Automotive

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

Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2003
1879 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
KatieF404 wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2014 1:48 am
hi everyone, i have a court date tomorrow at 10am (i know this is last minute) but I plan to plead not guilty as I've read this is my best bet... My only questions are:
1) If I ask the prosecutor whether their witness (the cop) is present or is planning on showing up, if they tell me the cop is not coming, and I plead not guilty, what if the cop does show up? Can I change my plea because the prosecutor was wrong?
2) What if the prosecutor refuses to tell me whether the cop is showing up (as I've read this has happened before)? Can I demand that they tell me?
3) If the cop does show up, should I try and plea-bargain? I know that demerit points don't matter when it comes to insurance, only a conviction does... but I really have no way to fight the cop as I did not ask for disclosure and I was speeding 18km over the speed limit. So should I just plea-bargain so I'll at least have a reduced ticket/less demerit points?

Thanks so much, I'm only 21 I have no idea how court works and I'm pretty nervous.
It seems as if those volunteering to assist in this thread have gone AWOL.

I don't know much, but I have experienced court enough to answer your questions.

When you go to court, you will need to check in with the prosecutor.

They will try to make you plea guilty to a lesser fine from the get go. If you plan to try your luck at the officer not showing, you will need to say that you are pleading not guilty. Do not answer any questions the prosecutor asks you, and stay firm. The prosecutor can not tell you if your officer is not there, because the officer still has time to sign in up until you are called up for your trial.

The prosecutor will first call up everyone who is pleading guilty, so they can go home first. Afterwards, the prosecutor will call up those where the officer is not present. If your officer is there, you will be called up for trial. At this point, you can ask the prosecutor during recess if your officer is present. If he/she is, you can ask if you can change your plea and take a deal. In most scenarios, the prosecutor would accommodate to you. There will always be a chance you get a crabby prosecutor, who will not reduce the charge at this point.

It's nerve wracking, I know. I have another court date tomorrow morning, too.

Good luck to you.
Newbie
Dec 24, 2007
11 posts
Toronto
My fellow Reindeer just had a few calls with some different ticket fighting shops. Basically, they all seem to have a fee that they charge for helping you accept a guilty plea. They don't seem to want to even investigate the not guilty option.

So, what's the difference between going yourself, and accepting a guilty plea with a reduced fine, vs. hiring one of these shops, who'll make you pay their fee on top of the reduced fine?
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2003
1879 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
Day 2 in court for a separate infraction.

The Justice was more calm, and easy going.

My Stay Application was received and was with the prosecutor when I went to check in.

When it was my turn, the prosecution had stated I filed my application improperly because I had not served the Court. The Justice gave me an opportunity to do so immediately, so my trial was held until the end.

The clerk at customer service was puzzled as to why I was asked to have them stamp it so they could walk it in to Court. It was done anyway.

My motion for a stay was denied, because I had submitted my disclosure request 4 weeks before trial, when the general timeframe is 6 to 8 weeks for disclosure to be processed. The Justice also stated that the infraction was just a parking ticket and implied the infraction was not serious enough to grant a stay.

I was denied my request to adjourn my trial as well, and was told to talk to the parking officer to see his notes during recess and prepare for trail.

I tried to argue for an adjournment, but the prosecutor objected. I opted to plead guilty at that point since I did not have a defense prepared.

Luckily I was given the resources charge of $15.

On top of everything, someone stole my CamelBak water bottle from the court room when I was up for my trial. The only people left in the pews were 2 parking officers and a spectator who was a paralegal watching for entertainment. It wasn't the paralegal, because he approached me after my trial to give me a "well done, nice try."

Now I have to pay for my reduced fine and go to my local bike shop and pick up another water bottle for my bike.

Not a great day, but I value getting the experience before the court. I have a few more tickets coming up this year.
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2003
1879 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
wisemanleo wrote:
Jun 3rd, 2014 12:14 pm
So, what's the difference between going yourself, and accepting a guilty plea with a reduced fine, vs. hiring one of these shops, who'll make you pay their fee on top of the reduced fine?
The difference is you paying for the convenience of someone else going for you to do the dirty work. You would have to consider the value if the Court is far from you, and/or if you have to take time off work to attend Court.
Newbie
Dec 24, 2007
11 posts
Toronto
MadCow wrote:
Jun 3rd, 2014 1:19 pm
The difference is you paying for the convenience of someone else going for you to do the dirty work. You would have to consider the value if the Court is far from you, and/or if you have to take time off work to attend Court.
Thanks MadCow. During first appearance, my friend Reindeer understands that one can reserve a plea. Can this be done in any circumstance, and what is the proper way to phrase the request to reserve a plea?
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2003
1879 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
I don't think I have enough experience to provide you with an informed answer.

Given the experience I have had, I don't believe the Justice would allow you to reserve your plea with these parking and traffic tickets, since the Court date is usually months down the line. The Justice and the Prosecutor will argue that you had sufficient time to seek a lawyer's advice.

For example, I tried to adjourn my trial today since I didn't receive any disclosure until today at the Court. I was forced to go to trial, as they referred to a case where it was acceptable and reasonable for disclosure to be provided on the day of trial and proceed immediately.

Hopefully someone else can chime in and give you a better answer.

Good luck.
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2430 posts
449 upvotes
Toronto
This is what perplexes me but what evidence does the speeding ticket officer have to convict someone? I mean during trial, they don't have a picture of him pointing the laser at your car, all they say is "my laser was pointed at your car" which they can easily lie. However the justice will ask whether I have evidence to prove my innocence?

I feel that the justice will almost always side with the officer and that the only way to win speeding tickets is through "technicalities" such as them forgetting to input the data within reasonable time, or that the trail date is way past reasonable time frame so you can file for a motion to stay and not really based on evidence during cross-examinations.
Newbie
Aug 1, 2014
1 posts
My trail date is tomorrow. But I don't know I could request the disclosure. What am I supposed to do? My name on the traffic tickets are not even my full name. One name just with an initial. Can I fight it? Thank you.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 15, 2004
2068 posts
40 upvotes
How does the ticket for expired licence plate "drive motor vehicle- no validation on plate" affect the insurance and driving record? Is it considered a conviction?

With 3 options(Mississauga Court):

1. Plea of Guilty

2. Early resolution - Meet with the prosecutor (by choosing this option you do not forego the right to trial)

3. Trial Option
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
11718 posts
3756 upvotes
Toronto, ON
parry wrote:
Jun 4th, 2014 10:10 am
How does the ticket for expired licence plate "drive motor vehicle- no validation on plate" affect the insurance and driving record? Is it considered a conviction?

With 3 options(Mississauga Court):

1. Plea of Guilty

2. Early resolution - Meet with the prosecutor (by choosing this option you do not forego the right to trial)

3. Trial Option
Pick early resolution, get your license renewed and validation ticket put on your plate, then go into the meeting with proof that you've rectified the problem and the prosecutor may drop the ticket.
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2003
1879 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
blitzforce wrote:
Jun 3rd, 2014 3:08 pm
This is what perplexes me but what evidence does the speeding ticket officer have to convict someone? I mean during trial, they don't have a picture of him pointing the laser at your car, all they say is "my laser was pointed at your car" which they can easily lie. However the justice will ask whether I have evidence to prove my innocence?

I feel that the justice will almost always side with the officer and that the only way to win speeding tickets is through "technicalities" such as them forgetting to input the data within reasonable time, or that the trail date is way past reasonable time frame so you can file for a motion to stay and not really based on evidence during cross-examinations.
As an officer is a public servant and an agent of the City (Crown), he/she will have "credibility" in the Court, especially since they are sworn to testify the truth. Could the officer be lying about tagging your car? There's always a possibility, but it's highly unlikely. If you have evidence to suggest otherwise, then you can argue it. Trying to argue the credibility of an officer without any hard evidence is almost always a losing battle (I tried in 2003 without this thread, and references for radar guns that were the older models. All I did was annoy the Court, and found guilty.)

The best defence against any ticket, even when one's guilt is clear cut, is to work the system to see if the Court will make any technical errors that will get your charge thrown out. There's a chance you will win, and there's always a chance you will be faced with your fine even though a technical error has been made (as I was yesterday).

As you will find in this thread, and anywhere else on RFD, some people find it worth the trouble and effort to work the system. Others just man up and pay the fine and any consequences it brings with conviction.
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2003
1879 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
speakerring wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2014 11:43 am
Hello, I have received the Speeding ticket of going over 35 km/h at Barrie Ontario.
My ticket was issued on April 24th 2014, I received the notice of the trial on May 30th.

My trial is on July 20th 2014.

I only have about less than 2 months to prepare for my trial.

I was planning on sending in the disclosure request through registered mail at first but when I have called the Barrie location's service for the persecutor's address and they told me that they do not send the disclosures out through registered mail. They suggested that send the request through email and I will receive it through email. The step by step guide I thought that it is better to request disclosure through mail?

should I request it through mail, pretending not knowing that they won't send through mail
and say that during the trial that I did not receive and disclosures so ask for Stay?

Please help.
Yes. Play ignorant and send your request via mail. Keep your receipt showing you sent the request. Send a follow up request 1 month before trial to show you have been proactive in seeking disclosure.
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2003
1879 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
bcdriver wrote:
May 31st, 2014 6:49 pm
I received a ticket for doing a u-turn at an intersection in Vancouver. I recently moved here from a place where u-turns are acceptable where there is no no-u-turn signs. I was honestly believing I was following the law. In addition I've seen streets where there are no u-turn signs so I was under the impression that I was following the law and was going by my driver training. At the very least this is confusing signage. And since I was given a drivers license without being tested on these laws I was sure they would have explained (or tested me on) the differences if there were any.

This makes me wonder what other laws I'm inadvertently breaking.... are we really expected to go through driver training again when we change cities or is this worth fighting on the basis I was properly following my driving school training and was never tested (or explained) on Vancouver laws?
The laws are governed by the territory you are in. While it may have been acceptable in your previous city to perform a u-turn in areas where there is not a sign prohibiting it, that will not work as a defence.

Apparently the BC driving manual states:
If you find you are going in the wrong direction, you may be tempted to make a U-turn. U-turns are often risky. They are illegal:
• if they interfere with other traffic
• on a curve
• on or near the crest of a hill, where you cannot be seen by other traffic within 150 metres
• where a sign prohibits U-turns
at an intersection where there is a traffic light
• in a business district, except at an intersection where there is no traffic light
• where a municipal by-law prohibits making a U-turn.
Your options are to either try and work the system to see if they make a technical error to get out of the ticket, or request an appointment with the prosecutor to explain your situation as you have stated here. They may reduce your fine, or change your charge to something less significant.
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2003
1879 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
laksman91 wrote:
May 30th, 2014 5:47 pm
I filed for disclosure today. But my court date is in 2 weeks. I had months to do it but was quite busy. If I'm not given disclosure by the trial what should I do?
You can try the following on post #1004.

djino wrote:
Aug 29th, 2012 4:15 pm
So when you are called and the court clerk reads your charges and asks you how you wish to plea, you say..""Before entering a plea your Worship, I would like motion to stay these proceedings [on the grounds that my rights to disclosure under Section 7 of the Charter have been violated.]"

-----

There are only 2 reasons why they would have issue with your motion to stay the proceedings. Either they have issue with how you submitted the application (i.e., the court didn't get a copy of your form 4F/affidavit) AND/OR they have an issue with the argument for why you deserve a stay.
OVERCOMING OBJECTIONS TO YOUR STAY APPLICATION 1. A common objection to your stay application is due to the court and/or prosecutor not seeing your application 15 days before trial. This would occur if you just followed Method 2 which is to fax the Attorney Generals/Prosecutor your stay app.

- You say "A stay application is governed by section 109 of the Courts of Justice Act. This section requires 15 days notification to be given to the Attorneys General of Ontario and Canada. I have done this and I have the fax receipts to prove it. I also have faxed the prosecutor and have the receipt to prove it. In other words, all the parties who would have any issue with the application have been notified well in advance and as required by the Act."
- If the Justice still has issue with not having a copy of your stay application...
- You say "section 7 subsection 7 of Regulation 200 of the Courts of Justice Act allows for a motion to be heard without notice."
- If you don't have your fax receipts/affidavit of service sheets with you and the Justice has issue with this...
- You say "I would be happy to swear before the court that I did fax the forms."

2. Another common objection to your stay application will be based on the merits of the application (why do you deserve this).

- If the application in question is concerning 11(b), then you may need to take the Justice through the explanation of Intake & Institutional Delays.
- If the application in question is concerning section 7 , then you may need to state the importance of why it is important that you need the disclosure item(s) missing and also why an adjournment is also unreasonable.



If you have taken all advice offered in this thread and the Justice still does not approve your stay, they will need to provide a good reason for that and a reason to your understanding. You should also go prepared for the worst case in that you have to proceed to trial. Always have a plan B. And if you are found guilty after trial, I would take a look at appeal options as there is a good chance that a bunch of mistakes were made by your Justice that will have your charges acquitted/withdrawn. Justices are not lawyers, they have not even been through law school, so there is a good chance that you will be subject to their inappropriate decisions. So if you are found guilty, it does not mean you should have been.

djino
"I hope that answers all your questions!"
Due to the late request for disclosure, you may be denied your motion, as I was yesterday.

Be prepared to go to trial regardless, as an absolute worse case scenario.

If your request for a stay is denied, ask for an adjournment to allow you to receive disclosure.

If this is denied, the prosecutor could force you to go to trial.

At this point, you can try to see if pleading guilty to a lesser fine is still an option for you.
Newbie
Aug 22, 2010
79 posts
4 upvotes
GTA
MadCow wrote:
May 29th, 2014 11:59 am
...
As it was obvious the Justice already stated he would definitely not be granting a stay, I asked for an adjournment to prepare my defence.

My trial has been adjourned to June 26.

...

It appears I was given only 3 of the 6 items. The Court and the Prosecution claim they do not have anything else.

Is this still grounds for a stay?

Any tips would be appreciated.
Hi MadCow,

For what it's worth, I appreciate the posts you've been making on this thread as it helped me prepare for my trial today.

My situation is similar to what you've described
- I received disclosure items the day of the trial;
- The supplied information looked incomplete, specifically: certificate of Parking Infraction (not really sure what this looks like as they only provided a photocopy of the Parking Infraction Notice) & evidence of ownership;
- My request for a stay based on incomplete disclosure was not entertained, as the court felt it was 'just a parking ticket';
- I was granted an adjournment to June 25th.

My argument was based on the fact that I never received the ticket as I only responded to the notice of impending conviction, so I think the above missing disclosure items is consistent with that argument.

I think my chances of getting a stay is low - both the court & the officer did not seem to think what I requested was necessary but I've been given some more time now.
So my plan is to submit the disclosure request again for the missing items and depending on what I receive, ask for a stay again.
I was caught off guard when they asked what date I would like to adjourn the trial to, since I thought I was going to go back in the system again and potentially argue for a Section 11 unreasonable delay. The chances the officer will show up is high since the prosecutor basically confirmed the dates with him on the spot...

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