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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 03-16-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
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Ticket help and suggestion please

Hi, I've recieved a notice of court apperance on friday. I was completely blindsided by this as I have no memory of ever disputing or receiving the alledged offence. The alledged offence date was September 14, 2007 and I recieved the notice on march 13th 2009. The court date is set for May 19th, 2009.

The ticket is for 2 violations, one speeding and one fail to display N sign.

At this point I have absolutly no memory of the event, and was wondering what my options are.

It is going to be 1 year and 8 month between the date of offence to date of trial, I was wondering if this qualifies for me to plea that this is an unreasonable amount of time, and I do not recall any details.

Or if i should contact the officer, and get his notes to try to refresh my memory as to what happened.

I was wondering what would be the best thing to do in my best interest.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
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Last edited by skiiipi; 03-16-2009 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:07 AM   #2
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It's very normal for court letters to come a year or more after the date of dispute, cause apparently they have a lot of disputes coming in all the time and it takes forever to go through them all, so you wont be able to plea for unreasonable amount of time elapsing =/
I disputed a ticket a year ago and im still waiting on my letter lol
I doubt the officer who issued the ticket wont remember it since its such a small common offence. You could maybe talk to icbc and ask about the dispute? i really dont know what you can do =/
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:45 AM   #3
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Ah....actually the last sheet in the VT stack is for "officer's notes". I'm not sure if you realized that your double negative makes your post difficult to answer. If you "doubt he won't" remember...that actually means you know he WILL remember. I believe you intended the opposite?
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:54 AM   #4
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OK, you may have a case for unreasonable delay. The 1 year and eight months easily qualifies. However, it is not the delay itself, but the fact that the delay has caused you prejudice and you need to show it. If you go to the Crown Council office on Robson in the Provincial Court building they have a package that shows you what do do and how to search for relevant cases. You must file a charter relief 2 weeks prior to your hearing. You cannot show up and claim a delay. Filing a charter challenge means that you now go against the Crown and may be questioned by them, so you need to do a little homework. Anything over 8 months can be a time frame for a delay as there has been a precedent set.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:09 AM   #5
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OK, you may have a case for unreasonable delay. The 1 year and eight months easily qualifies. However, it is not the delay itself, but the fact that the delay has caused you prejudice and you need to show it. If you go to the Crown Council office on Robson in the Provincial Court building they have a package that shows you what do do and how to search for relevant cases. You must file a charter relief 2 weeks prior to your hearing. You cannot show up and claim a delay. Filing a charter challenge means that you now go against the Crown and may be questioned by them, so you need to do a little homework. Anything over 8 months can be a time frame for a delay as there has been a precedent set.
Is this a relatively simple process that I can do myself? or is it something that I should get legal defence on?

and would the officer be more lenient in terms of a reduced sentence? because it has been so long.
is it worth a try for me to contact the officer and talking about it first before filing for an "unreasonable delay"

thanks for the feedback so far guys.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:07 AM   #6
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It is relatively easy to do yourself. You need to do a little research, fill out the forms and fax to 3 gov agencies. You should go and get the package and go through it, then decide. One year and eight months will probably be stayed by the Crown, but you must be prepared to defend yourself. I would not contact the officer other than to request disclosure.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:46 AM   #7
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Filing a grievance because you simply can not remember is not a reasonable excuse and will not hold up. As police officers, we recognize the fact that our traffic tickets as well as our large and lengthy criminal investigations won't be appearing in court for a year or two after the fact. The general public is well aware of the backlog in the courts as well. It is for that reason that we take detailed notes about incidents, whether it be for a traffic ticket, or a murder investigation. These notes are essentially our memories when it comes time to go to court.

The court will expect that anyone disputing a ticket realizes that there will be a delay between the offense date and court date, and would make arrangements (notes) to ensure they remember the details of the incident. Showing up with no memory of what happened will simply sink your ship as the officer will read his/her evidence recorded in his/her notes and if you have nothing to add, you will be convicted, and you've just wasted the police officer's time, the court's time, and your own time.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:18 PM   #8
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First off, you may as well satisfy yourself that the ticket is in fact yours. The dispute notice should have the ticket number on it. You can use this to contact the Violation Ticket Center (search) and ask for a copy of it to be sent to you.

Once you have examined it, if it was someone personating you, you need to go to a Driver Service Center and fill out the appropriate form. Since it was disputed, this is not really likely, but you never know....if it is, the bad person involved is someone close to you. Brother maybe?

If it is yours, you now know which officer/detachment issued it. Write and ask for disclosure (search).

After you have read the disclosure, you will likely recall what this is all about. Now you can decide on your avenue of dispute. If you are going to try the Charter argument, contact the court registry shown on the dispute notice you received, let them know and ask what you need to do to arrange that.

Otherwise, show up on the dispute date ready to proceed with your trial.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:10 PM   #9
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Filing a grievance because you simply can not remember is not a reasonable excuse and will not hold up. As police officers, we recognize the fact that our traffic tickets as well as our large and lengthy criminal investigations won't be appearing in court for a year or two after the fact. The general public is well aware of the backlog in the courts as well. It is for that reason that we take detailed notes about incidents, whether it be for a traffic ticket, or a murder investigation. These notes are essentially our memories when it comes time to go to court.

The court will expect that anyone disputing a ticket realizes that there will be a delay between the offense date and court date, and would make arrangements (notes) to ensure they remember the details of the incident. Showing up with no memory of what happened will simply sink your ship as the officer will read his/her evidence recorded in his/her notes and if you have nothing to add, you will be convicted, and you've just wasted the police officer's time, the court's time, and your own time.
This is misleading. If your first trial date is more than 8 months from the ticket date by no fault of your own, your charter rights MAY have been violated as per Case Law. It is up to you to demonstrate that. The system cannot violate your rights and hide behind phrases like "expected delay". You must follow the proper procedures to assert your rights.

R. v. Askov, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1199
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:13 PM   #10
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"May" is a strong word, especially when citing case law from nearly 20 years ago and more recent case law regarding the delay/back-up in the courts has been set.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:37 PM   #11
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"May" is a strong word, especially when citing case law from nearly 20 years ago and more recent case law regarding the delay/back-up in the courts has been set.
The word MAY is used since each case over 8 months MUST be backed up with prejudice. Recent case law only helps define prejudice and NOT time. I realize that some do not seem to think that Canadians have any rights. I also realize that the Charter challenge can be "abused". However, this is not a justice system, but rather a legal system made of precedent. If you don't defend your rights you will lose them. The case that was cited is merely the starting point.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
First off, you may as well satisfy yourself that the ticket is in fact yours. The dispute notice should have the ticket number on it. You can use this to contact the Violation Ticket Center (search) and ask for a copy of it to be sent to you.

Once you have examined it, if it was someone personating you, you need to go to a Driver Service Center and fill out the appropriate form. Since it was disputed, this is not really likely, but you never know....if it is, the bad person involved is someone close to you. Brother maybe?

If it is yours, you now know which officer/detachment issued it. Write and ask for disclosure (search).

After you have read the disclosure, you will likely recall what this is all about. Now you can decide on your avenue of dispute. If you are going to try the Charter argument, contact the court registry shown on the dispute notice you received, let them know and ask what you need to do to arrange that.

Otherwise, show up on the dispute date ready to proceed with your trial.

Thank you skidmark, your response was very helpful.
In your opinion do you think that I have enough grounds to proceed with a Charter argument. I honestly dont want to waste any time, if the chance of success is rather limited.

Now, from your experiance (or any other officer on this fourm), is it better to call the officer before the court date to negociate a "deal", or is it better to do it on the day of the court date, outside of the court room?

Thanks in advance.
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