I live in London, Ontario and have been charged with failing to stop for the police for a speeding pull over in the downtown. I have to appear in court and need to hire someone to represent me. I don’t want to go to jail or lose my licence.
Failing to stop for the police when signalled to do so is a very serious offence. I would need to review your summons for specific information, but it is likely that you have been charged under Highway Traffic Act section 216:
“216. (1) A police officer, in the lawful execution of his or her duties and responsibilities, may require the driver of a motor vehicle to stop and the driver of a motor vehicle, when signalled or requested to stop by a police officer who is readily identifiable as such, shall immediately come to a safe stop.”
If you have been charged under HTA section 216, you will be facing a 7 demerit point penalty upon conviction. However, the court appointed penalties for such offences may be of greater concern:
(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable, subject to subsection (3),
(a) to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000;
(b) to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months; or
(c) to both a fine and imprisonment. 1999, c. 13, s. 1 (1).
Escape by flight
(3) If a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (2) and the court is satisfied on the evidence that the person wilfully continued to avoid police when a police officer gave pursuit,
(a) the person is liable to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000, instead of the fine described in clause (2) (a);
(b) the court shall make an order imprisoning the person for a term of not less than 14 days and not more than six months, instead of the term described in clause (2) (b); and
(c) the court shall make an order suspending the person’s driver’s licence,
(i) for a period of five years, unless subclause (ii) applies, or
(ii) for a period of not less than 10 years, if the court is satisfied on the evidence that the person’s conduct or the pursuit resulted in the death of or bodily harm to any person.
As you can see from the above subsections, the court appointed penalties for such offences are very severe and you will likely need and want to have legal representation. We generally advise that such serious cases will take approximately 6 to 12 months and 3 to 5 court dates to resolve. The first step will be to meet with you to discuss the details of exactly what occurred and to get copies of the paperwork provided to you by the police.
The court date listed on your summons is a first appearance court date and once retained as your legal representative it is unlikely that we would require you to be present for that brief appearance. We will be able to advise you in more detail after the Prosecutor has made a disclosure of their evidence to our office. At that time the legal merits of their case will be available to review with you and we will be able to advise you in more detail in regard to the best way to proceed. There is always hope that the case against you will be weak enough to argue that the charge simply be withdrawn. If not, we will need to discuss whether you wish to proceed to trial or if we wish to enter into an early resolution meeting with the Prosecutor to negotiate a possible plea deal to minimize the penalties or the nature of the charge itself.
We offer a no cost and no obligation initial consultation. I would recommend bringing any paperwork given to you by the police as well as a written statement of anything that you feel may be relevant for us to know. I may be reached via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.