The following is general information and not legal advice, so please call our office to make an appointment to learn more about your particular offence.
Dangerous driving is one of the most serious driving offences in Canada and the penalties associated with it on a conviction are appropriately severe, including the fact that you will have a criminal record.
This charge involves operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, and also includes the operation of a boat, water skis or a towed object on or over Canadian waters. Once the trier of fact is satisfied that your actions match the wording of this Criminal Code provision beyond a reasonable doubt, they must turn their mind to the mental element of the crime. Essentially, the Crown will have to prove that your actions were a marked departure from the standard of care of a reasonable person in your circumstances.
Each case turns on its particular set of facts. A momentary loss of attention while driving may not be sufficient to be convicted. For example, a driver of a vehicle who lost consciousness or fell asleep for a few seconds and collided with an oncoming vehicle, thereby killing its occupants, was ultimately found not guilty of this charge. However, if you are aware of a medical condition (ex. seizures) and you do not take the proper precautions for this pre-existing medical condition, the occurrence of this medical condition while driving may not be a defence to this charge. So, you may not believe you have a defence but schedule an appointment with our office to be sure.
Contact our office to see how we can best assist you in defending yourself. We will request your Disclosure package from the Crown Attorney’s office and review it with you to explore your defence options.
Apart from having a criminal record, a conviction of dangerous driving will cause you to have your licence suspended for at least one year. You may face a longer suspension if you’ve been convicted of this charge previously, or if you’ve been convicted of other specific charges as outlined at s. 41 of the Highway Traffic Act (ex. impaired driving under s. 253 of the Criminal Code) within the last ten years.
You could face up to 5 years in prison as a result of a conviction of dangerous driving. However, if the dangerous driving caused serious bodily harm, then you could be facing up to 10 years in custody, or up to 14 years of custody if the dangerous driving caused death.
Additionally, you could face other charges in addition to the dangerous driving if you participated in any other underlying illegal conduct while driving dangerously, such as speeding or being impaired.
Contact our office to hear about your options and choose your best course of action.