Applying to adjourn a trial
A new decision just came out at the BC Supreme Court that will help drivers who applied to adjourn their Violation Ticket hearing and had it denied, and drivers who testified based on their speedometer but lost their hearing.
Mr. Sandoval applied to adjourn his trial on the basis that his lawyer was unavailable for trial. The Judicial Justice hearing the case denied Mr. Sandoval’s adjournment, essentially because the cost to the taxpayer would be too great and it would be “unfair” to adjourn. The Supreme Court found, however, that by denying Mr. Sandoval’s adjournment, the Judicial Justice denied him the right to counsel of his choice and that the denial was a miscarriage of justice.
After the adjournment application was denied, Mr. Sandoval continued with his trial. He had been ticketed for speeding in a 50 km/h zone in an area where the speed limit quickly decreases from 80, to 60, to 50 km/h. He testified that he knew that he was following the speed limit because he had set his cruise control exactly at the speed limit in a 50 km/h zone, even before he passed the sign. The Judicial Justice still found him guilty, relying entirely on the Crown evidence of his speed while discounting all of Mr. Sandoval’s evidence.
Significantly, the Supreme Court found that the Judicial Justice caused a miscarriage of justice by applying a different standard to Mr. Sandoval’s evidence of his speed than he did to the Crown’s evidence. Essentially, the Judicial Justice had placed the burden of proof on Mr. Sandoval to prove that he was not speeding, violating the presumption of innocence.
Ultimately, Mr. Sandoval’s case was sent back so that he can obtain a fair trial. This case is important because it reinforces the need for fairness in traffic court.
If you lost a hearing at traffic court after asking to adjourn, or if you feel you were unfairly convicted, you should hire a lawyer well-versed in driving law. You may have an appeal.
Ar BC Driving Lawyers we handle all kinds of traffic tickets and we know the Court system inside out.
If you need help with a traffic ticket, call us for a free consultation on 604-608-1200.