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.