VEHICLE OFFENCES UNDER THE CRIMINAL CODE OF CANADA
Criminal Code includes offences such as Dangerous Driving,
Negligence in the Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Impaired
Excess Blood Alcohol, Refusing a Breathalyzer, Leaving the Scene
Accident and Driving while Disqualified. There are others.
offences are prosecuted in the Criminal Courts by a Crown
guilty verdict results in a loss of driving privileges (at least
in Ontario) as well as fines or jail. Also a conviction means a
driving privileges are restored, one has to go through a driver
re-education program (expensive) and install an ignition
interlock device on
her car (more expense).
not the end of it. In case of an accident (and an insurance
conviction (if it involves alcohol) will likely be treated by
insurer as proof of a "policy violation" and the driver may be
insurance claims paid out. At a minimum, he or she will be
own collision coverage and have to repair their own car.
Although, technically Canadian civil and criminal courts have
little to do
each other, try convincing an insurance mediator, arbitrator or
judge that you were wrongly convicted of a motor vehicle
offence involving alcohol and that you deserve to collect some
benefits. Lots of luck!
Simpson was acquitted in criminal court but found liable in
Imagine the civil result, had he been convicted. Not that he
cared much at that point.
find yourself charged with a motor vehicle criminal offence,
especially involving alcohol, don't rush into pleading guilty.
wise not to try and defend yourself. You'll regret it later on.
VEHICLE OFFENCES UNDER THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT (HTA)
vehicle prosecutions under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) are by
provincial prosecutor before a provincially appointed Justice of
There are other Provincial statutes that list motor vehicle
offences, however, the HTA is the main one detailing what you
can't do on
are dozens of things you can do with a car to offend the HTA.
include Careless Driving, Failure to Remain at the Scene of an
Driving while Suspended, Failure to Stop for Police, Failure to
Stop for a
Bus and Speeding. The list goes on and on.
Although, HTA offences are not criminal as such, the result of a
conviction can be almost as bad. HTA convictions can result in
suspensions, fines, demerit points and jail. A recent addition
to the HTA
police to impound vehicles driven by those who have lost their
driving privileges because of criminal convictions such as
Driving, Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol, Dangerous Driving
earlier insurance remarks apply to HTA convictions as well. Even
don't have an accident, a series of minor HTA convictions can
of money at renewal time.
moral of the story is this; If you're facing any Criminal or HTA
charges because of something you did or didn't do with a car,
motorcycle, think twice before heading off to court to plead
want to get it over with"). Many ill considered guilty pleas
tremendous grief later on. So before you do it, at least discuss
matter with someone who defends people for a living.