Requesting Disclosure

Posted by: Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret) onNovember 27th, 2009

I’m always amazed at the amount of poorly qualified or outright incorrect information on the web when I search for traffic enforcement related information. One popular topic that seems especially mistreated is disclosure of the Crown’s evidence prior to trial. The authors of the articles would have you believe that you should ask for everything, including the brand of ink in the officer’s pen, and when any of it is refused the ticket will automatically be dismissed.

If you are considering a ticket dispute, you may choose to write to the officer who issued the ticket and request disclosure. Do this at the same time that you enter your dispute so that there is plenty of time for the officer to comply. This way if you have any questions after receiving disclosure you will have time to ask for clarification before the trial date.

If you simply request disclosure, you will receive a synopsis of the evidence that the officer will be presenting during the trial. You may request specific disclosure for information about the officer’s qualifications, what kind of speed measuring instrument was used or for a copy of any evidence that will be presented, such as photos, videos or witness statements. The court will support all reasonably justified requests.

Photocopies of copyrighted material such as the radar operation manual will be refused, although you could expect to attend to the detachment and view a copy to make notes from. Copies of all tickets the officer issued that day and the outcome of any trials related to them, servicing records for the police vehicle, reports of all disciplinary actions against the officer or other such requests will not be upheld by the court.

Would you like reliable advice on the preparation of your dispute? Consider the Lawyer Referral Service operated by the Canadian Bar Association. The $25.00 fee may save you frustration and allow you to concentrate on what is pertinent to your defence.

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  1. Tomaz says:

    That is a lot of research and work to dispute a ticket. I could see the use on an offense that is more than substantial (Dangerous Driving for example), but for Joe-Blow getting a speeding ticket, this is not happening.

    People actually go to the extreme in asking for ridiculous things like the operation manual for the equipment? Really? Some people just need to “man-up”, take responsibility for their actions. Jeebus!

  2. mr2mike says:

    There are also traffic defense people who are not lawyers that only charge $25 to dispute your ticket for you. Might be more worth it in the long run. Save yourself some time and effort. Unless you’re looking to go into a Law degree. My two cents.

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