Reporting Car Collisions and Self-Incriminating Statements

Most people know that everyone who gets into a collision while driving a motor vehicle that causes damage to property over $1,000.00 (see Note 1) or injuries either to the driver or others must report the collision to the police as soon as possible (see Note 2).The police officer who takes the report must get information from the driver reporting the collision to complete the report (see Note 3).

 

However, what is not understood is that this reporting obligation can create serious consequences for people charged with a serious traffic offence because what they say could be used against them. This is known as self-incrimination. Continue reading

Demerit Points (2nd in a series) – Ministry Warnings

When a driver is convicted of a traffic offence, the information of this conviction is conveyed to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles who assigns the demerit points against the driver (previous article). As these demerit points accumulate, the driver may not be aware of the number of points he/she has accumulated.

When is the driver made aware of the consequences? Continue reading

Demerit Points (1st in a series) – Who Has Authority to Record Demerit Points?

 Demerit points are points recorded against a driver when that driver is convicted of specific Highway Traffic offences.  An accumulation of points may result in a driver having his driving privileges suspended. In this series of articles about demerit points, drivers may be able to benefit from the answers to questions posed in each article.

One of the most frequently asked questions is: “Who has authority to assign demerit point against drivers?”  Many drivers believe the courts have authority to give or reduce demerit points. Continue reading

What to Expect at Traffic Court Hearings

Do you feel anxious and uncomfortable when you are required to attend Traffic Court because of a ticket or a charge?

Usually this is due to the unfamiliar environment, a lack of understanding of the process and the uncertainty of whom to ask for assistance or someone to guide you through the process.

Reading this short summary of the Guide For Defendants In Provincial Offences Cases; Spring 2012; which was taken from the Halton Court Services’ website will give you an opportunity to be more informed and to become more familiar with the process.

(Note: This summary has been edited slightly for clarification to the reader who is not trained or experienced, or familiar with legal terminology.) Continue reading

Ignore Unpaid Fines At Your Own Risk

It is not wise to ignore unpaid traffic or parking tickets older than fifteen days (see (1) below) as the courts can take the following action against you:

  • your driver’s licence may be suspended (see (5a) below);
  • a warrant may be issued for your arrest if you are evading payment (see (6) below);
  • if you are brought before a Justice, the Justice will determine if you are unable to pay the fine within a reasonable period. However, you must convince the Justice that this is the case (see (9) and (10) below);
  • if the Justice is unconvinced that you cannot pay the fine within a reasonable period, the Justice does have the option (even though rarely used at this time) to imprison you to a maximum of 90 days (see (14, (16) and (17) below). Continue reading

Gathering Witness Statements

In Small Claims Court, the judge makes rulings based on the believability of the evidence presented.  The majority of evidence is in the form of sworn verbal statements made by witnesses in front of the judge.  These witnesses can be any of the persons involved in the court case. These witnesses can also be persons who have no interest in the outcome of the court case but have relevant knowledge about what led up to the court case. Therefore, it is a good idea to have written statements prepared beforehand by persons who may be asked or required to testify at a trial. Continue reading