Dangerous Driving Lawyer

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At both the provincial and federal levels, driving and highway-related laws and regulations are getting stringent to reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities resulting from reckless and impaired driving on our roads. Individuals who violate the set rules face unpleasant consequences, including fines, possible jail time, license suspension and criminal records.

One of the most serious criminal driving offences in Toronto is dangerous driving. This is an offence under the Criminal Code, which, unlike driving violations under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, presents the possibility of a criminal record, among other serious repercussions. When faced with such or related criminal driving charges, it’s important to seek legal advice to protect your rights and help attain a favourable outcome.

What Is Dangerous Driving?

Dangerous driving can be defined as driving in a reckless manner and without regard to the safety of others. As a crime that endangers the lives of other road users, dangerous driving offences are taken very seriously by the Ontario justice system.

As per the Criminal Code, the offence can be further broken down into three depending on the results of the act committed, i.e., did your dangerous driving cause any injuries or not?

Here are the necessary provisions for dangerous driving as per section 320.13 of the Canadian Criminal Code:

Dangerous operation

  • Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all circumstances, is dangerous to the public.

Operation causing bodily harm

  • Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regards to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes bodily harm to another person.

Operation causing death

  • Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regards to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes the death of another person.

As per the Criminal Code, all the circumstances must be considered for anyone to be charged with dangerous driving. For example, if you were driving recklessly on the highway, you could face criminal charges even if there was no one else present. On the other hand, if you were driving in a motorsport park, and no one was expected to be in harm’s way, it’s unlikely to face criminal charges.

Note that:

  • Bodily harm, fatality or an accident is not enough to build or prove a dangerous driving case.
  • Even if no one was injured due to your dangerous driving, you could still face criminal charges.

Given the elements necessary to charge a person with dangerous driving, it’s possible to devise a strong defence system to dispute the allegations against you or have them reduced to lesser charges. Therefore, when charged with dangerous driving, do not give any statement without consulting a skilled dangerous driving lawyer in Toronto.

Call Zamani Law today to schedule a free assessment of your case with an experienced attorney.

Penalties for Dangerous Driving

Dangerous driving is a hybrid offence. This means that the Crown chooses whether to prosecute your charges by indictment or summarily. If convicted, the penalties imposed will depend on how the prosecution elects to proceed.

Here are the penalties for dangerous driving as provided by the Criminal Code:

Dangerous Operation

  • Indictable offence: up to 10 years in jail
  • Summary offence: up to 2 years in jail

Dangerous operation causing bodily harm

  • Indictable offence: imprisonment for up to 14 years
  • Minimum punishment of:
    1. First offence – $1,000 fine
    2. Second offence – 30 days in jail
    3. Subsequent offence – 120 days in jail

Dangerous operation causing death

  • Indictable offence: life imprisonment
  • Minimum punishment of:
    1. First offence – $1,000
    2. Second offence – 30 days in jail
    3. Subsequent offence – 120 days in jail

As evident from the penalties provided above, dangerous driving is a serious offence with severe penalties upon a finding of guilt. When facing such consequences, it’s important to remember your rights to legal counsel and enlist the services of a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto. At Zamani Law, we have years of experience helping persons facing such and other driving related-offences obtain favourable outcomes, including withdrawal of the charges, community-based sentences, or reduced charges.

Contact our firm today to speak to a dangerous driving lawyer.

You’re Not Guilty

An arrest by the police and a dangerous driving criminal charge does not automatically mean that you’re guilty. Under Canadian law, you have the right to appear before a Judge and defend yourself against the charges. The judge decides whether you’re guilty or innocent based on the case presented.

Therefore, it’s important to exercise your right to legal representation to ensure that you get the advice and help you require when facing criminal charges. This will ensure that you attain the best possible outcome per your case.

Zamani Law has successfully defended many clients facing a range of dangerous driving charges through numerous defence strategies. We have helped our clients get their charges dropped, attain reduced penalties, or have the charges withdrawn in favour of lesser ones such as careless driving under the provincial laws.

Do not plead guilty! Please take advantage of our free consultation and speak to a Toronto criminal defence lawyer about your case.

Need Legal Help? Contact Zamani Law Dangerous Driving Lawyers

When faced with dangerous driving charges in Ontario, it’s important to try and limit the possible negative impacts the offence can have on you and your family. This can be done by retaining a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer to review your case and tailor possible defence strategies.

For more information on how we can help, contact our dangerous driving lawyers team via call, email, or online.

FAQs

 

What is the difference between dangerous driving and careless driving?

Many motorists assume that dangerous driving and careless driving are practically similar offences. However, the two are very different charges and here’s how:

  • Dangerous driving is a federal-level crime under the Criminal Code, while careless driving is a provincial offence under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
  • Consequences for dangerous driving are more severe and include a criminal record if convicted. Careless driving has less severe penalties, and if convicted, the record only stays on your driving licence.

If you are charged with any of the two offences, you should speak to a lawyer. They both pose serious, long-term consequences.

What does the Crown have to prove in dangerous driving charges?

For a successful dangerous driving conviction, the Crown must prove the following:

  • Intent – you intentionally drove dangerously and put the public in danger.
  • You committed the act in a place with public access.
  • The driving was dangerous as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada.

Can my charges be reduced?

If you are charged with dangerous driving, an experienced criminal defence lawyer can review your case and determine the possible ways to resolve it. One way to resolve your charge includes negotiating with the Crown to reduce it to a traffic offence of careless driving. Another way of resolving your criminal charge is by applying for a discharge. The two methods ensure that you do not end up with a criminal conviction.

However, in some cases, a discharge or reduction of the charges to careless driving may not be possible. In such instances, our attorney strives to ensure that you receive the minimum sentence possible, e.g., a fine and probation only.

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