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.
Impaired driving and dangerous driving are criminal offences listed under the Criminal Code of Canada. Failure to stop at a stop sign or speeding are considered traffic violations under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario. It’s important to understand what a police officer is charging you with, and in what situations you may need a criminal defence lawyer.
We’ve all been known to hit the gas pedal a little too heavy, but the penalties for speeding can affect your wallet, your right to drive, the cost of your insurance, and in some cases your freedom. The severity of Speeding varies greatly depending on the circumstances. Anything over the posted speed is speeding. Anything 50km over the posted speed is going to bring a whole lot of other issues!
Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol may be termed with different designations under different circumstances or in different states or jurisdictions, including DUI (driving under the influence), OUI (operating under the influence), or even DWI (driving while intoxicated). These offenses are serious and should not be taken lightly.
In any case, DUI and DWI both mean that a driver is being charged with a serious offense that endangered themselves and others. That applies to alcohol and other drugs (including recreational drugs and those prescribed by a physician) that impair your ability to drive. One is not worse than the other and both can have a big effect on your life.
It’s an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving a motor vehicle. Under criminal code, ‘driving’ includes being stationary if the engine is running, including in traffic queues and at traffic lights. Prosecutions for these offences are designed to promote road safety. Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is illegal. It is also illegal if you are a passenger supervising a learner driver.
In Canada, you are required by law to have proof of insurance with you in your vehicle when driving. The consequences for violating this law can be quite severe. Failing to provide proof of insurance will result in a fine. If you are a repeat offender, you could be looking at jail time as well. Thanks to the fact that it can end up costing so much money, this is one of the offences that is thought to be the most severe of all.
This is shown in the penalties that you can receive if you are found guilty, which include 7demerit points, fine between $400 to $2,000 or even a disqualification from driving for a certain amount of time.
It is an offence under both the federal Criminal Code and the Ontario Highway Traffic Act to leave the scene of an accident in which you were directly or indirectly involved. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are legally obligated to give your name, address, phone number and insurance information to people involved in the accident. Depending on the situation, you could be charged under either the Highway Traffic Act or the Criminal Code.
If you have been involved in a motoring accident, the law requires you to stop at the scene and exchange correct personal details with any person who has reasonable grounds to request them. Failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving injury or damage is an offence which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment.
Any number of behaviors while driving can amount to stunt driving, for example: “Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to cause some or all of its tires to lose traction with the surface of the highway while turning”; or, “Driving a motor vehicle with a person in the trunk of the motor vehicle”.
Demerit points are a system in Ontario whereby you collect points if you violate driving laws in Canada or in the State of New York or Michigan.
How many demerit points you get depends on the violation. Serious violations, such as failing to remain at the scene of a collision, will net you seven points, while an improper right turn will get you two demerit points.
You don’t “lose” demerit points on your driving record. You start with zero points and gain points for being convicted of breaking certain traffic laws. Demerit points stay on your record for two years from the offence date. If you collect enough points, you can lose your driver’s licence.
Yes. Demerit points themselves attach themselves to the license even if the driver is in another province at the time. Demerit points can be earned anywhere in Canada, and even in the states of New York and Michigan due to frequent cross-border traffic.
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. 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.
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