Automotive

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

Deal Fanatic
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Mar 23, 2008
9739 posts
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Edmonton
RobB84045 wrote:
Feb 21st, 2019 12:10 am
Hello,

I received a speeding ticket driving westbound on the 401 in the Napanee area. I was driving in the left lane and about 30-40m in front of me was a police vehicle driving in the right lane. Upon noticing that it was a police vehicle, I checked my speedometer and the needle was in between 115-120 km/h. About 1km later I was level with the police vehicle and once I had passed him, he immediately pulled behind me and pulled me over. The first thing he said to me was, "What's the rush Mr. 135?" At this point I was perplexed because I did not think I was going that fast based on when I looked at my speedometer. I told him that I was driving to Toronto and did not think that I was speeding but apologized if I was. He then said that he would be be back with my ticket. I was charged with going 135km/h in a posted 100km/h.

My first problem is that the officer did not provide me any information as to how he determined my speed. It was an incredibly vague conversation. I know that he doesn't have to tell me, but it makes my situation all the more difficult. When I went to my Early Resolution Hearing to meet with the prosecutor, he told me he could only bump the charge down to 120km/h and 3 points, to which I rejected because I still did not have any evidence against me that I was in fact going 135. I have been given a trial date in early May and requested disclosure. I informed the prosecutor that I can't accept the deal because I didn't think I was speeding and I wasn't provided with any information about how my speed was measured, at which point he told me that Genesis II was used.

My second problem is that there are posted signs all over the 401 stating, "Slower traffic keep right." The officer in the right lane was the only car in front of me for some distance so I was gauging my speed in the left lane based off of his. So by passing him, I did not feel I was committing any offence. I didn't blow by him or anything, I knew he was a police vehicle so I passed him with caution. I have driven the 401 between Kingston and Toronto 100's of times and feel comfortable in saying that there is no way I was travelling more than 10km/h faster than him (and even that is being generous). So if I were clocked at 135, the officer in the right lane must have been going 125, which is why i feel it's unfair to be given a ticket for going 35 over and that the ticket wasn't at least brought down. I don't actually want to say this for fear of sounding arrogant because the officer is significantly older than I am and will probably bring up that he is actually trained to visually estimate speed and I am not.

I know that this sounds incredibly subjective and a, "you had to be there moment," but can this be a substantial argument in my defence? Is it possible to question the officers speed in a trial and state that by passing him with caution I did not feel I was committing an offence? Furthermore, I plan on contesting the use of his radar and if it was calibrated properly because, again, based on my speedometer, I was not going that fast. Does anyone have experience in the use of Genesis II radar use in moving police vehicles and how accurate they are? Are police officers consistent in calibrating them properly? I apologize for the long winded post I just want to be as elaborate as possible to receive solid advise. This is my first speeding ticket on the 401. I had another speeding conviction back in 2016 for going 80 in a 60.
1) As you identified, the officer didn't have to tell you how he measured you. This point is irrelevant to the case.
2) The speed of the officer is irrelevant. Him being able to visually estimate your speed is irrelevant.

Basically, what matters is that the prosecution proves that you were exceeding the speed limit. That means they have proof of your speed, and they have proof of what the speed limit was where you were tagged. You can attack either of those two points. You can try to attack their calibration and testing procedure, but in order to do that, you'd need to know what the correct procedure is, and you'd have to extract from the officer what they did. And then you'd have to argue how that raises doubt in your speed. Once you get disclosure, you can go from there.

As far as the moving vehicle thing... I'd think it's generally accepted by the JP's doing traffic court that the radar guns are accurate for their purposes. If you're going to argue they're not, you're going to have to provide some sort of expert testimony to discredit the officer's statement that they are accurate. Good luck with that one.

In summary, you might as well have taken the deal the prosecutor offered, unless you want to take your chances in going to court and hoping the officer is a no-show. Because if you go to court as it is now, you'll probably lose.

C
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Mar 23, 2008
9739 posts
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BadDisclosure wrote:
Feb 21st, 2019 5:35 am
TL;DR - I asked for disclosure and for the officer's notes to be typed, and was given two contradictory sets of the officer's typed notes (one prepared by him, one prepared by the crown). The crown says his notes say the officer was traveling South, the officer says his notes say he was traveling North. Is this a silver bullet for my defense? If so, what should my motion be, and when should I present it?

I'm a first timer in court. I'm really nervous about this.

I have a speeding ticket for 28 over the limit in Alberta. My trial is on the 22nd (tomorrow, Friday).

The officer's notes were hard to read, almost non-stop abbreviations and hard to read words, so in disclosure I asked for them to be clarified and abbreviations explained, and for the make and model of the radar unit.

The crown prosecutor sent me typed notes, describing me traveling northbound and the officer traveling southbound (towards each other), at a distance of at 400m from an intersection (plus the distance the officer was from the intersection on his side).

The crown then forwarded my request for the radar model to the officer, who replied, and then the crown forwarded his reply to me. He didn't just give the make and model of the radar, he wrote his interpretation of his notes too. In his notes, he describes his vehicle traveling Northbound (both vehicles Northbound), contrary to what the prosecutor sent me.

Am I likely to succeed in some kind of motion to dismiss the charges based on the crown's typed interpretation of the officer's notes, and the officer's typed interpretation of their own notes giving opposite directions the officer's vehicle was supposedly traveling?

If so, when should I make that motion, and how? What do I say, and what is that called?

Do I approach the crown before the trial and point that out?
Do I make the motion as the case is called but before the crown begins?
Do I wait until cross-examination of the officer?
Do I wait until the crown has rested their case?

Do I have to make a case based on the inconsistency of the two note interpretations and can't (or shouldn't) make a direct motion to dismiss (or stay, or, some other term I don't know of)?

(Or is the judge likely to just roll their eyes and tell me that it's obviously a typo?)

How do I otherwise prepare for the 3 situations all at the same time?:
1 - Officer and I are headed towards each other.
2 - Officer and I are headed in the same direction, Officer is behind me.
3 - Officer and I are headed in the same direction, Officer is ahead of me.

What if the officer claims on the stand one of the situations that didn't happen?

Also, I don't have Alberta case law, but, at 400+ meters (500+ in time for the officer to stop on his side of the intersection), that's 1650 feet away, in-line, (not perpendicular, arrow-straight road) that the officer claims he accurately estimated my speed (within 3%) before activating his Radar. Does anyone know of some literature or scientific studies to demonstrate that this is beyond human ability? (The officer likely had his radar sweeping, beeped some vehicle, then pulled over the next vehicle he saw, then said he "estimated speed at..." prior to engaging the radar). I don't know about Alberta Case law to pull up any limitations like I know they have in other jurisdictions about any distances in excess of 1000 feet requiring expert testimony, nor of any police procedure requiring that he estimate speed before activating radar... so I might have to build that from scratch.

I have some other sundry items to bring up if a motion to dismiss does not work:

1 - The officer wrote the intersection wrong (rd 275 instead of 284, for example), and the scribbled over it with the correct one. He was parked directly next to the sign. Either his vision is bad or his memory is bad.

2 - It was a hot July day, (officer wrote 21'c), at extreme range there would be mirage distortion on the asphalt from the heated air rising.

3 - The sun was somewhat in his eyes if he was traveling Southbound, and there was a round white silo the same distance away (round buildings scatter light in every direction like a disco ball).

I have bits and pieces to support each of these and some cross-examination and dialog prepared, but I think that I should avoid taking the stand, and rely on undermining the crown's case. I don't know how I might be trapped by the crown, who will have 100,000x as much experience as me in twisting a defendant's words. Is that foolish based on what I've said so far?

And I've left it to the last minute do to it being my first time in court and anxiety.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated. Especially with when it is appropriate (or if) to make a motion to dismiss (or whatever it would be called), based on the two bits of disclosure contradicting each other. A silver bullet would be nice.

Thanks in advance
I don't suspect you're likely to get the case to magically disappear just because of a typo. At best, the JP would likely tell the officer and prosecutor to clarify the notes for you so you can properly defend yourself.

AFAIK, the cop doesn't have to accurately estimate your speed to flip their radar on. They just have to catch you going xxx on the radar gun.

As far as your other points go:
1) Irrelevant. The correct road is there. The officer having to correct it is meaningless.
2) 21 degrees isn't "hot". It's room temperature. And you would have to provide some sort of expert evidence that this would be an issue, in order to raise a reasonable doubt in the radar reading.
3) Irrelevant. "Somewhat" in his eyes means nothing, and even if it was, unless it was blinding him enough that he couldn't read the radar gun, it wouldn't matter.

You can try to discredit the officer's testimony, but you really don't seem to have much of a defense. If you want to try to do that, try to get the officer to state on the stand what you want him to say as part of your examination of the prosecutor's evidence, and then tell the JP that you feel the case should be dismissed because of conflicting evidence or lack of evidence.

C
Newbie
Feb 20, 2019
5 posts
AFAIK, the cop doesn't have to accurately estimate your speed to flip their radar on.
In Ontario, I believe you do. This is so they can say that they know the gun is picking up the correct vehicle. I'm not sure to what degree that would form a defense, and I'm not sure in my jurisdiction. If they fail to do this you can argue the radar was picking up the wrong vehicle.
1) Irrelevant. The correct road is there. The officer having to correct it is meaningless.
The circumstances that lead to an officer making those mistakes in his notes, reflects that he has poor vision or poor memory, which casts the rest of his testimony in doubt. I don't know if that will be convincing, even in part.
2) 21 degrees isn't "hot". It's room temperature. And you would have to provide some sort of expert evidence that this would be an issue, in order to raise a reasonable doubt in the radar reading.
The importance is the difference between air temperature and road temperature. 21 degrees air temperature on a sunny day, means that the black asphalt will be significantly hotter, as it absorbs a higher percentage of the solar energy. This creates hotter air, which rises up from the asphalt and mixes with the room temperature air above. Hotter air is less dense than cooler air (which is why it rises), and thus light traveling through it from less dense air, to more dense air, back and forth, creates chaotic diffraction. That's what a mirage is. The greater the distance, the more of this distortion you're looking through.

I think, at the extreme ranges (1600 feet), it would be difficult to even tell if the vehicle is moving, let alone to accurately gauge its speed.

The distance itself is also an issue because the vehicle that the radar picked up may have pulled off the road before mine arrived, and it's so far away that the officer might not be able to see that.

I don't know if heat distortion affects radar so I won't be arguing that.
3) Irrelevant. "Somewhat" in his eyes means nothing, and even if it was, unless it was blinding him enough that he couldn't read the radar gun, it wouldn't matter.
If the officer misread the sign he was immediately next to because the sun was in his eyes, then he may have also misread the radar he was next to.

But more importantly, if the sun was in his eyes it adds even more difficulty in the confidence that his radar picked up the correct vehicle by the time my vehicle approached.
I don't suspect you're likely to get the case to magically disappear just because of a typo.
It's not an irrelevant typo.

In order for me to make a full and proper defense and be able to gather evidence, I have to know what the officer is claiming the situation is.

If the officer was behind me and detected me speeding, then I have to take photos of the road behind the incident, prepare a defense of where the officer was, where he was coming from, where he was headed, and why he was speeding (else he would never have caught up to me if I was speeding).

If the officer was ahead of me and detected me speeding, then I have to take photos of the road ahead of the incident, prepare a defense of what was visible to the officer in that area, and if it's possible for the radar to pick up the wrong vehicle.

That's a fundamental aspect of being able to prepare my defense, I argue. It's not a typo like minor issues would be, and I specifically had trouble reading the notes and asked them to be clarified.

Whether that would succeed or not, I'm not sure. Thank you for your criticism though.
, and then tell the JP that you feel the case should be dismissed because of conflicting evidence or lack of evidence.
Is that the appropriate motion then? "Your honor at this time I would like to move for dismissal", "On what grounds?", "Conflicting evidence, the officer states he was traveling south but in his typed notes he says he was traveling north."?

Is there a more precise term, or, is "conflicting evidence" the correct term?
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 23, 2008
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BadDisclosure wrote:
Feb 21st, 2019 3:42 pm
In Ontario, I believe you do. This is so they can say that they know the gun is picking up the correct vehicle. I'm not sure to what degree that would form a defense, and I'm not sure in my jurisdiction. If they fail to do this you can argue the radar was picking up the wrong vehicle.



The circumstances that lead to an officer making those mistakes in his notes, reflects that he has poor vision or poor memory, which casts the rest of his testimony in doubt. I don't know if that will be convincing, even in part.



The importance is the difference between air temperature and road temperature. 21 degrees air temperature on a sunny day, means that the black asphalt will be significantly hotter, as it absorbs a higher percentage of the solar energy. This creates hotter air, which rises up from the asphalt and mixes with the room temperature air above. Hotter air is less dense than cooler air (which is why it rises), and thus light traveling through it from less dense air, to more dense air, back and forth, creates chaotic diffraction. That's what a mirage is. The greater the distance, the more of this distortion you're looking through.

I think, at the extreme ranges (1600 feet), it would be difficult to even tell if the vehicle is moving, let alone to accurately gauge its speed.

The distance itself is also an issue because the vehicle that the radar picked up may have pulled off the road before mine arrived, and it's so far away that the officer might not be able to see that.

I don't know if heat distortion affects radar so I won't be arguing that.



If the officer misread the sign he was immediately next to because the sun was in his eyes, then he may have also misread the radar he was next to.

But more importantly, if the sun was in his eyes it adds even more difficulty in the confidence that his radar picked up the correct vehicle by the time my vehicle approached.



It's not an irrelevant typo.

In order for me to make a full and proper defense and be able to gather evidence, I have to know what the officer is claiming the situation is.

If the officer was behind me and detected me speeding, then I have to take photos of the road behind the incident, prepare a defense of where the officer was, where he was coming from, where he was headed, and why he was speeding (else he would never have caught up to me if I was speeding).

If the officer was ahead of me and detected me speeding, then I have to take photos of the road ahead of the incident, prepare a defense of what was visible to the officer in that area, and if it's possible for the radar to pick up the wrong vehicle.

That's a fundamental aspect of being able to prepare my defense, I argue. It's not a typo like minor issues would be, and I specifically had trouble reading the notes and asked them to be clarified.

Whether that would succeed or not, I'm not sure. Thank you for your criticism though.



Is that the appropriate motion then? "Your honor at this time I would like to move for dismissal", "On what grounds?", "Conflicting evidence, the officer states he was traveling south but in his typed notes he says he was traveling north."?

Is there a more precise term, or, is "conflicting evidence" the correct term?
You don't have to convince me or anyone in here about your innocence. You have to convince a JP. And if you can throw enough mud, you might raise some doubt, which is what you want.

As far as Ontario requiring speed estimates, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore, and hasn't been for awhile. JSHerk is one of the frequent posters in there, and they have a reply a few down from the top.
https://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.co ... t7299.html

You can take a look at this trial transcript (from Ontario) to get an idea of how a motion to dismiss was handled. Frankly, I think the JP would cut you slack if you're representing yourself; if you don't know the exact phrase and procedure.
http://maverickslegalservices.ca/pdfs/R ... _Trial.pdf

In particular, read how it wasn't enough to just say "Didn't test properly" (in that case) and they also argued WHY that was relevant. The prosecutor is going to argue why it should be disregarded, and they're trained professionals. So be on your toes.

C
Newbie
Feb 20, 2019
1 posts
Hey Everyone,

Have a court date next week for 4 tickets:

  • Speeding (72 in a 50)
  • Failure to Produce Insurance Card - (only had expired insurance slips on me, it recently expired when I was pulled over)
  • No sticker validation on permit card (that little white sticker that comes with the plate sticker) - (I didn't realize we had to do this at the time)
  • Failure to Produce Valid License (renewed my license literally the day before and only had the temporary license paper, without the valid drivers license photo to go with it)

I have never been in traffic court before and am wondering what to expect, and how I can manage to get reduced, or withdrawn charges for any of these tickets. Will I have this opportunity on the day of the trial?

Notes:
  • I have not had any previous traffic offences prior to this and have been driving for 6 years.
  • I did not request disclosure for the officers notes so it's pretty much too late for that.
  • Time of offence was June 2018
  • I have pretty much all paper work/evidence to provide for the 3 charges other than speeding. What I don't have is the drivers license card that has the 'Valid Photo Only' sticker on it, and the first missing white sticker that would go on the back of my permit.
Please let me know!! Thank you!
Newbie
Feb 20, 2019
2 posts
Hello,

I recieved multiple tickets back in early May 2018. One for doing 107 in a 80 zone and another for a "entire plate not plainly visible" as my plate was bent ( the numbers and "Ontario" are still visible but I bent the plate and tucked it under the grille in the "yours to discover" area as i assumed it had the same affect as those dealer plates.... I never got trouble for it even after several officers clearly saw it at red lights until that day). This is my first time ever that I got pulled over and was my first (and second) ticket. The officer told me to take it to court (after seeing how visibly nervous i got) and they will likely reduce the speeding ticket and throw out the bent plate ticket as long as i provide proof that I unbent the plate.

I applied for trial and got my trial notice in the mail sometime in August 2018. I requested disclosure (using the form york region provides with your offence notice) via email as they stated that I can email the disclosure request in. This was back on Dec. 29 2018 ( certain life events happened that summer and I kinda forgot about the ticket until December). on the instructions part they state it can take up to six weeks for them to process it. its been well beyond those six weeks now and with my trial date on March 27th time is running out. They state that they will call but I have yet to recieve any calls. I was on vacation a few weeks back and my phone was on a different sim for that time but I do believe my carrier keeps track of missed calls when the phone is not on and sends a text so I probably would have been notified (Im not sure if it works if your sim is removed). But anyways, Should I be calling the office tommorow morning to ask if its ready or will that come off as annoying to the court? Sorry this is the first time Ive ever gone to court of any kind let alone get a moving violation.

Also theres low chance I will find anything to form a proper defence from the disclosure but I applied for it anyways because I hear the prosecutor doesn't really give you their best offer before court starts if you show up like you dont really have a defence lined up or anything. I've heard you gotta atleast pretend like you have a defence prepared. Can I still refuse their offer and then plead guilty with an explanation in front of the judge in hopes that i get a better deal? And do they give everyone a deal/plea bargain before the court starts or do you have to ask for it? I deeply regret what I did that day and am hoping the judge might be a bit forgiving and give me a bit of a break ( I dont expect the ticket to get thrown out because that seems impossible if you plead guilty but a significantly lesser charge/less serious offence would be nice)


All I expect right now is for the plate ticket to be dropped and the speeding one to be reduced so it doesn't look as bad on my record . I have a clean record otherwise with my insurance company ( claims and accidents/tickets wise) so I do not think one ticket will affect me much especially since its a bigger company that I already pay quite a bit for. I'm usually very careful when it comes to speeding and do not drive any faster than the flow of traffic but in this case It was on an empty two lane road in the middle of nowhere with no traffic (except for the officer in the unmarked cruiser approaching me coming the other way that I didnt really notice until the last second was actually a police car instead of a normal Taurus). I regret my actions deeply. I am really nervous about this situation (being the first time and all) and was wondering if I can get some advice on what to expect and how to get the best possible outcome with a guilty/guilty with an explanation plea?? I'd love to get it thrown out but it doesnt seem like i have anything that could be used as worthy evidence just yet.

Im not going to bother with a paralegal because Ive heard most of them count getting the fine reduced (which could be as simple as taking the prosecutors first "plead guilty to a lesser charge" offer) while charging more than what the ticket is. I will likely be going myself but dont want to say something that can be used against me or make the court take advantage of me and refuse to lower the fine at all.


Thanks in advance.
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 23, 2008
9739 posts
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Edmonton
MaxPar wrote:
Feb 21st, 2019 10:43 pm
Hey Everyone,

Have a court date next week for 4 tickets:

  • Speeding (72 in a 50)
  • Failure to Produce Insurance Card - (only had expired insurance slips on me, it recently expired when I was pulled over)
  • No sticker validation on permit card (that little white sticker that comes with the plate sticker) - (I didn't realize we had to do this at the time)
  • Failure to Produce Valid License (renewed my license literally the day before and only had the temporary license paper, without the valid drivers license photo to go with it)

I have never been in traffic court before and am wondering what to expect, and how I can manage to get reduced, or withdrawn charges for any of these tickets. Will I have this opportunity on the day of the trial?

Notes:
  • I have not had any previous traffic offences prior to this and have been driving for 6 years.
  • I did not request disclosure for the officers notes so it's pretty much too late for that.
  • Time of offence was June 2018
  • I have pretty much all paper work/evidence to provide for the 3 charges other than speeding. What I don't have is the drivers license card that has the 'Valid Photo Only' sticker on it, and the first missing white sticker that would go on the back of my permit.
Please let me know!! Thank you!
You should be able to do some negotiating down, especially with the paperwork to back up your statements. But you may negotiate those other charges away only by paying full price on the speeding ticket. You are guilty of the other charges (based on what you've said) even if you've taken care of them or had valid documents at the time. It's "fail to PRODUCE", not "Fail to have".

Good luck! If you want to negotiate pre-trial but still don't feel you're getting a good deal, you can probably get an adjournment based on requesting disclosure at the time of the trial. That won't count in your favor in terms of getting a stay based on too long till trial, since it's at your request.

C
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
9739 posts
6129 upvotes
Edmonton
asyed1 wrote:
Feb 21st, 2019 11:32 pm
Hello,

I recieved multiple tickets back in early May 2018. One for doing 107 in a 80 zone and another for a "entire plate not plainly visible" as my plate was bent ( the numbers and "Ontario" are still visible but I bent the plate and tucked it under the grille in the "yours to discover" area as i assumed it had the same affect as those dealer plates.... I never got trouble for it even after several officers clearly saw it at red lights until that day). This is my first time ever that I got pulled over and was my first (and second) ticket. The officer told me to take it to court (after seeing how visibly nervous i got) and they will likely reduce the speeding ticket and throw out the bent plate ticket as long as i provide proof that I unbent the plate.

I applied for trial and got my trial notice in the mail sometime in August 2018. I requested disclosure (using the form york region provides with your offence notice) via email as they stated that I can email the disclosure request in. This was back on Dec. 29 2018 ( certain life events happened that summer and I kinda forgot about the ticket until December). on the instructions part they state it can take up to six weeks for them to process it. its been well beyond those six weeks now and with my trial date on March 27th time is running out. They state that they will call but I have yet to recieve any calls. I was on vacation a few weeks back and my phone was on a different sim for that time but I do believe my carrier keeps track of missed calls when the phone is not on and sends a text so I probably would have been notified (Im not sure if it works if your sim is removed). But anyways, Should I be calling the office tommorow morning to ask if its ready or will that come off as annoying to the court? Sorry this is the first time Ive ever gone to court of any kind let alone get a moving violation.

Also theres low chance I will find anything to form a proper defence from the disclosure but I applied for it anyways because I hear the prosecutor doesn't really give you their best offer before court starts if you show up like you dont really have a defence lined up or anything. I've heard you gotta atleast pretend like you have a defence prepared. Can I still refuse their offer and then plead guilty with an explanation in front of the judge in hopes that i get a better deal? And do they give everyone a deal/plea bargain before the court starts or do you have to ask for it? I deeply regret what I did that day and am hoping the judge might be a bit forgiving and give me a bit of a break ( I dont expect the ticket to get thrown out because that seems impossible if you plead guilty but a significantly lesser charge/less serious offence would be nice)


All I expect right now is for the plate ticket to be dropped and the speeding one to be reduced so it doesn't look as bad on my record . I have a clean record otherwise with my insurance company ( claims and accidents/tickets wise) so I do not think one ticket will affect me much especially since its a bigger company that I already pay quite a bit for. I'm usually very careful when it comes to speeding and do not drive any faster than the flow of traffic but in this case It was on an empty two lane road in the middle of nowhere with no traffic (except for the officer in the unmarked cruiser approaching me coming the other way that I didnt really notice until the last second was actually a police car instead of a normal Taurus). I regret my actions deeply. I am really nervous about this situation (being the first time and all) and was wondering if I can get some advice on what to expect and how to get the best possible outcome with a guilty/guilty with an explanation plea?? I'd love to get it thrown out but it doesnt seem like i have anything that could be used as worthy evidence just yet.

Im not going to bother with a paralegal because Ive heard most of them count getting the fine reduced (which could be as simple as taking the prosecutors first "plead guilty to a lesser charge" offer) while charging more than what the ticket is. I will likely be going myself but dont want to say something that can be used against me or make the court take advantage of me and refuse to lower the fine at all.


Thanks in advance.
You can call and follow up on your disclosure request without being a pain. That's a right of yours to have disclosure so you can prepare a defense. Now, if you called every day, that might be a different story...

If you don't like the prosecution's offer (which you will need to request, as they're not required to offer you anything), I don't think pleading guilty "with an explanation" is a good idea. At that point, you're admitting to guilt on the speeding charge, and there's really no explanation that's going to get you any kind of break. Especially when the prosecutor pipes up and says "Your honor, we offered xxx already, and he turned that down". If you want to fight it, fight it. If you want to take a break, take the prosecutor's best deal. That's what you would be pleading guilty to. If you plead guilty to the original charge with an explanation, you're not really helping yourself. The "plead guilty with explanation" is more suited for asking for extended payment terms due to financial hardships or such.

See if you can get it dropped down to 15 over, and get the "bent plate" portion tossed (after you show that you've taken care of the issue).

C
Newbie
Aug 9, 2014
26 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I got a speeding ticket for driving 75 on a limit of 60 for $120 in Edmonton Alberta, I think I was unfairly ticketed, I turned right from a complete stop at a traffic signal, The distance from the traffic signal to the location where the officer was positioned is 1.1 km. The road was flanked by huge ice banks due to the snow. Upon stopping the Officer informed me that she had located me on the Radar at a distance of 470 meters, in which case I who was driving a ford F-150 needed to accelerate from stop to 75 Km/hr (my reported speed) in a distance of 630 meters of icy road at a temp of -16. I have never had a ticket before and feel I have been unfairly ticketed. Is it a good Idea to fight the ticket. Another problem I have is that I am supposed to be moving out of Edmonton to Ontario in the next couple of months, in which case how would I fight the ticket, will I have to come to Edmonton every time.
Thanks In advance.
Newbie
Feb 20, 2019
5 posts
Update:

TL;DR - I lost. But I think it was shady. I don't regret trying, it forced me to learn a lot.

Many things the judge told me procedure-wise were completely different than what my research showed. So, maybe I was being bullied by an ignorant judge, or maybe I misunderstood things, or maybe Alberta is significantly different than other jurisdictions where I was doing my research.


Lots of interesting tidbits:

- I waited about 3 hours for all the other quick cases/guilty pleas to process. This court room was so small, it was also the first appearance, there wasn't a separate first appearance, you go into the actual courtroom.

- You know when you meet a person and you know instantly you'll get nowhere with them? That was this judge. Talked down to everyone from paralegals to the crown. Had an almost permanent snear on her face. Just a mean-spirited person in general.

- I seemed to be the only traffic case for trial that day, the courtroom became empty except for me and 12 officers (for the next case perhaps?).

- The very first thing that happened, the judge explained to me the basics of the trial. Then told me that I had to disclose all evidence, up front, to both the crown and the police officer witness, before the trial started, or no evidence would allowed afterwards. I asked for forgiveness for my ignorance, but I was under the impression I could present evidence as I chose, throughout the trial, and the crown could choose to accept it on a case-by-case basis. I tried rephrasing this 2 or 3 times but the judge flat out told me to share all of my evidence with the crown immediately before I even entered a plea, or she would reject it.

- I said that it was critical to my defense that I be allowed to present evidence later, and was told no. "This isn't TV, we don't do ambushes here. Disclosure is a 2-way street. They showed you their evidence, you must show them yours."

- The judge also glared at the prosecution after asking me if I rejected the crown's resolution, and I said none was offered. The crown said "He didn't seem interested." I said "I walked in, handed her my paper, she asked if it was for trial, I said yes, she told me to sit down. That's it."

- The judge said we'd take a break for me to share all my evidence with the crown and decide if I wanted their resolution.

- The crown invited the officer over. I asked if the officer could be removed from the courtroom, because items of my defense were specifically about his ability to measure things and I have pairs of photographs, one of which is the test and the other proves the answer. The crown said I was trying to entrap the officer. I said no, but it is critical to my defense to be able to get him to make estimations of the road in question, (I.e. what distances look like from his perspective), and then be able to introduce that top-down views with scale on them to measure the real distance.

- I had photographs of a car on the road at a certain distance, and was planning on asking the officer to identify it as best as possible (it was tiny, as my claim is that it's deceptively far away). Then I have a zoomed in glory shot of the vehicle so I can demonstrate whether the officer was correct or not. Things like that. He got to see all of them, so I was like... well... there goes my defense.

- The crown never offered any resolution. I didn't ask but, the judge had specifically berated them for not doing it before the break, and they still didn't :P

- The crown presented their case.

- In cross-examination, I first moved for dismissal based on improper disclosure and my right to prepare a full defense. I highlighted how the officer's notes described the opposite situation (head-on vs. both same direction), and that it's critical to the defense of a speeding ticket to examine the area where the officer supposedly was so I could gather evidence and make a defense. I was told she would rule on it later. I asked for her to rule on it before we proceeded. She said no. It went back and forth a bit and then she just said she's ruling against me. She said the time to point out inconsistencies was now, in cross-examination. I tried 3 times to make the point that, it's not about inconsistencies, it's that I am entirely unprepared for the trial since I was given false disclosure. I was shut down, I don't know if they understood the difference or were just being stubborn.

- When I finally asked the officer about it, he said it was an autocorrect mistake that he later corrected and sent in his corrected notes. The crown says they sent me those corrections 3 days ago. I said I never got the email. The judge asked the crown to prove it, and for me to look at her computer and verify. The crown could only provide that some other clerk had told them that they'd sent the email to me. They tried to make it seem like that was proof it was sent. I had to stress that no, that was forwarded conversation between the two of them where one says they forwarded the email from the office to me, but my email address does not appear in there, and the other person obviously forgot to do it. The crown said that other clerk wasn't there and they didn't have access to their email.

- I moved for dismissal again, based on more conclusively false disclosure, and the judge didn't specifically rule on it, she said she'd think about it and told me to move on.

- The officer admitted that what he said was 400m could have been as far as 500m, but not as far as 550m.

- The officer said he didn't need to accurately estimate distance, as he has patrolled those roads for two decades and is very familiar with all the features on them. This was, bizarrely his defense for why he wrote down the wrong road number (20 miles to the south that doesn't intersect this road). He's so familiar with these roads, he doesn't make mistakes, and that's why he made this mistake... or something.

- The officer admitted he made a determination on speed, activated radar, confirmed speed, locked speed, turned on flashers, slowed down from 80km/h and stopped, within at most 10 seconds. (In closing I claim this is too short an amount of time to notice the size of a vehicle siloutte at that range changing size).

- The judge didn't like my line of questioning, I tried to be specific about specific elements required in determining speed from an oncoming vehicle, and the judge said I was repeating myself. I said I was not, I was breaking down separate items, and she just barked at me to move on.

- The officer at one point, being questioned about time, (I was asking about 5 factors for identifying speed of an incoming vehicle, one-by-one, and being able to accurately estimate time being critical for estimating speed). He said in his opinion that estimating time is not relevant to estimating speed. (In closing, I argued that the definition of speed is literally distance over time, and if the officer thinks time is not a component, then it is impossible for him to estimate speed).

- I made a point that, I was skipping most of the short defense I'd prepared, (my actual defense being of the opposite situation as disclosed), because the officer had already seen the answers. The judge berated me a bit and said that wasn't true, we don't entrap people, and I could just ask. So I used the analogy of showing the officer a photo of a billboard at a certain distance, and asking him what it said. And if he read it incorrectly, then I show a zoomed in photo and asked if her could read that, I could use that to demonstrate the limits of vision. But if the officer gets to see both photos, he's already seen the answer and will pass the test every time. That or I have no ability to prove what it really says because I can't bring it up. That if I can't keep the answers secret until after I've asked the questions, I cannot think of a way to demonstrate the limits of the officer's vision in the area he needed to have vision.

- I abandoned most of my cross-examination. Through the whole 45 minutes of this, even though I was needling the officer and frustrating everyone in the court room, the officer was the only one who remained civil and didn't talk down to me, despite the fact that I'm right there basically trying to demonstrate he's of limited competence. Old guy, nice guy. The crown rested their case.

- I was asked if I wanted to take the stand. I said no. The judge asked if I was sure. The crown hinted that that would be the time for me to present the photos I showed earlier of the terrain (I wasn't sure if kindness or baiting). I said I didn't want to choose to take the stand at this time. Judge said "Okay, then we're moving to closing statements." I asked for a clarification of procedure, as I was under the impression that I am able to present evidence, and argue it, without taking the stand. I was told by the judge that no, you can only introduce evidence to a witness. I said I thought there was an opportunity to provide statements where you can introduce new evidence and arguments, and then closing statements would follow that and be where you cannot introduce new evidence. The judge said no, if I don't want to take the stand then all there is is legal statements, no evidence can be submitted. That if I didn't want to take the stand, I should have found a way to use the evidence I had with the officer on the stand, ask him about it, and make the case for it. At that point it was too late to call him back I presume.

- The judge emphasized that she'd confirmed that I wanted to represent myself and not take council, nor take a resolution, and said this is why. She sarcastically said the government has documents on how to proceed in traffic court and I said I read them, the don't contradict my actions and this was all a surprise to me that it was proceeding the way it was.

- Crown made closing statements.

- I asked for some time to prepare closing statements. The judge said we don't do that. It's unusual. Asked why I wasn't ready. I said this whole exercise was me winging it, having prepared a defense for the opposite circumstances, and being deprived of almost all of my evidence, so I needed to go through what the officer said to highligh my closing arguments. The judge told me fine, 5 minutes, slammed something and walked out.

- After the recess while waiting for the judge to return, the court clerk was jovial with me, I had no false hope that it would go well no matter what I said. I took the time to appologize to the officers waiting in the room and the crown too, for probably wasting everyone's time. They all shrugged it off and were good humored.

- I made closing statements emphasizing the lack of disclosure and being deprived of my Section 7 rights of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for a full disclosure. I think I asked for a ruling on it, but she refused to rule. I argued the human impossibility of quickly determining speed, and the visual limits, at extreme ranges. I emphasized the officer's claim that time is not a component of speed. I argued that the officer admitted to having 25% unreliability in range, and thus speed, and that was the magnitude by which he thinks the vehicle was speeding, so he could not have visually identified the correct vehichle that was speeding. I argued that he overestimates his abilities, excessively beyond human ability in multiple fronts, as evidenced by his errors. I argued that there were a variety of turn-offs that speeding vehicles he detected could have left the road without being visible to him.

- I did not argue the mirage angle, the sunlight, or most of the other things because the crown said it was all heresay and I needed a meterologist, not a scientific website that tells you sun angles from time of day and date. Also I was just burnt out from talking to a wall. The judge kept telling me to move on, saying she'd noted that I was making a point about X, but, in a manner that said "You won't convince me, stop trying" when I was being specific and thorough, not "You have succeed in this point, move on" like her language seemed she was trying to convince me of.

- Judge was very much not thrilled with me and decided against me. Fine in full, no time to pay.

- The crown and the clerk chatted with me and told me some of what I did wrong afterwards. Told me it was foolish to not take the stand. I said things were going to poorly when I was in control, that she'd clearly have picked me apart regardless of how sure I was of things in cross, so, at least if I stayed off the stand I had hope. She somewhat agreed.

- Some officers said it was good to hear people challenge cops once in a while, if for nothing else than to hear their reasoning and to improve their own skills. I have a feeling that the cops felt I made some strong points and their guy might have been in trouble with a different judge. There were some murmerings on a few of my closing arguments. Also, most of them were getting double-time, so some commented on how they could afford pizza tonight because of me :P. Took about 1.5-2 hours on my case alone.

Anyway, that's what happened.

I guess I am curious whether I was so wrong about things I'd read specifically about (like not having to take the stand but still able to introduce evidence, and not having to disclose your whole evidence bundle at the start).
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
9739 posts
6129 upvotes
Edmonton
sanjlika wrote:
Feb 22nd, 2019 6:38 pm
I got a speeding ticket for driving 75 on a limit of 60 for $120 in Edmonton Alberta, I think I was unfairly ticketed, I turned right from a complete stop at a traffic signal, The distance from the traffic signal to the location where the officer was positioned is 1.1 km. The road was flanked by huge ice banks due to the snow. Upon stopping the Officer informed me that she had located me on the Radar at a distance of 470 meters, in which case I who was driving a ford F-150 needed to accelerate from stop to 75 Km/hr (my reported speed) in a distance of 630 meters of icy road at a temp of -16. I have never had a ticket before and feel I have been unfairly ticketed. Is it a good Idea to fight the ticket. Another problem I have is that I am supposed to be moving out of Edmonton to Ontario in the next couple of months, in which case how would I fight the ticket, will I have to come to Edmonton every time.
Thanks In advance.
You’re not going to win if you go in there and argue that you feel you got a ticket unfairly. You need to address facts and look to introduce doubt into the officer’s testimony. Get your disclosure and go from there.

As far as you moving, too bad, so sad. You can hire someone to fight it for you, but it will probably cost you more than your fine, and they’ll probably just get a reduction anyway.

FWIW, I was driving in an ass-like manner the other day on our wonderful Edmonton streets, and even without trying too hard had my Highlander from zero to 60 km/h (based on the fun radar signs the city has put up) in a short city block, which is what, a hundred feet or so? You could easily get your truck up to 75 in 500m (~1500 ft), IMHO. Here’s the back of a napkin math for your calculation, btw... For a 0-100 km/h time of 9.3 seconds (which is about what your truck could do with good roads, I’d estimate), it would take about 120m to get to that speed. So even under poorer road conditions, 600m should be plenty of room to get up to ticketing speed.
http://answers.google.com/answers/threa ... 61449.html

C
Newbie
Feb 19, 2019
2 posts
CNeufeld wrote:
Feb 21st, 2019 2:05 pm
1) As you identified, the officer didn't have to tell you how he measured you. This point is irrelevant to the case.
2) The speed of the officer is irrelevant. Him being able to visually estimate your speed is irrelevant.

Basically, what matters is that the prosecution proves that you were exceeding the speed limit. That means they have proof of your speed, and they have proof of what the speed limit was where you were tagged. You can attack either of those two points. You can try to attack their calibration and testing procedure, but in order to do that, you'd need to know what the correct procedure is, and you'd have to extract from the officer what they did. And then you'd have to argue how that raises doubt in your speed. Once you get disclosure, you can go from there.

As far as the moving vehicle thing... I'd think it's generally accepted by the JP's doing traffic court that the radar guns are accurate for their purposes. If you're going to argue they're not, you're going to have to provide some sort of expert testimony to discredit the officer's statement that they are accurate. Good luck with that one.

In summary, you might as well have taken the deal the prosecutor offered, unless you want to take your chances in going to court and hoping the officer is a no-show. Because if you go to court as it is now, you'll probably lose.

C
Is it possible to accept the plea deal once I receive disclosure and do not feel I can come up with a sufficient defence to have the charge dropped? Or since I pleaded not guilty at the early resolution meeting with the prosecutor and requested disclosure and trial, is it all or nothing at this point - ie charges dropped vs. being convicted for speeding at 135? Sorry if this is a novice question, this is my first time going to court for a traffic violation.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
9739 posts
6129 upvotes
Edmonton
RobB84045 wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2019 1:35 am
Is it possible to accept the plea deal once I receive disclosure and do not feel I can come up with a sufficient defence to have the charge dropped? Or since I pleaded not guilty at the early resolution meeting with the prosecutor and requested disclosure and trial, is it all or nothing at this point - ie charges dropped vs. being convicted for speeding at 135? Sorry if this is a novice question, this is my first time going to court for a traffic violation.
You didn’t “plead not guilty” at the pre-trial meeting. You turned down a deal. Not at all the same.

Having said that, it’s up to the prosecutor whether they want to offer you another deal at the time of the trial. There’s no law saying they have to offer you any kind of deal anytime. So you’ll have to ask on the morning of your trial.

C
Newbie
Feb 22, 2019
1 posts
Got pulled over for a distracted driving ticket. Was talking to my girlfriend on the phone who had called upset. I usually never talk on the phone and drive, but I was in the mall parking lot.

Anyways long story short I got pulled over and I told the officer that I was trying to get my blue tooth to work (stupid of me to lie) and he called me on it. I never admitted to talking on my phone but he issued me a ticket.

I do want to go fight it to try and reduce the fees and the demerits, but I don’t even know if I have a chance of not. I also have an app on my phone now that is for distracted driving so this never happens again.

I’ve had one speeding ticket 7 years ago.

Thoughts on if I can reduce the demerits or some of the money?

Thanks
Newbie
Aug 9, 2014
26 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto, ON
CNeufeld wrote:
Feb 22nd, 2019 11:01 pm
You’re not going to win if you go in there and argue that you feel you got a ticket unfairly. You need to address facts and look to introduce doubt into the officer’s testimony. Get your disclosure and go from there.

As far as you moving, too bad, so sad. You can hire someone to fight it for you, but it will probably cost you more than your fine, and they’ll probably just get a reduction anyway.

FWIW, I was driving in an ass-like manner the other day on our wonderful Edmonton streets, and even without trying too hard had my Highlander from zero to 60 km/h (based on the fun radar signs the city has put up) in a short city block, which is what, a hundred feet or so? You could easily get your truck up to 75 in 500m (~1500 ft), IMHO. Here’s the back of a napkin math for your calculation, btw... For a 0-100 km/h time of 9.3 seconds (which is about what your truck could do with good roads, I’d estimate), it would take about 120m to get to that speed. So even under poorer road conditions, 600m should be plenty of room to get up to ticketing speed.
http://answers.google.com/answers/threa ... 61449.html

C
Thanks for the sound opinion, i think i should just forget about it and pay the fine, I have been very upset though not because of the fine but because of the demerits in my impeccable driving record.
Does anyone have an opinion on "ROOCO" app for paying the fine, they quoted me a discount of 10% on the fine and also no service charges.

Thanks Again.

sanj

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