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Law.Hut
Law.Hut, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  with over 15 years experience.
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I got charged in Alberta for Failure to remain at the scene

Customer Question

I got charged in Alberta for Failure to remain at the scene under the traffic act Section 69 (1) (a) however I wasn't fleeing the scene in with intent to escape civil or criminal liability.

I side swiped a vehicle after signalling to turn into the left lane and didn't check my blind spot and slid against a truck causing a scratch with my left mirror. It took me a few seconds to realize what had just happened. I was looking at my mirror trying to see if I can unfold it out and then I saw the driver drive ahead of me. The road was busy as it was 10:30 in the morning on a Saturday.

I didn't feel that it was safe to pull off to the side that the other driver was indicating so I drove a little further and turned my signal on for left at a four way intersection. The other driver followed me however as soon as I made it onto this road which goes into a walmart parking lot the driver had become irrate and was driving on my right side of my vehicle making me confused and nervous as I wanted to pull over. The driver in his vehicle was focused on me making angry gestures. I drove up a bit trying to figure out what to do because I didn't think that it would go down like this. I was feeling really really nervous and I was trying to figure out how to change this into a safer and friendlier situation but I have no idea this guy was driving like he took it personally that I damaged his car. I drove up in front of walmart to see if I can have people see what this guy was doing because I was feeling really scared at this point. Then he somewhat cut in front of me and as soon as he got out I panicked because I felt threatened by the way this driver was acting and I drove around him and started to drive around the parking lot trying to figure out where to go or what to do because I was scared. I drove to the other end of the parking lot and was turning and I saw this guy charging his vehicle right after me and it happened like a blur and next thing I know he drove passed my car and slammed his breaks in the middle of the road hitting the front of my car on the drivers side. The driver jumped out of his vehicle and kicked my window and I locked the door as he tried to open the door.

I was shaking, scared, in disbelief of what just happened and I have witnesses that saw I was terrified of this driver. The witnesses managed to get him to get away from my car to cool off. I never got to talk to him at all when the RCMP arrived. I filled out an accident report and the member asked if I needed to call anyone and said he would bring my report in the morning. He said that I was charged for the sideswipe but he also said I would be charged for failing to remain at scene but he had to talk to his boss first.

He never showed up with the report. I had to go to the office 4 times before I got my accident report. The 4th time was talking to the Sargent of the detachment. After two weeks I was finally able to receive the accident report. The ticket for the fail to remain on scene is a summons for court and the other ticket is an offense notice for unsafe change of lane.

I'm not sure what I should do. I don't know if I can say if fight or flight response was part of this. I wasn't trying to avoid getting information however the situation was very difficult for me to obtain it. I've never been in an accident before either.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Law.Hut replied 10 months ago.
Hello:

What specifically are you asking us to answer?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I want to know what I can do to prove that I wasn't fleeing the scene of the accident because my intent wasn't to avoid civil or criminal liability?

Expert:  Law.Hut replied 10 months ago.
The first step you can take is to request disclosure from the prosecutor. You are entitled to see all police notes, reports and witness statements of the incident. You get this well ahead of your trial. That can help you to plan your defence and to cross examine any crown witnesses.

Basically your proof of your case is going to be you testifying as to what happened and why you left the scene. If the judge is left in some doubt as to why you left the scene, then the crown has not proven that you did so to escape liability and you must be acquitted. And from your description, there should be more than a reasonable doubt. It seems clear that you had a very valid reason for leaving. Proving you left the scene out of concerns for your safety should be sufficient for an acquittal. And showing that you went to the police to make a report as soon as possible is also consistent with your not trying to avoid liability.

This is not a criminal charge. It is a provincial offence. So worst case scenario if you convicted you will not have a criminal record. N
Law.Hut, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 7468
Experience: with over 15 years experience.
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Expert:  Law.Hut replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for the positive rating. The site will email you a survey within several days. I would appreciate your taking time to complete that survey and providing positive feedback. If you have questions in the future on other legal matters, you can refer to my user name of law.hut at the outset of your post. I will do my best to answer as soon as possible.

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