Nicholas Charitsis is a Toronto criminal lawyer for the Toronto and area courts. Consultations for dangerous driving charges are conducted at no charge by calling 416-878-2275 or contacting our office.
What’s the Difference Between Dangerous Driving and Careless Driving
The main difference between dangerous driving and careless driving is that dangerous driving is a criminal charge and careless driving is non criminal charge.
Careless driving is a provincial statue against the laws of the Province of Ontario under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, and dangerous driving is a criminal offence against the Criminal Code of Canada.
Difference Definitions of Driving Actions
Dangerous driving charges the crown attorney must prove to the court that;
- The accused had the intent to commit the driving action,
- The driving action took place in a location where the public was available.
- The driving action was dangerous
- The accused was driving a motor vehicle as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada.
In a dangerous driving charge the police have to prove the driver planned on doing the bad or dangerous driving, the public was around or in the area of the dangerous driving and that the act itself was dangerous but they do not have to prove that there was a accident or result of the dangerous driving.
Careless driving charges the provincial prosecutor must prove to the court that;
- The offence took place on a roadway in Ontario
- The prosecution does not have to prove any intent.
- The prosecution has to prove that the driving was careless or that the driver drove without reasonable consideration to other drivers.
- The defendant was driving a vehicle as defined by the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario.
Careless driving the prosecution does not have to prove that the driver planned or had an intent to commit the bad driving. Usually careless driving charges are a result of an accident where the driver made a driving error.
Penalty Differences between Dangerous Driving and Careless Driving
As dangerous driving is a criminal charge the penalties can be severe and devastating to most drivers.
The penalty for dangerous driving can include;
- Criminal Record for life
- Mandatory criminal driving licence suspension for one (1) year.
- Fines imposed by the judge
- Judge can order a period of jail
- Probation or other terms imposed by the court
- High insurance rates for five (5) years
Careless driving the penalties are;
- No criminal record
- Fine between five hundred (500) and two thousand five hundred (2500) dollars
- Six (6) demerit points
- Possible provincial suspension for six (6) months (not usually given)
- Judge can order a period of jail (not usually given)
- High insurance rates for three (3) years
Fighting Dangerous Driving Charges
Many times as a criminal lawyer I can have a dangerous driving charge reduced to careless driving. I attempt this outcome only after all avenues to have the dangerous driving charge dismissed completely.
The resolution for the dangerous driving charge being reduced to careless driving is usually a good outcome for the driver as there is no criminal record associated with careless driving and no mandatory drivers licence suspension.
As an experienced Toronto Criminal lawyer I will ensure that you receive the best possible legal defense to successfully represent you in court.
After years of experience in the Criminal Courts representing clients in criminal law I am the expert that can help you and best defend you.
I offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case in detail without charge.
Contact me to discuss your case free of charge I have years of experience appearing at bail hearings and I can help you.