You may be surprised to learn that dangerous driving charges are about more than speed. Instead, the charge is about operating a vehicle of any sort in a way that is dangerous to the public.
There is a legal test for whether the driving is dangerous, and that is whether the driving represents a “marked departure” from that expected of a reasonable person. Speed is merely one of the easiest indicators of a marked departure, since someone who is going 150 in a 100 kph speed zone is clearly operating their vehicle in a dangerous way.
It’s also worth noting that you can be charged for dangerous driving while operating water skis, surf-boards, water sleds, towed objects, railway equipment and aircraft. This offense is not limited to cars.
If you’ve been charged with dangerous driving you will need a lawyer’s help. These cases can get very complex and being convicted can have lifelong consequences.
What is reckless driving? What is careless driving?
“Reckless driving” is just another term for dangerous driving. You may also hear the term “careless driving,” which is a far less serious civil traffic citation. Careless driving results in a ticket.
A person commits careless driving when they’re not exercising proper care or attention to other drivers. It’s punishable by fines of $400 to $2000. It can come with six months in jail.
What are the penalties for dangerous driving?
Dangerous driving is a misdemeanor offense. The first offense is punishable with up to 90 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. Subsequent offenses will carry stiffer penalties. In addition, this charge can become a felony if you cause injury to any other person.
The dangerous driving charge may be piled atop other charges, such as a DUI, if you were operating your vehicle in an extremely egregious manner while you were under the influence. The Crown often likes to layer charges to increase the chances of a conviction.
How Merchant Law Can Help
Much will depend on the strength of the evidence against you. If the evidence is particularly strong, we may be able to help you arrange a plea bargain. For example, we could potentially talk a dangerous driving charge down to a careless driving charge, reducing or even eliminating jail time.
Every case is different. There are even cases where the Crown has insufficient evidence, allowing us to get the case dismissed or talk the jury down to an acquittal.
It’s vital that you get a lawyer as quickly as possible to bring your case to its best outcome. If you don’t have one yet, contact us. We’ll give you a free consultation and will be happy to go over all of your options. Our team is highly experienced and has a proven track record of success. We can give you your best chance of mitigating the consequences of these charges.