What happens if you actually have to proceed to trial and fight for a not-guilty verdict? How does one prepare to battle it out in court when receiving a traffic ticket?
You will have months and months and months to prepare a defense, And as I've already mentioned many many times already, the first thing you should do as soon as you receive notice of trial is to request disclosure of the evidence against you. And if you happen to get sufficient disclosure, doesn't mean you should give up and accept a plea.
When you receive a traffic ticket, you should make notes to remind yourself of what happened that day. Before committing the illegal act, did you at least attempt to do something prior to being pulled over to avoid having the incident occur? If the answer is Yes, then it may not be as hard to prove your case as you may think.
Most traffic offences fall under a "STRICT LIABILITY" offence (like most provincial offences). With a strict liability offence, the Justice will hand you a NOT GUILTY verdict if you are successful in arguing due diligence. To argue due diligence, you must show that you took all reasonable care to avoid committing the offence.
[QUOTE]Strict Liability Offences
Strict liability offences do not require the prosecutor to prove you had a particular state of mind, only that you committed the illegal act. But your defence allows you to prove that you took reasonable care not to commit the illegal act. The problem was that you made a reasonable mistake of fact which if it had been true would make you innocent. In other words you took reasonable steps to avoid a particular outcome, you exercised due diligence and although you were wrong, you are morally innocent.
This is the defence of due diligence and it is one of the most potent weapons in your arsenal.
To argue due diligence, you must show that you took all reasonable care to avoid committing the offence. It is not enough to say that you are normally a diligent person or that you take care generally. You must show that you took all reasonable steps to avoid that specific incident.
Here are some examples of weak arguments where the defendants did not demonstrate that they did enough to avoid committing the offence: