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Carless Driving Snow Collision

Question:

My son was going around a bend in the road with the recent wet/snowy roads. I don’t think that he was going over the speed limit. He was driving our car at the time and slid off the road and hit a hydro pole. The pole has been damaged and the car may be a write off. My son called me and I drove out. He was fine but again the car is a mess. I called 911 and the police and ambulance came out. I was just glad that my son wasn’t seriously hurt. The police man on that came out gave my son a ticket for careless driving. Why on earth would they charge someone with careless driving when they’re lucky to be alive? Can the ticket be fought? Can it get thrown out? What do we do next?

Response:

I’m glad to hear that your son is OK. Relatively small collisions can result in serious injuries or even a fatality. The legal and financial issues can be addressed, but loss to human life or quality of life are much more serious consequences that have long lasting repercussions to everyone involved.

It sounds like your son has been charged under Highway Traffic Act section 130for Careless Driving:

Careless driving

130. 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 on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. 2009, c. 5, s. 41.

Unfortunately these charges are very common when a collision, especially a collision with an injury, has occurred. There are two ways that Careless Driving charges are generally issued in Ontario. The first is a simple ticket with a fixed fine listed on the bottom of the ticket. The second form is a summons where the fine can go up to $2,000.00 (plus the 25% victim fine surcharge), and the defendant’s driver’s licence can be suspended up to two years by the court. Both means of charging the defendant carry a 6 demerit point penalty by the MTO and a conviction will generally result in no longer qualifying for standard insurance carriage.

Needless to say, these are very serious charges. It is generally in the best interests of the defendant to seek out legal assistance as early as possible and to contest their charge at court through that legal representation. OTD Legal deals with Careless Driving charges very frequently and we are happy to assist you and your son in this matter. Certainly the first step would be to speak with your son directly to gather a detailed statement of what occured. At that point I should be able to provide some more detailed feedback on his case and provide a flat-rate cost for the legal work. Fortunately, despite the serious nature of these charges, the legal work and expense is comparatively minor.

Depending on the location of your son’s incident, most cases will generally take six to twelve months to complete. During that time the Careless Driving offence will not be visible on his driving record. If possible, the best result would be to either have the charge withdrawn before trial, or have the charge dismissed at trial. Once I’ve had a chance to receive and review the Prosecutor’s disclosure of evidence I’ll be able to provide more direction on the merits of the options open to your son. If the outcome of trial is not likely to go in favour of your son, I can negotiate with the Prosecutor to look at potential lesser offences. Generally most cases can be negotiated to a lesser offence to reduce the consequences of a convication.

I would recommend having your son contact my office as soon as possible via our toll-free number at 1-844-647-6869 or by email at info@otdlegal.ca. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation initial meeting with clients and I’ll be happy to meet with him.

Posted under Traffic Ticket Defence, Careless Driving

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