What do you get when you cross a trip out of the city, beautiful scenery, a highway with a fluctuating speed limit between 70, 80, and 90 km per hour, and lots of perfect little nooks amidst the trees for OPP to set up a speed trap? The answer isn’t a free blender. And oh if only a speeding ticket were the worst thing that you could get in terms of a highway traffic act violation in Bancroft, or any other cottage destination in Ontario for that matter. There are lots more, unfortunately. Let’s take a look at the impact of being charged with a driving offence in Bancroft, Haliburton and Minden, and what you can do about it, starting from the time you are stopped.
Help yourself out and button it
If you read this blog, you will often come across the advice that, when pulled over by the police, you should say as little to them as possible. That is only because, when pulled over by the police, you should say as little to them as possible. There are certain things you cannot avoid. You need to produce your licence. Please do that. You need to identify yourself. Do that too. Beyond that, anything you say cannot really help you. This goes without saying (pun intended) in any jurisdiction, including Bancroft, I just wanted to start with the usual disclaimer. It is not your job to play mind reader and answer the cop’s question of why you think you were pulled over. The reality is, in today’s day and age, the police need no reason to pull you over. At the very least, they can say that they wanted to check your licence and proof of insurance. They are only asking you to see if you’ll say something that they can use. Be polite, but decline to answer frivolous questions (maybe don’t call them frivolous). They may decide to charge you with something, maybe not. In my experience, your attempts to influence that may cement a charge against you. If you are charged with speeding, careless driving, disobeying a light or any other traffic violation, you have another set of things to do.
Take that thing and file it
So you received your ticket, what do you want to do? Accept that you’re guilty and pay the fine? Speak to the provincial prosecutor in an early resolution meeting to see if they can offer a guilty plea to something else with a lesser fine or fewer points? Or perhaps you want to challenge the evidence and make full answer and defence to the charge. Other options are early resolution or that you are not guilty, and they must prove it. Depending on which option you choose, there is a different process to alert the court of your intentions. If you have a Part III summons, that decision is made for you, as you’ll be given a date to appear and most likely been also given a suspension and impoundment of your vehicle there at roadside. Then comes even more stuff to do.
Fighting City Hall
If you choose to meet with the prosecutor, you are not giving up your right to a trial. Perhaps they can offer something attractive enough to take care of the matter then and there at the meeting, perhaps not. Factor in that you may have had to arrange a trip to Bancroft, Minden or Lindsay, depending where you are stopped, to attend. This is a bit backwards too, because the prosecutor has already reviewed the evidence against you, but you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, and if you have, you may not know what you’re seeing. So after you request the evidence (disclosure), you will ask to adjourn to another date, on which you have to make another trip. The average highway traffic matter requires 5 – 7 appearances. On the final, if it goes that far, you’ll need to prep for a trial if you haven’t resolved to your satisfaction before then. I’m sure you see where I’m going here.
If you have a traffic ticket of any kind in Bancroft or other cottage country towns, call Aitken Robertson. Our consultation on your matter is free so you have nothing to lose. If you hire us, we file your ticket according to your goals, make all appearances for you, request, receive and analyze your disclosure, and give you the benefit of our experience and knowledge. Bancroft is lovely when you are not there for court!