Did you know that a dangerous driving conviction results in a criminal record, potential jail time, fines, and a license suspension of at least one year? Dangerous driving is a serious crime that has long-lasting consequences. If you are charged with this crime, you need a dangerous driving lawyer in Orangeville to represent you. If you've been charged with dangerous driving, you need a lawyer who can help defend you against the charges. To learn more about the differences between careless driving and dangerous driving, read on.
What Is Careless Driving? According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, careless driving is defined as carelessly driving a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway. Police officers have a great deal of discretion in determining if careless driving has occurred. Some of the common types of careless driving include:
Not maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles
Passing other cars in a risky or unsafe manner
Running a red light or stop sign
Failing to check mirrors when backing up or changing lanes
Causing accidents with pedestrians or bicyclists
Distracted driving due to texting, making phone calls, etc.
Not taking proper care in any other situation
Because there is great discretion in determining if careless driving has occurred, many who are charged with careless driving fight the charges in court. Careless Driving Penalties Because careless driving is not a criminal offence, you will not have a criminal record if convicted. Instead, you may face fines, license suspension, and potential jail time. The minimum fine is $400 and the maximum fine is $2,000. You also may have your license suspended for up to two years and jailed for up to six months. You'll also face demerit points. A careless driving conviction comes with six demerit points, which will stay on your record for two years. In addition, you'll receive risk points with your insurance company and your insurance premiums will likely increase. What Is Dangerous Driving? Dangerous driving is a more serious offence. It is not the same as careless driving. The Criminal Code of Canada defines it as "operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the place at which the motor vehicle is being operated and the amount of traffic at that time is or might be reasonably be expected to be at that place." Dangerous Driving Penalties Because it is a criminal offence, dangerous driving carries stiffer penalties and you may get a criminal record. The maximum penalty is a fine of up to $2,000, licence suspension, and possible jail time. If you cause great bodily harm, the penalty can be up to 10 years in prison and a license suspension for up to 10 years and the vehicle you are driving will be impounded for 30 days. If you are convicted of dangerous driving that results in death, you can face up to 14 years in prison. Do You Need a Dangerous Driving Lawyer in Orangeville? If you have been charged with either of these offences, you need an attorney to help you navigate the system and defend yourself. A dangerous driving lawyer in Orangeville will know how to defend your rights in court. If you are in need of a lawyer, Richard Allman is an experienced criminal defence lawyer who has decades of experienced defending careless and dangerous driving cases. If you are facing charges, don't delay in scheduling a consultation with criminal lawyer Richard Allman today.