What is dangerous driving?


Person overtaking a truck on the fast lane of a highway, implying dangerous driving.

How can you get a ticket for dangerous driving?

To be found guilty of dangerous driving, the prosecution must prove that you (1) operated a mode of transportation, and (2) in a way that endangered the public. Operating a motor vehicle refers to the ability to maneuver or have control over it. Additionally, it’s crucial to understand that driving can take various forms, depending on the means of transport, such as a car, boat, aircraft, or railway equipment.

The dangerous nature of your driving is determined by the specific circumstances. This involves considering factors like the time of day, road conditions, weather, speed, and the presence of other people on the road.

Ultimately, the prosecution needs to demonstrate that your actions significantly deviated from what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation. It’s not about your intentions but rather about the expected conduct under similar conditions. This establishes a standard of behaviour for the accused person.

Charges for dangerous driving

The applicable penalties under the Criminal Code for dangerous driving offences vary depending on several factors. These factors include the specific offence you are charged with (dangerous driving, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, or dangerous driving causing death), the chosen mode of prosecution (summary conviction or indictment), and whether there is a history of dangerous driving offences.

For a first offence of dangerous driving, the maximum jail sentence is two years less one day if prosecuted summarily, and 10 years if prosecuted by indictment.

If bodily harm occurs during the offence, penalties range from a minimum fine of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000 when prosecuted summarily, along with a maximum imprisonment of two years less one day. If prosecuted by indictment, the penalties include a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum imprisonment of 14 years.

In cases of dangerous driving causing death, the offence can only be prosecuted by indictment, and the penalties range from a minimum fine of $1,000 to a maximum of life imprisonment.

Additionally, the court may impose a driving ban as per article 320.24(5) Cr. C, and other specific measures depending on the circumstances.

Handling dangerous driving violations in Quebec

Dealing with cases of dangerous driving can be complex since it can be dealt with in different ways. First, dangerous driving can be an offence under the Criminal Code, as discussed above, as well as under the Highway Safety Code. Moreover, a charge of criminal negligence may also be possible when the material elements of dangerous driving are proven and the mental element is to be higher than a marked departure, i.e. a marked and substantial departure. Thus, given the considerable differences between the offences as well as between the consequences related to them, it is important to contact a traffic lawyer to accompany you during this legal process.

What to do if you receive a dangerous driving ticket

As soon as you receive a ticket for dangerous driving, contact us. It is important to act promptly when disputing tickets. Our team of traffic lawyers will be able to help you throughout your legal journey.

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Portrait professionnel de la stagiaire Mélanie Gosselin.

Mélanie Gosselin


Melanie joined the Riendeau Avocats team in 2023 and is currently doing her Bar internship with the firm. She obtained her law degree from the University of Sherbrooke in 2021. Melanie was excited to join Riendeau Avocats in order to combine her passion for criminal and penal law with that of helping people in difficulty.

Portrait professionnel de l'adjointe Carolia.

Carolia Ranivoharindrano

Accounting Manager
After earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Concordia University, Carolia decided to continue her studies in Paralegal Technology at CDI College. Passionate about criminal law, she decided to join the Riendeau Avocats team to complete her internship. She loves learning more about the field of criminal and penal law from lawyers. In addition, with her many years of experience in customer service, she knows how to help clients with professionalism and rigor, in order to give the best satisfaction to the firm’s clients.
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Pascal Gilbert

Penal and Criminal Lawyer
Me Pascal Gilbert is passionate about law. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Montreal, in addition to a bachelor’s degree in history, Me Gilbert joined the Riendeau Avocats team as a criminal and penal lawyer. Listening to the needs of his clients, he will be able to be creative in order to explore all possible avenues throughout your legal process. Mr. Gilbert has excellent research and writing skills and is a keen learner. He wants to advance the law in the best possible direction.
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Gabrielle Lauzon

Criminal and Penal Lawyer
Bachelor of Laws under the COOP regime of the University of Sherbrooke, Me Gabrielle Lauzon joined the Riendeau Avocats team as a criminal lawyer after completed his internship. Me Lauzon shows great compassion towards everyone of its customers and always remains available to help others. Driven by her thirst for knowledge and her dynamism, she devotes herself enormously to each of her causes. to the Safety Code road.
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Me Anthoni Daoust

Penal and Criminal Lawyer
Holder of a minor in criminology from the UdM and a law degree from the UdS, Mr. Daoust is a criminal and penal lawyer, who is deeply interested in the recognition and respect of everyone’s rights. A progressive prosecutor, he engages in a practice aimed at democratizing access to justice. His analytical and negotiation skills allow him to obtain the best possible settlement in order to ensure his clients a full and complete defense.
Portrait professionnel de l'avocat Anthoni Daoust.

Me Chanèle Lecompte

Criminal and Penal Lawyer
A lawyer practicing mainly criminal and penal law, Me Chanèle Lecompte holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sherbrooke. During her university career, she had the chance to do an internship with the judiciary, which allowed her to acquire the many assets that she puts forward during her representations before the courts. Passionate about criminal law, Me Lecompte will accompany you and defend you during the different stages of your case, and will listen to you.