Automotive

Need help/advice going to court next week to fight a ticket

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 28th, 2009 2:20 am
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Deal Addict
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Jan 4, 2009
2417 posts
110 upvotes
Toronto
hey ticketcombat, what is your website? i'm awaiting a court date in the mail for a speeding ticket, and failure to surrender insurance
Jr. Member
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Dec 7, 2008
192 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
Just add ".com" to my name. I'm not allowed to post a link to my own site as that is considered spam. But anybody else can link to it, no problem.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2007
1590 posts
236 upvotes
Dear ticketcombat:
below is my experience from the court today:
1. The prosecutor lady came late and right in the court in front of the judge asked everyone to line-up and indicate if they want to plea guilty or not. She did not allow anyone to ask any question or anything. Very rude and prudent:
- I plead not guilty
- The officer was in the court
2. When I went in front of the judge, I used the exact punch line that you have on your site
"Before I enter the plea your worship I move that my case be styed since
- I did not receive the requested disclosure.
At this time first he asked when I had requested for "disclosure" in which I replied Jan. 11, 2009 and he told me why I waited so many month to ask for. My reply was that I was not aware of my rights and just recently realized that I can ask for this info to defend myself. He didn't seem to have accepted my excuse.
At this time the prosecutor told the judge that I have received the information on Feb 11, 09.
I indicated that I have not received the copy of the By-Law and officers notes and his measurement method.
The prosecutor jumped in and told the judge that it is my responsibility as a defendant to find and read and have the copy of by-law and not hers.
Judge agreed with her and told me what you want to do. I didn't know how to come back. Then I asked for adjournment since I am not prepared, in which prosecutor again told the judge they can't grant me that since the witness is present and it was my responsibility to be prepared.

I stayed calm and polite throughout the proceeding. Judge then asked me stay in the court and talk with the prosecutor at the end and decide what I want to do basically asking me to plea guilty.
My ticket was only parking and I saw whomever that plead not guilty was convicted. So I cave in. Although I got my fines reduced by 50%, but I am really upset, since I felt my rights were denied. :(

Anyways, I don't know what I did wrong and what I should have done differently there but thanks again for all your advice.
Maybe next time I will ask you to represent me in court.
Moderator
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Mar 23, 2004
34673 posts
2638 upvotes
Markham
look at the bright side, at least u got it reduced by 50% just by simply showing up in court :)
「もし、奇跡を起こせたら……」
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2005
2796 posts
21 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
angel_wing0 wrote:
Feb 17th, 2009 10:18 pm
look at the bright side, at least u got it reduced by 50% just by simply showing up in court :)
Plus he also gained some experience to what actually happens in court.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2007
1590 posts
236 upvotes
Whitedart wrote:
Feb 18th, 2009 12:16 am
Plus he also gained some experience to what actually happens in court.
Yes I am happy that I have my fine reduced and gained valuable experince. I also want to know more and know how I could have done better.
I hope "ticketcombat" will get a chance and read this and give me some feedback.
Sr. Member
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Sep 1, 2008
598 posts
71 upvotes
@ simplylgg

Why didn't you gone ahead and questioned officer how he measured the distance?

If measuring tape was used why it wasn't disclosed?

Nevertheless I appreciate the fact that you showed courage to fight an unfair ticket.
Jr. Member
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Dec 7, 2008
192 posts
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Toronto
Wow. Sometimes you get a sympathetic justice and sometimes you get that guy.

So what went wrong? There was a lot of intimidation going on but it looks like they were careful not to cross the line (maybe). But with so much pressure we can see why so many people cave in. They don't know what to say to all the snappy comebacks and questions "Why didn't you do this? Why didn't you do that?" They feel they are alone, don't know what to do and have no response for what they are being told. The deck is stacked against them and there is tremendous pressure.

It is at these times that we must call upon something within ourselves for strength. It reminds me of Elijah Harper holding his white feather and voting NO to the Meech Lake Accord. A single voice of objection amongst a chorus.

It's not easy to stick to your guns but that's what you needed to do. In fact I would suggest, if you have the stomach for it, you can appeal the conviction based on an inappropriate amount of pressure.

You did it right. You raised the issue of disclosure. Rather than ruling on it, the justice gave you a time out to "reconsider" your position. That way, he avoids having to rule in your favour. There is no way he could allow the trial to proceed without ruling on your disclosure motion. Both he and the prosecutor knew it. Hence the pressure to get you to plead guilty.

With experience comes confidence. We've all learned something the hard way as you did yesterday.

As Angel_wing0 and Whitedart suggest, you did get a reduction and gained some experience which will make you stronger if there should ever be a next time. You can't get that kind of training course for under $100 in any school.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2007
1590 posts
236 upvotes
Was the prosecutor right in claiming that it was my responsibility to find the By-Law? If not, how could have proven that she is wrong and it is their responsibility to provide me that? What section of the charter I refer to for this claim?

The pressure in the court was tremundous. All eyes on you as a petty criminal while you are not. They are out in force for you to cave in and plea guilty.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2007
1590 posts
236 upvotes
roadrunner17 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2009 10:50 am
@ simplylgg

Why didn't you gone ahead and questioned officer how he measured the distance?

If measuring tape was used why it wasn't disclosed?

Nevertheless I appreciate the fact that you showed courage to fight an unfair ticket.
Thanks for the heart warming comments. Based on the advice from "ticketcombat" my intention was to convince the judge to drop the case or postpond the trial instead of going to trail and get convicted. I did not want to call the officer for testimony which meant trial.

BTW, some other guy who actually plead not guilty and had the officer to testify, the officer response was that his car was completely obstructing the fire hydrant so he didn't have to do any measurements.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2005
2796 posts
21 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
simplylgg wrote:
Feb 18th, 2009 3:08 pm
BTW, some other guy who actually plead not guilty and had the officer to testify, the officer response was that his car was completely obstructing the fire hydrant so he didn't have to do any measurements.
And from the disclosure notes your posted, I had the same impression about the manner that your car was parked, that it was completely blocking the hydrant as viewed from the road side.

If your case had gone to trial, and you were convicted, I doubt there would have been a penalty reduction.

The Justice and the prosecutor hear these cases day after day, week after week, so know all the various ways people try to beat parking or traffic tickets. The prosecutors I know also follow some of the forum discussions like this, and other web sites.

My experience has been that the prosecutor will not bother to proceed if the charge is questionable when you have requested disclosure and appear in court, but if the charge is solid they will not let it go.

Nikita has pointed out valid reasons for an appeal in other threads, but in this case you pleaded guilty with a lesser penalty (1/2 the cost of the ticket) with no insurance or demerit points impact. The fact that you felt intimidated would not be good grounds to appeal due to your lack of experience in court.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2007
1590 posts
236 upvotes
Whitedart wrote:
Feb 18th, 2009 4:43 pm
And from the disclosure notes your posted, I had the same impression about the manner that your car was parked, that it was completely blocking the hydrant as viewed from the road side.

If your case had gone to trial, and you were convicted, I doubt there would have been a penalty reduction.

The Justice and the prosecutor hear these cases day after day, week after week, so know all the various ways people try to beat parking or traffic tickets. The prosecutors I know also follow some of the forum discussions like this, and other web sites.

My experience has been that the prosecutor will not bother to proceed if the charge is questionable when you have requested disclosure and appear in court, but if the charge is solid they will not let it go.

Nikita has pointed out valid reasons for an appeal in other threads, but in this case you pleaded guilty with a lesser penalty (1/2 the cost of the ticket) with no insurance or demerit points impact. The fact that you felt intimidated would not be good grounds to appeal due to your lack of experience in court.
No sane person will knowingly park in front of the fire hydrant and I know for fact that I wasn't park the way the officer had drawn in his note indicating that I was obstructing completely the fire hydrant. However, I also knew that I couldn't prove that since it would have been my word against the officer and judge will definitely rule against me. If the system is not fair and everyone knows that many of tickets are just cash grabs, so it is our right to find ways to defend ourselves the same way that the system is trying to convict us and deprive us from our hard earned money.
I don't think I have the time or the stomach to appeal, but I want to learn and help other friends as tiketcombat does for others.
Jr. Member
Jan 4, 2009
118 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto
ticketcombat wrote:
Feb 16th, 2009 2:04 pm
There are several threads on this site already offering a range of advice about what to do. I've just updated my site with specific instructions for seatbelt and stop sign violations. I am working on a draft for red light camera tickets coming soon.
ticketcombat - thanks for your detailed response! It's much appreciated and I look forward to your draft on red light tickets in the near future. You sir, are an awesome resource and I commend you on your work and generosity in sharing what you know.

Just for reference the red light ticket was $180. The prosecutor reduced it to 30% so the fine was $60. Tack on a $15 victim surcharge and some other $5 charge and the total paid was $80 on a guilty plea.

I had thought about pursuing disclosure and requesting technical information on the red light camera - maintenance records, training manuals on its use, etc, and training records for the officer who signed the ticket, etc. It was in the hopes of finding some evidence of a technical problem with the camera/photo, or finding something that cast doubt on whether the officer properly signed off on the ticket.

But in the end I decided the cost to me in time spent pursuing this was far greater than the cost in just paying off the fine, so I went with that. Still I can't help but wonder how things might have turned out if I pursued this.
Jr. Member
Jan 4, 2009
118 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto
simplylgg wrote:
Feb 18th, 2009 11:43 pm
I don't think I have the time or the stomach to appeal, but I want to learn and help other friends as tiketcombat does for others.
simplylgg - sorry to hear things didn't work out for you, but hats off to you for trying to fight them!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2007
1590 posts
236 upvotes
chanman wrote:
Feb 19th, 2009 1:17 am
simplylgg - sorry to hear things didn't work out for you, but hats off to you for trying to fight them!
Thanks chanman for the nice words. I also am greatful to ticketcombat for all his help. Although I didn't have a pleasant experince in court, but I learned some very valuable lessons.

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