Dangerous Driving Lawyer
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, seeking legal advice to protect your rights and help attain a favourable outcome is essential.
What Is Dangerous Driving?
Dangerous driving can be defined as driving recklessly and without regard for the safety of others. As a crime that endangers other road users’ lives, the Ontario justice system takes dangerous driving offences very seriously.
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:
- 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 no one else was 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.
- Bodily harm, fatality or an accident is insufficient 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 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:
- 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:
- First offence – $1,000 fine
- Second offence – 30 days in jail
- Subsequent offence – 120 days in jail
Dangerous operation causing death
- Indictable offence: life imprisonment
- Minimum punishment of:
- First offence – $1,000
- Second offence – 30 days in jail
- Subsequent offence – 120 days in jail
As evident from the penalties 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 do not automatically mean you’re guilty. Under Canadian law, you have the right to appear before a Judge and defend yourself against the charges. Based on the case presented, the judge decides whether you’re guilty or innocent.
Therefore, exercising your right to legal representation is essential to ensure 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 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 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 essential to try and limit the possible negative impacts of the offence on you and your family. This can be done by retaining a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer to review your case and tailor possible defense strategies. A dangerous driving lawyer at Zamani Law can help in the following ways:
Building a Strong Defense – A dangerous driving lawyer will review the evidence against you and develop a strong defence strategy. They will identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and develop a plan to challenge the charges against you. A skilled lawyer will leverage their knowledge and experience to create a defense that will give you the best possible chance of success in court.
Negotiating Plea Deals – In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. This involves agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. A skilled dangerous driving lawyer will negotiate on your behalf and work to secure the best possible plea deal.
Representing You in Court – If your case goes to trial, a dangerous driving lawyer will represent you in court. They will present evidence and arguments on your behalf and cross-examine witnesses presented by the prosecution. A skilled lawyer will use their expertise to present a compelling case and give you the best possible chance of success in court.
Providing Legal Guidance and Support – A dangerous driving lawyer will provide legal guidance and support throughout the process. They will help you understand the charges against you, the potential penalties you may face, and your legal rights and options. They will also guide you in interacting with the police, the courts, and other involved parties.
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; the record only stays on your driving licence if convicted.
You should speak to a lawyer if you are charged with any of the two offences. 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 I be charged with dangerous driving if I was not driving recklessly?
Yes, it is possible to be charged with dangerous driving even if you were not driving recklessly. Dangerous driving charges can also be filed for driving carelessly, without due care and attention, or reasonable consideration for others using the road. In some cases, dangerous driving charges may be filed based on the circumstances of the incident, such as if a driver was driving distracted or was otherwise not paying attention to the road. It is essential to seek the help of a skilled and experienced dangerous driving lawyer if you are facing charges, as they can provide legal guidance and help you build a strong defence.
Can I be charged with dangerous driving if no one was injured?
Yes, it is possible to be charged with dangerous driving even if no one was injured. Dangerous driving is defined as driving in a manner that is dangerous to the public, regardless of whether anyone is harmed. In some cases, dangerous driving charges may be filed based on the circumstances of the incident, such as if a driver was driving recklessly or at excessive speeds.
What should I do if I am charged with dangerous driving?
If you are charged with dangerous driving, it is essential to seek the help of a skilled and experienced dangerous driving lawyer as soon as possible. A dangerous driving charge can have serious consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time, so taking the charge seriously and preparing a solid defence is essential.
Your lawyer will review the evidence against you and advise you on the best action. They will help you understand the charges against you and the potential penalties that you may face. They may also negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a plea agreement or represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
It is essential to be honest and forthcoming with your lawyer about the details of the incident. Your lawyer must know all the facts to prepare the best possible defense.
In addition, you should avoid speaking to the police or making any statements that could be used against you in court. It is essential to exercise your right to remain silent and to wait until you have consulted with a lawyer before making any statements or answering any questions.
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 you do not get a criminal conviction.
However, in some cases, a discharge or reduction of the charges for careless driving may not be possible. In such instances, our attorney strives to ensure you receive the minimum sentence possible, e.g., a fine and probation only.
How long will a dangerous driving charge stay on my record?
In Canada, a dangerous driving conviction will typically stay on your driving record for at least ten years. The conviction will be visible to insurance companies and other background check organizations during this time.
After the conviction has been on your record for the designated period, you may be able to apply to have it removed or expunged. This process varies by jurisdiction and may involve filing a petition or meeting specific criteria, such as completing a rehabilitation program or maintaining a clean driving record.
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I called Mr. Zamani not knowing what to do. Never having been in a situation like this before I was terrified. A family member needed my help and I needed his help. Mr. Zamani put me at ease with the first conversation. His is extremely professional, compassionate and knowledgeable. He was in constant contact with updates to help ease anxiety. Lawyer can be intimidating, but I feel safe and secure with Mr. Zamani. Thank you for your expert help and kindness. I highly recommend Mr. Zamani to navigate such challenges in life. Thank you!!!- Heidi van Vlymen