Speeding is a civil offense, but there is a type of driving that could result in criminal charges. “Dangerous driving” or “reckless driving” means that you put other people’s lives at risk while operating your motor vehicle.
What is “dangerous driving?”
If you have been charged with dangerous driving then the Crown is accusing you of operating your motor vehicle in a way that is dangerous to the public. This is more than merely speeding. This is a matter of operating a vehicle in a way that is reckless and criminally negligent.
This offense can also apply to the operation of boats or aircraft.
The driving in question must be a “marked departure” from the type of care a “reasonable person” would exercise while operating a similar vehicle in similar conditions. The “reasonable person” standard is somewhat open to interpretation.
What is the penalty for dangerous driving in Saskatchewan?
If you did not cause any bodily harm with your dangerous driving, then you can be charged with up to 5 years in jail and fined up to $2000. If you committed bodily harm with your dangerous driving then you can spend up to 10 years in jail and can be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for the next 10 years.
You can also expect your vehicle to be seized and impounded for 30 days.
If you kill someone while driving dangerously, you may be charged with manslaughter or second degree murder.
You will lose driving privileges for up to 5 years depending on the number of dangerous driving convictions you have. If you have one conviction you’ll lose your license for one year. If you have two convictions you’ll lose your license for 3 years. If you have more than 3 convictions you’ll lose your license for 5 years.
What are the defences for dangerous driving charges?
One defence is to prove that you had a moment of distraction or negligence. This can change your dangerous driving charge to a civil case if there was bodily harm. If your driving was the result of a medical or other involuntary impairment and we can prove it, you’re not guilty of any crime under Canadian law.
The facts of your specific case may provide us with additional defence options that we can use on your behalf. Reach out to us as soon as you can so that we can help.
Why Merchant Law?
We’ve helped hundreds of people fight dangerous driving charges. Our firm’s most senior lawyers have decades of criminal law experience. We’ve been successful at getting dangerous driving charges dropped or dismissed, and have been successful at helping our clients avoid jail time through options like deferred prosecution. When cases have proceeded to trial we’ve been successful at securing acquittals.
We will work with you to make our legal services affordable, and we treat you with respect and compassion throughout the process. If you’re in trouble, don’t hesitate. Call (306) 693-7777 today.