Speeding Ticket Trials
Speeding ticket trials are about technicalities, rules of evidence and cross-examining witnesses before a justice.
Trials for Speeding Tickets
During a speeding ticket trial, the prosecutor must guide the police officer through the circumstances of their investigation. The prosecution must bring out the following facts to present the Justice.
What the prosecution has to prove in court;
- Date and place the offence occurred.
- That the driver exceeded the speed limit.
- Whether the speed limit is posted or un-posted, what the speed is for that area.
- The driver had to be driving a motor vehicle.
- The driver had to be traveling on a highway/street under the jurisdiction of the province or municipality.
- The driver must be exceeding the posted speed limit in order to be found guilty of speeding. Just saying “speeding 75km/h” isn’t good enough. It has to be “speeding 75km/h in a 50km/h zone” or something similar.
- The police officer has to identify the driver.
- That the speed measuring device was working properly.
- Has the Certificate of Offence (ticket) been properly filed with the court?
- Are there any errors or deletions to the original certificate?
- Is the “Set Fine” proper?
- Has the trial been set within the guide lines of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Preparing for Your Trial
When you have verified the above information, you can now prepare an essential element’s list, which you can check off when the police officer testifies at the trial.
The police officer must have evidence on every bit of information in the list. Otherwise the Crown is said to have failed to establish a prima facie case.
Once the officer has given their evidence, should the evidence be lacking, the defendant can make a motion of non-suit, advising the court that the prosecution has not made out a prima facie case and that the charge should be dropped.
- If the officer forgot to testify the speed limit on that road,
- Does not ask any questions about speed limits.
- If the Crown has only one witness, which is usually the police officer, then it may be best to just call “no questions” for cross-examination.
- The defence would then make a “Motion for Non-Suit” because there was no evidence given as to the speed limit.
The Justice would then give a ruling on whether or not a case has been made out.
Should the Justice agree, the charge would be dismissed. Where the Justice believes that the prosecution has made out a prima facie case, then they would give the defence an opportunity to give evidence.
Be very careful of anything that they have missed. When you cross-examine witness(es), make sure you don’t touch on statements that are going to convict you of speeding.