmonton
MelissaC6751 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:15 pm
I am in Quebec, in a small town with its own police force and court. My son got a ticket for passing a school bus with its stop sign out. Is it possible to ask for the ticket to be dismissed? Or can you only plead guilty or not guilty? I would like for it to be dismissed based on these grounds:
It is a 9 point penalty and loss of license for 6 months which is an appropriate penalty for someone who is reckless or endangering the life of children. My son (17) was doing neither. The bus was parked across the street where all of the students were being funneled into the schoolyard at 8:15am. The crossing guard had cleared the intersection because no children were present. My son saw the stop sign on the bus, saw the stop sign at the intersection he was approaching, saw the 3 cars ahead of him proceed through the intersection, and decided to proceed at 5mph to the stop sign at the intersection and stop there. He made a rookie mistake on a probationary license that did not endanger children and was not a reckless act worth the harsh penalty. Would the judge listen and dismiss the ticket? Is dismissal even a thing?
The bus had it's stop sign out, and your son didn't stop appropriately. That's really all that matters. The prosecution and/or Justice/Judge CAN chose to dismiss the ticket, but it's not very likely that they will. You MAY be able to bargain down to a less significant charge which doesn't have a suspension attached, but that would depend on the prosecutor. That's your best hope, I believe.

C
Sr. Member
Apr 24, 2013
520 posts
262 upvotes
Toronto
I got my disclosure in an email PDF for an upcoming court case, and there is a checkmark beside the 'video exists', that mentions yes, but I do not see the video anywhere.

Can I request it? how to do so?
I got Fido $15/month plan.
Sr. Member
Apr 24, 2013
520 posts
262 upvotes
Toronto
I got my disclosure in an email PDF for an upcoming court case, and there is a checkmark beside the 'video exists', that mentions yes, but I do not see the video anywhere.

Can I request it? how to do so?
I got Fido $15/month plan.
Newbie
User avatar
Oct 7, 2018
8 posts
1 upvote
New Brunswick
MelissaC6751 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:15 pm
I am in Quebec, in a small town with its own police force and court. My son got a ticket for passing a school bus with its stop sign out. Is it possible to ask for the ticket to be dismissed? Or can you only plead guilty or not guilty? I would like for it to be dismissed based on these grounds:
It is a 9 point penalty and loss of license for 6 months which is an appropriate penalty for someone who is reckless or endangering the life of children. My son (17) was doing neither. The bus was parked across the street where all of the students were being funneled into the schoolyard at 8:15am. The crossing guard had cleared the intersection because no children were present. My son saw the stop sign on the bus, saw the stop sign at the intersection he was approaching, saw the 3 cars ahead of him proceed through the intersection, and decided to proceed at 5mph to the stop sign at the intersection and stop there. He made a rookie mistake on a probationary license that did not endanger children and was not a reckless act worth the harsh penalty. Would the judge listen and dismiss the ticket? Is dismissal even a thing?
Melissa can you have your son draw a sketch and take a pic of it so I can better understand the location of the bus, the school, the intersection ect. Might be able to help, you can pm me the sketch or post it. thanks tj
Sr. Member
Apr 24, 2013
520 posts
262 upvotes
Toronto
john5170 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 6:17 pm
I got my disclosure in an email PDF for an upcoming court case, and there is a checkmark beside the 'video exists', that mentions yes, but I do not see the video anywhere.

Can I request it? how to do so?
Here is some more details and exactly what that line states:
INDICATE BELOW IF ICC FOOTAGE EXISTS. ONCE A TRIAL DATE IS SET, A COPY WILL BE ORDERED BY COURTS UPON REQUEST
In Car Camera Footage: [Yes]
In Car Camera Footage of Offence Captured: [Yes]
What does this mean?
I got Fido $15/month plan.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
7112 posts
4067 upvotes
Edmonton
MelissaC6751 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 10:17 pm
Yes, I will have that up by tomorrow. Thanks!
If the stop sign is out, you can’t go past the bus in either direction. In fact, you have to leave 5m space. It doesn’t matter if there’s kids or not. The only exception is if there’s a median between you and the bus.

But maybe a pic will clarify something.

C
Newbie
User avatar
Oct 7, 2018
8 posts
1 upvote
New Brunswick
john5170 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 6:03 pm
I got my disclosure in an email PDF for an upcoming court case, and there is a checkmark beside the 'video exists', that mentions yes, but I do not see the video anywhere.

Can I request it? how to do so?
you can ask the court office for a copy, how soon is the trial? If they don't copy video they will let you view it by making arrangements to do so.
Newbie
Oct 10, 2018
3 posts
1 upvote
What is the risk of contesting the ticket? Based on the law, he is guilty. I can only hope for a technicality. What is the risk of trying for that?
I received a copy of the ticket because he was under 18. It included a "complement de constat d'infraction" because the officer corrected the address where the offence took place. Both the original ticket and this extra page were in French which we neither read nor speak. Am I allowed to ask for the officer's notes to be typed in English? Or is that part of the disclosure?
Also, is the police officer the prosecutor or is that a separate person?
Newbie
User avatar
Oct 7, 2018
8 posts
1 upvote
New Brunswick
john5170 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 9:54 pm
Here is some more details and exactly what that line states:



What does this mean? Just read your second post, it means once you have a trial date you can get a copy of the video by requesting it to the court. If after watching the video and you decide to change your mind and plea guilty, you can do that.
Newbie
User avatar
Oct 7, 2018
8 posts
1 upvote
New Brunswick
colourmg wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:03 pm
Hi Accrecon, I've pm'd you. Thanks.
I sent the info for you via pm, did you receive it?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
7112 posts
4067 upvotes
Edmonton
MelissaC6751 wrote:
Oct 12th, 2018 10:08 am
What is the risk of contesting the ticket? Based on the law, he is guilty. I can only hope for a technicality. What is the risk of trying for that?
I received a copy of the ticket because he was under 18. It included a "complement de constat d'infraction" because the officer corrected the address where the offence took place. Both the original ticket and this extra page were in French which we neither read nor speak. Am I allowed to ask for the officer's notes to be typed in English? Or is that part of the disclosure?
Also, is the police officer the prosecutor or is that a separate person?
There should be no risk to contesting the ticket; it can't get any worse.

As far as disclosure in English, I'm not sure what's required in Quebec. It wouldn't surprise me if they can refuse to provide the notes in English. All you can do is ask on that, as well.

And the prosecutor is a different person than the police officer. The prosecutor is the lawyer who will present the case to the Justice of the Peace to try to get you convicted. The police officer will just be a witness providing testimony.

C

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