Section 130 of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act deals with the offence known as Careless Driving. This is described as driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for others. This offence is subject to fines ranging from $400 to $2,000 and can result in up to six months in jail. A careless driving conviction can also result in the suspension of your driver’s licence for up to two years.
The charge of careless driving in Ontario often occurs as the result of an accident. In fact, such charges are at an all-time historic high. It can be argued that, in the majority of cases, Careless Driving is over-charging the defendant/client. It is common to refer to the charge of careless driving in the industry as a “blanket charge” covering any possible mistake that a driver might make. Unfortunately, when the police charge you with careless driving they don’t have to prove that you were, if fact, driving carelessly. The responsibility for determining what, if any, driving mistake was made now lies in your hands as the defendant.
Most defendants are inexperienced in the laws related to careless driving charges and unfamiliar with navigating the legal environment. In some cases a defendant may be afraid or frustrated and, as a result, decided to simply pay the ticket. The consequences in doing this can be detrimental. In many cases this strategy can increase your insurance rate by a multiple of five times or even more. Worse, your insurance company may drop you all together. Not all mistakes made while driving are careless. You should ALWAYS fight a careless driving allegation.
In the vast majority of cases, careless driving involves an accident. An accident, in itself, is a very traumatic event and in some cases the trauma is exaggerated by injury. There are even cases whereby a defendant may be taken to the hospital while unconscious. Hours later, police officers may attend and charge you while you are in your hospital bed.
The charge of careless driving is arguably one of the most serious charges under the Highway Traffic Act. If charged under Part I of the Act, you will see a fine on the ticket of approximately $500.00 and six demerit points will be assigned. If you are charged under Part III of Provincial Offences Act, this will dictate that the police are proceeding by summons. If you have received a summons, you will not see a fine on the summons. This is misleading because in the Part III procedural stream, the carelessness is deemed to be more serious. As such, the penalties for the offence are now increased to $1000.00, six points are assigned, your licence is suspended and there is a possibility of a jail term if convicted.
Approximately 90% of the charges can been resolved once OTD Legal Services become involved. The agents of OTD will first meet with the client charged with a Careless driving offence during their normal free consultation process. At this meeting an agent will patiently take notes and ask question as to what happen in your specific situation. All of these notes and details are confidential and protected since all of the representatives at OTD legal are licenced members of the Law Society of Ontario. During this free consultation, a skilled Paralegal will determine the best course of action to take for the circumstances that led to the charges. A quote will also be provided for your consideration but you are under no obligation to engage OTD Ticket Defenders to represent you.
If retained, you will leave the entire case in the hands of one of the most experienced Paralegal firms in Ontario. In most cases you will not need to be involved in the courtroom or deal with the police any further. Although you may not be involved directly in the process there will be lots of activities conducted on your behalf during the next several months. At each step, you will be contacted with updates on the status of your file. In fact, before final resolution, you will be invited to a meeting or a phone consultation to discuss the final outcome before it happens.
It is the goal of OTD legal to provide the best possible representation, at the lowest possible fee. We strive to protect your license and your wallet by reducing or overturning the charges and eliminating the risk of increased insurance rates.