Mississauga Dangerous Operation/Dangerous Driving Lawyer

Dangerous Operation is a driving offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. Unlike Careless Driving, which is a provincial offence under the Highway Traffic Act, a conviction of Dangerous Driving can result in a real criminal record. Dangerous Operation is now governed by section 320.13 of the Criminal Code of Canada, and is often laid in cases involving Impaired Operation.

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.

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.

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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, [2020] 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, [2020] 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.

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Why you should hire Passsi & Patel – Criminal Lawyers for your Dangerous Operation charge

If you are charged with Dangerous Operation, consult a lawyer immediately. Upon conviction, you could be facing up to 10 years in jail. However, if the Dangerous Operation causes Bodily Harm, there are minimum penalties involved, which can go up to a maximum of imprisonment of a term not more than 14 years. Both Dangerous Operation and Dangerous Operation Causing Bodily Harm are hybrid offences, which means that the prosecutor can elect summarily (less severe punishments), or by indictment (more severe punishments). If the Dangerous Operation causes Death, the offence can only be considered an indictable one, and the worse-case scenario upon conviction is a sentence of imprisonment for life.

At Passi & Patel – Criminal Lawyers, we have a team of experienced Dangerous Operation lawyers who understand that a charge of Dangerous Driving does not necessarily mean you are guilty. Accidents can happen for a large number of reasons outside of your control, and we will ensure that you get the best defence against your Dangerous Operation charge. If you are charged with Dangerous Operation, call Passi & Patel – Criminal Lawyers now for a consultation at (905) 459-0004.

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