Legal Arguments for Speeding

Explanations, Why you were speeding, or how your were trying to avoid speeding, are not legal defences.

The Prosecution Must Prove

The police and prosecution must prove the following to convict a driver of speeding;

  • identity the operator of the vehicle who committed the offence? (Y/N)
  • that the vehicle was a motor vehicle? (Y/N)
  • identified that the vehicle was the one cited, with the license plate, model and colour the same as the one on the ticket? (Y/N)
  • province/territory was the plate registered in?
  • was the defendant was traveling on a provincial/municipal highway/street? (Y/N)
  • the speed limit on that highway/street?
  • How fast was the defendant traveling?

If anything is missing in the prosecutors case, it may be grounds for the justice to dismiss the charge against the driver.



The defendant at the end of the trial may bring a motion of non-suit in that the prosecution has failed to present a prima facie case against the driver and/or that there is reasonable doubt, in that the prosecution has not proved the case within a reasonable doubt.

Rules of Evidence

Where the trial date has been scheduled more than 18 months away from the offence date you may be able to argue that your right as a Canadian citizen has been infringed upon because your trial has not happened within a reasonable period of time.

This is called an 11b Application. 11b Applications must be filed with the proper paper work with the court at least fifteen days prior to the trial date. The defendant must be prepared to argue the motion to the court.



Caution with 11b Applications – the law in regards to time delays and 11b Applications is constantly changing, seek legal advice if you think your speeding ticket trial could benefit from a Charter of Rights Application.

Hearsay Evidence

Witnesses cannot testify something that is beyond their personal experience or knowledge.

They cannot testify something that is said by another person, or else that person has to come and testify what he said. For example, if the police officer says “the computer operator told me the defendant’s driver’s license was under suspension”.

This would be hearsay evidence. However, the officer could say, “Upon information I received, I gave the driver a ticket for driving while suspended.”

Likewise, you could not say “I was driving at 60km/h because my friend in the car told me that was the speed on that street.”

There is more complication to hearsay evidence than the above general definition. As you now know, hearsay evidence from a 3rd party that benefits the side who provides the evidence is disallowed, but admission from the opposing side will be accepted.



Speculation

This is equivalent to a wild guess or what could have happened.

The prosecutor might make a statement saying “the defendant knew that he was speeding anyway.” Then you should immediately object because the prosecutor cannot be sure what you know.



Irrelevant

A witness either the driver a witness or police officer says something that is irrelevant to the charge.

The issue, statement or question has nothing to do with the issue at court.



Examination-in-chief

Where the police officer originally gives their evidence to the court.

The prosecution attorney will ask their own witness(s) questions, in order to elicit the facts to prove their point.

When the prosecutor is asking questions, pay close attention and make objections if improper questions are raised.

Always fight your speeding ticket!