Charges under the Highway Traffic Act may not necessarily be considered criminal charges, but depending on the charge they can disrupt your life as much or more than a criminal charge, especially if your job involves driving, or relies on driving to some significant degree. Many people who are charged with criminal driving offences do not fully understand their options to protect their rights and driving privileges. Perhaps they feel overwhelmed by the possibility of losing their licenses, or they do not fully realize the consequences of conviction. In either case, if you are charged with any driving-related offence, you should seek experienced counsel as soon as possible.
These are charges that relate to the driving of any motorized vehicle (cars, motorcycles, trucks, e-bikes, scooters). Convictions under the HTA will not result in a criminal record. However, these driving offences can still cost you. Aside from the fines, your driver’s licence could be suspended, your vehicle insurance could skyrocket, and you may even face imprisonment.
Some Highway Traffic Act Offences (HTA) carry very serious consequences. Below are some of the ones that we deal with most frequently.
Careless Driving is defined under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) as:
“Every person is guilty of the offence of careless driving and driving carelessly who drives a vehicle on a highway without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway,
The penalties include fines ranging from $400 to$2,000, or up to six months of jail, or both. In addition, your driver’s licence or permit may be suspended for up to two years. This offence carries 6 demerit points. Your automobile insurance will be affected. It may go up considerably and you may have difficulty getting insurance at all.
The word “suspension” does not appear in the Criminal Code of Canada in respect of driving licences. In Ontario, the word “suspension” appears numerous times in the provincial driving legislation called the “Highway Traffic Act.” It is an offence under both the federal Criminal Code, and the provincial Highway Traffic Act to drive while your driver’s licence is suspended. Your licence could be suspended by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, by the police, or as a result of a criminal conviction.
Driving while suspended has severe penalties that can dramatically affect you including:
Duty of person in charge of vehicle in case of accident
200. (1) Where an accident occurs on a highway, every person in charge of a vehicle or street car that is directly or indirectly involved in the accident shall,
(a) Remain at or immediately return to the scene of the accident;
(b) Render all possible assistance; and
(c) Upon request, give in writing to anyone sustaining loss or injury or to any police officer or to any witness his or her name, address, driver’s licence number and jurisdiction of issuance, motor vehicle liability insurance policy insurer and policy number, name and address of the registered owner of the vehicle and the vehicle permit number. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 200 (1); 1997, c. 12, s. 16.
Penalty for Fail to Remain
Under the HTA, “Stunt” driving can mean:
Penalties If Convicted of Stunt/Racing:
You should hire a lawyer if you are accused of a Highway Traffic Act offence because there is a risk of jail time and an increase in premiums with some offences, an example being driving while your licence is under suspension.
The defence of highly traffic offences can be more complicated than some criminal charges. And loss of driving privileges for some people could have a more severe impact on their careers than would a minor criminal record. No case is too big or too small!. We would invite you to allow us to manage the defence of your charge, even if it is a minor offence in a distant Ontario jurisdiction.
The very first step of bringing client onboard is to have a no obligation consultation.
Then comes the evaluation of the situation. And building the case background.
After building the whole case, now is the time to fight it in the court.
As we fight the case, we keep on collecting more information to support the case.