Legal Guide

What Happens When You're Charged with Dangerous Driving in Canada

When a person has been caught driving recklessly on the roads, different charges are brought up against them based on the events.

If you are being charged for dangerous or careless driving in Canada, then there is a good chance you could be facing a fine, license suspension, or something much worse.

But before you talk with an experienced and reliable criminal attorney like Aswani Datt to help you with your case, it would be good to have a better understanding of the situation you are in.

To do this, let's take a look at what you might be charged with, the penalties, and more

Careless Driving

A careless driving charge is the lowest offence you could commit in Canada that involves reckless driving. It's not a criminal offence. It only means that you were driving without giving attention or care to the other vehicles on the road. If you are charged with careless driving, then you will be tried under the Highway Traffic Act.

If you are charged with careless driving, then you need to act fast. Either you or your lawyer can go and talk to the prosecutor about lower the charge against you in exchange for pleading guilty. Sometimes they do this to avoid wasting too much of their time. You just might get away with a slap on the wrist instead of a more severe penalty.

If you get tried for careless driving, and the court finds you guilty, then you can face multiple charges. These could be:

  • A fine of at least $400, which can go as high as $2000
  • Six months of a jail sentence
  • Six demerit points
  • Around two years of licence suspension

Careless Driving That Results in Harm or death of an Individual

The Highway Traffic Act only consisted of a general careless driving offence. But since September 2018, a new offence has been added for careless driving causing death or bodily harm.

Unlike the regular careless driving charge, you might not be able to get a plea bargain for this. Since there will be injured or dead people involved in the case and probably many witnesses, you will need to get a fantastic attorney to get out or face the minimum charges on this case.

With this type of a careless driving charge, you might be facing:

  • A fine of at least $2000, and it can go up to $ 50,000
  • A two-year period of a jail sentence
  • Six demerit points
  • Licence suspension for up to five years

Not to mention the incredibly higher insurance premiums you will have to start paying for a while.

Dangerous Driving

If you thought the previous charges were terrible, then you will not be happy about this one.

Dangerous driving is a criminal offence. This charge is tried under the Criminal Code of Canada. Being tried under the Highway Traffic Act is not as big a deal. In this case, you will be tried as a criminal, and you will also have a police file with your fingerprints and photographs. You will need an experienced and reliable criminal attorney to get you out of this one.

A dangerous driving charge is a hybrid offence. That means you could be tried lightly or heavily. If you are convicted on the less serious or summary conviction, then you might be looking at a two years jail sentence. On the other hand, being convicted on indictment can mean up to 10 years of jail time.

All that is in addition to the possible fines, licence suspension, and more. If you hurt or killed someone, then your penalties might increase.

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