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Charter/Caution for traffic accident

rocksteady

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Is there any requirement for MP to Charter/Caution pers at the scene of an accident after obtaining basic entity info.  If so where is this miraculous piece of legislation found.

I'm talking when you show up on scene at a typical traffic accident, no injuries type of situation where there is no apparent evidence of service offence or CC offence.  I've been told that since there is always an "offence" that could have taken place that MP are now to Charter/Caution before they even know what's going on, even if it may be a provincial offence and there is no reasonable suspicion or grounds that anything beyond a provincial offence may have occurred.

In my opinion under this premise MP should be Charter/Cautioning for a lost ID as technically someone could be charged for losing an ID.  If you can't read between the lines of what I'm saying that please forego a response.

Thanks.
 

Monsoon

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rocksteady said:
Is there any requirement for MP to Charter/Caution pers at the scene of an accident after obtaining basic entity info.  If so where is this miraculous piece of legislation found.
IMNAL, however I do have a masters degree in law and I'm Presiding Officer qualified, so here's my crack at your question:

The requirement for a caution doesn't arise out of legislation, but out of the charter right against self-incrimination. This right creates a rule of criminal evidence requiring individuals under criminal investigation to be fully advised of their charter rights ("caution"-ed) prior to making any statements. Having been cautioned, any self-incriminating evidence that arises out of their own statement can be deemed to be subject to a voluntary and informed waiver of their right against self-incrimination.

If police at the scene of an accident suspect that the accident arose as the result of a criminal act by one of the drivers (i.e. one of them was drunk or driving in a way that was criminally negligent or reckless, like excessive speed), then the police would need to caution that driver before questioning them. If, as would normally be the case, they arrive on the scene suspecting nothing but then come to suspect a criminal act during the course of their investigation, they would then need to caution the suspect before gathering evidence that could be admissible in a criminal trial.

Most traffic accidents either don't involve criminal acts, or involve very minor breaches of the traffic code that the police don't intend to recommend for prosecution. In these cases, the police questioning on the scene may be used in civil proceedings between the drivers and their insurance companies. This may involve "fault" being assigned for the purposes of assessing damages, but since it doesn't involve criminal blame being assigned no prior caution is needed.

In the case of a lost ID card, I've never heard of the MPs being called in to do a criminal investigation. For one thing, the burden of criminal proof involves having a "guilty mind" - that is, the knowledge that the action you're doing will cause a crime, or the negligent indifference as to whether your action will cause a crime. Since ID cards are almost always lost as a result of simple accidents (ones that also entail the significant inconvenience of losing your entire wallet), it would be nearly impossible to meet the burden of criminal proof. However, the burden of civil/administrative responsibility is lower: you were given a card to possess and you lost it. You are civilly responsible and must pay for the loss. This is how administrative deductions for lost IDs are justified.

Long story short, the difference is between criminal and civil responsibility. And what this means is that just because someone "gets off" a criminal prosecution involving a traffic accident because he wasn't formally cautioned by the police before his statement, this doesn't mean you can't still sue the pants off him in civil court.

Hope this helps.
 

Tibbson

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Hamiltongs is correct.  There is a big difference between a Criminal Code or NDA charge and investigation then an MP (or any police officers for that matter since all badge carrying MPs are peace officers) asking questions in regards to an HTA ticket. 

You must also keep in mind that most provincial highway traffic acts require you to report the accident info to police.  I'll draw your attention to Sec 199(1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act which states:

199.  (1)  Every person in charge of a motor vehicle or street car who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident shall, if the accident results in personal injuries or in damage to property apparently exceeding an amount prescribed by regulation, report the accident forthwith to the nearest police officer and furnish him or her with the information concerning the accident as may be required by the officer under subsection (3). R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 199 (1); 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.

Right there you are required to speak to police and provide the information they require.  IF, during the course of that reporting, a police officer forms the grounds to believe you may have also committed a Criminal Code offence then and only then must they Charter/Caution you.

To take your concern further, a charge for lost ID does not result in a criminal record and is the military equivalent of a simple ticket (although admittedly the process is different).  As such, there is no need for you to be Charter/Cautioned especially since the MPs are not the one charging you and there is no report generated and distributed from SAMPIS.  The ID card is lost, the regs require that you report it missing to the MPs who in turn enter it in CPIC as lost/stolen so that if someone is caught trying to use it the civilian police will know it's been reported lost/stolen.  That is where the MP involvement ends.  Any action your Unit chooses to take is administrative in nature and may or may not include a minor charge. 
 

putz

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rocksteady said:
Is there any requirement for MP to Charter/Caution pers at the scene of an accident after obtaining basic entity info.  If so where is this miraculous piece of legislation found.

I'm talking when you show up on scene at a typical traffic accident, no injuries type of situation where there is no apparent evidence of service offence or CC offence.  I've been told that since there is always an "offence" that could have taken place that MP are now to Charter/Caution before they even know what's going on, even if it may be a provincial offence and there is no reasonable suspicion or grounds that anything beyond a provincial offence may have occurred.

In my opinion under this premise MP should be Charter/Cautioning for a lost ID as technically someone could be charged for losing an ID.  If you can't read between the lines of what I'm saying that please forego a response.

Thanks.

No.  Unless during your investigation something causes you to think there is a criminal or NDA offence occurred,  stop caution and carry on.  Where are you being told that you need to charter/caution?
 

rocksteady

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putz said:
No.  Unless during your investigation something causes you to think there is a criminal or NDA offence occurred,  stop caution and carry on.  Where are you being told that you need to charter/caution?

My CoC is telling us this and we are expected to do it at EVERY traffic accident.  I find it very left field and it doesn't seem right.
 

SeaKingTacco

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rocksteady said:
My CoC is telling us this and we are expected to do it at EVERY traffic accident.  I find it very left field and it doesn't seem right.

So question it.  You appear to be a Peace Officer.  It is your duty to ensure that the practical application of the law is correct. Ask to see the legal advice on this point.
 

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SeaKingTacco said:
So question it.  You appear to be a Peace Officer.  It is your duty to ensure that the practical application of the law is correct. Ask to see the legal advice on this point.

Right. So here is a dude who has been given an order that appears to come out of left field. He is doing something sensible: asking for advice. Now, I wish he had a better support network than army.ca, but here he is. He wants to have his ducks in a row before he rocks the boat and gets summarily shot down.

Then here you are telling him to just go ahead and basically question his chain of command. Is this the best advice you have?

I don't have an answer, but the worst thing he can do right now is to chose this hill to make his stand, by fighting this (arguably) chicken shit SOP.
 

SeaKingTacco

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No, what I am saying is that in addition to him being in the Military, he is also a Peace Officer. He (or she) has a responsibility as a sworn peace officer to ensure that the application of the law is as correct as it can be.

Why would it be a hanging offence for an MP to ask to see the legal opinion behind a particular order, so that the particular point of law could be better understood by the patrolman? He (or she) may actually be called as a witness in court at some point in the future. It would be kind of nice to have answer for the judge, other than "I was ordered to do so by my Sgt", would it not?

I am all too familiar with the MP Gp habit for stupidity when it comes to application of the law and questionable decision-making, however, to do other than fear you are correct, Niner-six.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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...and I think the definition of 'question" is the issue between you two. 
Not raising a big stink, but simply asking to see the piece of legislation that made this change.

For him to do otherwise is a failure of duty.....
 

SeaKingTacco

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I think you are correct, Bruce.

BTW, my post "earned" me a -25 mil points penalty, which more or less proves my point that I raised in my last sentence.
 

Journeyman

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SeaKingTacco said:
....which more or less proves my point that I raised in my last sentence.
That's a growing problem with the stove-piped trades; they increasingly believe that problems/issues are solely theirs, as opposed to being CAF-wide leadership/manning/training issues.
 

Dissident

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It is inane to ask a troop, who is seeking advice before going to his chain regarding the issue, to just go and question his chain. AFAIAC he is doing the reasonable thing: seeking furhter information and clarification before going to his boss with a half baked idea.  Telling the OP that he has a professional resposibility to ensure he understands the law he is applying while he is actively attempting to solve this very issue seems very condescending IMO.

Right or wrong you all know damn well the repercussions of calling your boss out on his BS. I've done it and it is not always pretty and rarely well received, no matter how well articulated it is.
 

George Wallace

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NinerSix said:
It is inane to ask a troop, who is seeking advice before going to his chain regarding the issue, to just go and question his chain. AFAIAC he is doing the reasonable thing: seeking furhter information and clarification before going to his boss with a half baked idea.  Telling the OP that he has a professional resposibility to ensure he understands the law he is applying while he is actively attempting to solve this very issue seems very condescending IMO.

Right or wrong you all know damn well the repercussions of calling your boss out on his BS. I've done it and it is not always pretty and rarely well received, no matter how well articulated it is.


???

So? You suggest that he follow the advice of some unknown entities on an internet forum instead?  How many "Barrackroom Lawyers" do you think there are here on this site, to give correct legal advice, anyway?
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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NinerSix said:
It is inane to ask a troop, who is seeking advice before going to his chain regarding the issue, to just go and question his chain. AFAIAC he is doing the reasonable thing: seeking furhter information and clarification before going to his boss with a half baked idea.  Telling the OP that he has a professional resposibility to ensure he understands the law he is applying while he is actively attempting to solve this very issue seems very condescending IMO.

Right or wrong you all know damn well the repercussions of calling your boss out on his BS. I've done it and it is not always pretty and rarely well received, no matter how well articulated it is.


Sorry lad but I now must say you're wrong...........he's a peace officer who's DUTY AS ONE is to know what regs he is legally enforcing.

Laws don't change by your COC.
 

J.J

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As a Peace Officer, outside of the CF, SeaKingTacco and Bruce are absolutely correct in that the OP should be requesting clarification on the policy. Other than the policy being stupid and completely unnecessary, it will cause a lot more harm than good. In my professional opinion, the OP is doing the right thing questioning the 'good idea fairies" in the MP world.
 

Dissident

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
Sorry lad but I now must say you're wrong...........he's a peace officer who's DUTY AS ONE is to know what regs he is legally enforcing.

Laws don't change by your COC.

Not to quibble, because I understand what you are saying, but it does show a lack of understanding of police work at large. Police/peace officers have discretion, which can be framed by direction from supervisors. An easy example of this would be a decision from the OC that from now on tickets will be issued to anyone going 3kph over the limit. The law hasn't changed, but the way it is enforced/articulated has.

While what SKT said seems reasonable and ideal in the abstract, it really fails to take into account the usual inter personal dynamics/politics of an MP det. In any case, OP didn't ask for what is the best way to solves this issue, he asked for some references or source material.


 

Dissident

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WR said:
As a Peace Officer, outside of the CF, SeaKingTacco and Bruce are absolutely correct in that the OP should be requesting clarification on the policy. Other than the policy being stupid and completely unnecessary, it will cause a lot more harm than good. In my professional opinion, the OP is doing the right thing questioning the 'good idea fairies" in the MP world.

Of course the OP has to "question" this, my point is that he is doing just this, since he is asking us about it here. I wager he also asked other people. Everyone needs to question unclear orders/direction. Realistically we just can't throw up a red flag every time we don't agree with something. It requires tact and a certain amount of finess when "coaching up". OP is gathering info and I suspect will present it at an opportune time.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Niner Six,

I don't want to get into a peeing contest with- I generally respect your posting.

I fully acknowledge what you are saying that the MP CoC has thin skins and does not always respond well to questions (you will have to just trust me that a couple of my previous postings has given me insights into MP Gp not generally afforded to outsiders).

That said- I stand by my assertion that the OP must understand the policies he is enforcing and must seek clarification when he does not. I, too, would be really curious to see the legal opinion behind what started all of this.

If there is no legal opinion and some police officer in MP GP just came up with this on their own, I would find that extremely disturbing (but in no way surprising).
 
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