Dangerous Driving

Under the Criminal Code, Dangerous Driving is a serious offence and is punishable by demerit points on your driver's licence, a suspension of your driver's licence, a fine or even jail time. If you're charged with Dangerous Driving it is important that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Ontario criminal defence lawyer. The Ted Yoannou criminal law team has extensive experience defending dangerous driving charges and can advise and assist you every step of the way, so that your rights are protected and your side of the story is developed to its fullest.

If you're convicted of Dangerous Driving you will likely end up with a criminal record. This conviction will remain on your record for a minimum of 5 years. A criminal record can have an effect on many aspects of your future life, such as your ability to get a job or a promotion. Regardless of the magnitude of your penalties, a conviction of Dangerous or Careless Driving will certainly cause your automobile insurance rates to increase drastically. Anyone charged with Dangerous Driving needs to contact an experienced criminal lawyer as the potential impacts of this charge merits a well strategized defense.

There are number of aspects of your life that can be adversely affected by a Dangerous Driving conviction. Here are a few of them.

Losing your Driver's Licence

The first time you have been convicted of a Criminal Code offence, such as Dangerous Driving, you will receive a one year suspension of your driver's licence. A second or third conviction will result in a 3-year or permanent suspension of your licence, respectively.

Losing driving privileges will severely impact many aspects of anyone's life, such as commuting to work or school, shopping, going on vacation, and driving children to and from necessary activities. You could be faced with being in the awkward and highly inconvenient position of having to ask for rides from coworkers, relatives and neighbours every day. Of course, the impact on individuals who need a vehicle in order to perform their job is enormous; in such cases, your livelihood will be devastatingly impacted by the loss of your driving privileges.

Injuring Another Person While Dangerous Driving

If you injure another individual, whether that person be a passenger in your car, the occupant of another car, a pedestrian or a bicyclist, you could face fines and imprisonment. The outcome of your driving, such as a fatality or severe injuries to another person, is not proof in and of itself of dangerous driving. The charge of dangerous driving must stand on its own, independent of the consequences. However, the prosecution does not have to prove that you intentionally drove dangerously. Your driving will be judged using the standards of what a reasonable person would be expected to do under similar circumstances and this determination will be made by a judge on a case by case basis.

Marked Departure

A term that is used to describe Dangerous Driving is "marked departure". In order to be considered Dangerous Driving, one has to have behaved in a manner that is significantly different than the norm. To qualify for marked departure one must have behaved in such a way as to violate what a reasonable person would have being expected to do under similar circumstances. A momentary loss of judgment does not qualify as a "marked departure".

Speeding Resulting in Dangerous Driving

Operating a motor vehicle in excess of the posted speed limit (i.e. speeding) may result in a charge of Dangerous Driving regardless of whether or not someone is injured. In addition, failure to reduce one's speed to take into consideration hazardous road conditions caused by rain or snow, or even darkness can be considered to amount to dangerous driving. Speeding and failing to take road conditions into consideration present a "marked departure" from what is considered reasonably prudent driving.

Driving while Impaired

If you have consumed alcohol or have taken drugs prior to driving and test positive, you can be charged with Dangerous Driving, as well as Impaired Driving. If, however, you have unintentionally taken too much of a prescription medication, you may have a defense against Dangerous Driving charges.

Medical emergencies

If you suffered a seizure, convulsions, a heart attack or another medical emergency while driving, you have a valid defense against the charge of dangerous driving. This is particularly true if you have a medical history of suffering from such maladies.

Penalties of being convicted of dangerous driving

  • suspension of your driver's licence for at least one year
  • fine
  • huge increase in auto insurance rate
  • possible jail time for up to five years; longer imprisonment if someone was severely injured or killed in the accident.

These are some of the significant ramifications resulting from a charge of Dangerous Driving. As with all legal matters, each case is different and has to be taken on an individual basis. At Ted Yoannou, our expert staff will analyze the specifics pertaining to the circumstances around your arrest and your charges, and formulate a best defense. Give us a call today for a no cost, no obligation consultation, and we will apply our vast experience in defending Dangerous Driving charges to your case.


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