Careless driving is a traffic ticket under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, Dangerous Driving is a criminal offence against the Criminal Code of Canada. Dangerous driving is a criminal offence and Careless Driving is a violation under a provincial law and is not a criminal offence.
Dangerous Driving vs Careless Driving?
Dangerous driving is a criminal charge and careless driving is non criminal charge, careless driving is considered a traffic ticket.
Difference Between Dangerous Driving & Careless Driving
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 vs 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
- Six (6) demerit points
- Fine between five hundred (500) and two thousand five hundred (2500) dollars
- 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 lawyers we can have a dangerous driving charge reduced to careless driving. We attempt this outcome only after all avenues to have the dangerous driving charge dismissed completely have been investigated.
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.
Contact us to discuss your case free of charge we have years of experience defending dangerous driving charges and we can help you.
Our law firm of experienced criminal defence lawyers has years of defending impaired driving and dui criminal charges in Toronto and throughout the GTA. When it comes your defence we consider our firm the experts that can properly and successfully present your defence to the court, we leave no stone unturned in your defending my clients.
Call now to get the information you need to fight your charge. With our experience, reviews and track record who better to defend you in court? Call us at 416-878-2275 or visit our offices >
Impaired driving care & control
This site is for information only and is not meant to replace qualified legal advice by a criminal lawyer. The application and interpretation of law, and the differences between dangerous driving and careless driving is constantly changing, the writers shall not be held responsible for any information that may be incorrect or out of date. The owners of this website recommend that anyone wishing to fight an dangerous driving charge obtain qualified legal advice before doing so.