Hi…can I drive on a suspended licence? How much trouble will I get in if I get pulled over by the cops??
You can not legally drive on a suspended licence. Licences can become suspended for a number of different reasons such as an unpaid court fine, issues with FRO, too many demerit points, or as a penalty assigned by the court. Whatever the reason for your licence being suspended it is important that you do not drive until such time as you have your licence reinstated.
If you are stopped by the police while driving in Ontario with a suspended licence, you will likely be charged under section 53 of the Highway Traffic Act:
“53. (1) Every person who drives a motor vehicle or street car on a highway while his or her driver’s licence is suspended under an Act of the Legislature or a regulation made thereunder is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable,
(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000; and
(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000, or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.”
As you can see, a conviction for driving while your licence is suspended can result in a fine between $1000 and $5000 (the total payable fine actually includes an additional 25% victim fine surcharge). The court can also issue a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months. While not listed in the above section of the Highway Traffic Act, a conviction would also trigger a mandatory 6 month licence suspension from the MTO.
When dealing with clients who have a suspended licence and are facing a charge of Drive Under Suspension, the two primary goals are to: a) resolve the current charge before the court to the client’s greatest advantage, and, b) get the client in a position where they are able to legally drive again as soon as possible. These two goals are closely tied together and are mutually advantageous. Not only does a better result at court generally get the defendant back on the road quicker (or avoid any further suspension if possible), but addressing and resolving a current licence suspension can assist us in negotiating with the Provincial Prosecutor.
To this end, we can work with you in providing direction on these two primary goals. Your case is important to us and we understand the costs and interruptions to work, school, and family obligations that occur when you cease to be able to legally drive. Our first goal is always to seek a legal argument upon which to have your offence withdrawn outright. Where this is not possible, we will be able to provide you with a review of the merits of the Prosecutor’s case and counsel in regards to the pros and cons of any pre-trial resolution offers. If your case proceeds to trial, you will have the advantage of a licenced paralegal to argue on your behalf in the courtroom.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869. We offer a no cost, no obligation initial consultation and would be happy to be of assistance.