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Careless Driving Ticket? First two thoughts – What is this Ticket and What are the Penalties?

Careless driving is, unfortunately, one of the most common charges under the Highway Traffic Act. Let’s say you’re facing a careless driving charge, you’re probably wondering, what now? Well, keep on reading to gain what we like to call a “took-kit” respecting careless driving offences. Not many people take it upon themselves to learn about what a conviction for careless driving entails unless they are facing that particular ticket already. Well, in either scenario, it is helpful to fully appreciate the implications of having a conviction to a careless driving offence.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to this provincial offences ticket, namely:

  • penalties,
  • insurance,
  • fines, and
  • your driver’s record.

What is the Offence of Careless Driving?

As recently as September of 2018, the offence of careless driving in Ontario was updated to include two versions as follows:

Version I of the offence refers to Careless Driving that does not cause Bodily Harm or Death and is defined under the Highway Traffic Act as follows:

Section 130 (1) “Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway.”

Version II of the offence refers to Careless Driving causing Bodily Harm or Death and is defined under the Highway Traffic Act as follows:

Section 130 (3) “Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and who thereby causes bodily harm or death to any person.”

You can determine which version your careless driving charge is by searching for the section number displayed on the ticket, i.e. 130(1) Version I or 130 (3) Version II.

A careless driving offence occurs when a person who is deemed to drive, without reasonable consideration for other motor vehicle drivers, in a way that may limit the driver’s ability to sensibly adjust to unexpected circumstances on the road.

Careless Driving Penalties

As expected, a careless driving conviction comes with undesirable penalties. These can include fines, driver’s licence suspension, increase in insurance rates, cancelled insurance and even jail time. The two different versions mentioned above attract varied penalties.

Version I:

  • The maximum fine here is $2,000.00
  • If the charge is a serious one, then a jail sentence can be imposed of up to 6 months
  • The maximum licence suspension following a conviction is two years
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Potential cancellation of insurance by the policy provider
  • 6 demerit points

Version II:

  • The minimum fine here is less than $2,000 and not more than $50,000
  • If the charge is a serious one, then a jail sentence can be imposed of up to two years
  • The maximum licence suspension following a conviction is five years
  • There is an automatic licence suspension here following a conviction
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Potential cancellation of insurance by the policy provider
  • 6 demerit points

The Aitken Robertson Team of Defence

A conviction for a careless driving offence should be avoided at all costs. First step to do this is to hire a criminal defence lawyer. At Aitken Robertson, our lawyers will assess your case and advance any defences available to you. We deal with such cases on a daily basis. Our goal is to obtain the best resolution possible on your behalf. Call our office for a free 30-minute consultation and learn how we can help you challenge the ticket.

Yasmine Al-Zaman

Yasmine’s patience, compassion and understanding allow her to work collaboratively and effectively with her clients. She appreciates the level of fear and confusion most people feel when confronted with the legal system. With that in mind, Yasmine puts her best foot forward to offer quality legal services.

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