Ok, I've been looking over a whole bunch of 'ticket threads' here & just have some quick hypothetical questions:
1) Let's say a PO issues you a speeding ticket, and gives you the usual speech: "Based on the speed I clocked you at (ie. 90kph in a 60kph zone) I could issue you a more expensive ticket, but I'm going to give you a break and issue the least expensive ticket." (ie. $115). So now let's say, you decide to dispute the allegation of speeding, but don't show up to court on the hearing date. A conviction for speeding is automatically entered into your record, but: Is it possible for the PO to request the JP to increase the fine in your absence? (ie. just on the basis of the PO's testimony / notes / evidence?) I know that in ticket disputes, PO's have the right to request JP's for increases in fines, and it's the JP's discretion whether or not to do so. But can the JP order an increase in the fine if the accused isn't present at the hearing?
2) So then, what's to stop someone from going to the courthouse on the day of their hearing, seeing if the police officer is present or not, and then deciding at that moment whether or not to continue with the dispute? In other words, if the officer isn't present, then someone could just make a snap decision to proceed with the hearing and plead not guilty to the alleged offence, in which case the charge is automatically thrown out. But if the officer is present, and there's a chance that he or she might ask the JP to increase the fine in the (likely) event of a conviction, what's to stop someone from just walking out of the courthouse before the hearing commences?
Any legal-eagles have experience with these hypothetical situations? Any advice would be greatly appreciated; thanks
P.S. I notice that PO's sometimes have a habit of walking around the waiting rooms outside the courtroom, and taking a 'roll-call' of the people there. They usually ask for people's names, alleged offences, etc. Does anyone know why they do this, and whether you're considered to have 'appeared' at the hearing if they confirm your presence on these roll calls? Thanks again