Often, people assume that driving offences are simple matters that could be resolved with paying a small fine. However, if you have been charged with “Dangerous Driving” under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is not that simple.
Dangerous Driving Lawyer in Brampton
A Dangerous Driving charge can be laid in a wide range of situations, including those involving:
- Excessive speeding
- Impaired driving
- Abrupt lane changes
- Aggressive driving
- Accidents resulting in serious injury
- Accidents resulting in death
Criminal Code of Canada – Definition of Dangerous Operation
Section 320.13(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the offence of Dangerous Operation:
320.13 (1) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public.
A “conveyance” means a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment. The word “operate” has different meanings depending on the type of conveyance. In respect of a motor vehicle, “operate” means to drive it or to have care or control of it; in respect of a vessel or aircraft, to navigate it, to assist in its navigation or to have care or control of it; and in respect of railway equipment, to participate in the direct control of its motion, or to have care or control of it as a member of the equipment’s crew, as a person who acts in lieu of a member of the equipment’s crew by remote control, or otherwise.
In most cases, charges of Dangerous Operation will fall on drivers of cars or motor vehicles. To be found guilty of the Dangerous Operation charge, the prosecutor must show that the car was being driven by the accused, or that the accused had “care or control” of the vehicle. If the accused is found in the driver’s seat, there is a presumption that they had care or control.
Furthermore, the prosecutor does not need to show that the accused intended to drive dangerously. The courts assess whether somebody was driving dangerously using a marked departure standard: i.e. whether the accused’s conduct was a marked departure from the standard expected of a reasonably prudent driver in the accused’s circumstances. One’s professional driving skill can be imputed into the reasonably prudent driver. For example, in R. v. Tabanao,  O.J. No. 2591, the accused worked as a driver for a transportation company, and, while driving a tractor-trailer, caused a multiple-vehicle collision which led to several deaths and injuries. The Court recognized that truck drivers are held to a higher standard of care due to the higher risk posed by trucks, and the specialized training required to drive them. In terms of what constitutes a “marked departure”, high rates of speed are often sufficient to satisfy this requirement. For example, in R. v. Galletta,  O.J. No. 334, the accused was found guilty of Dangerous Operation when he lost control of his vehicle while driving 100km/h over the 80km/h speed limit. Even though the accused was driving at such speeds out of fear after being assaulted and chased, the Court found that a reasonably prudent driver would have listened to the numerous pleas from the passengers to slow down.
Why you should hire Passsi & Patel – Criminal Lawyers for your Dangerous Operation charge
Dangerous Driving is broadly defined in the Criminal Code, leaving police and law enforcement substantial discretion to apply the charge as they see fit. As a result of this, Dangerous Driving charges are quite common.
Penalties for Dangerous Driving include a one-year license suspension, even if there are no aggravating factors. Where a person suffers serious injury, you may be charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, for which a conviction can result in jail time up to 10 years. The penalty will increase if a death results. It’s important to remember that Dangerous Driving is a criminal conviction, meaning it will have detrimental effects on your ability to travel, secure employment and obtain citizenship. Finally, it will also result in your insurance premiums increasing dramatically upon conviction. For these reasons, it is important to hire skilled and effective Brampton Dangerous Driving lawyer. At Passi & Patel, our Brampton criminal lawyers have successfully defended a number of Dangerous Driving cases. We have the knowledge and skill required to get you results. Call us today at (905) 459-0004 if you, a friend or a loved one has been charged with Dangerous Driving.
Free Case Evaluation
Please complete the form below or call us to schedule a free initial consultation and case review.