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Stunt Driving and Racing Ticket Legal Services in Ontario
If you have been charged with Stunt Driving, we can help! Contact us today for your free consultation.
Stunt Driving (also known as “Race A Motor Vehicle” or “Racing”) charges are one of the most serious offences that can be issued under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
These charges can be issued for excessive speeding, as well as a wide range of other circumstances that may surprise most Ontario drivers. Even before stepping foot in a courtroom, the police officer will have towed and impounded your vehicle as well as seized and suspended your driver’s license. A defendant can be facing thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses well before their first court date.
This legislation was added to the Highway Traffic Act in 2007. Changes made to the legislation as recently as 2021 have seen the penalties for this offence increase. The process usually involves the towing and impounding of the motor vehicle you were driving and the suspension of your driving privileges in Ontario. The driver will then be exposed to significant transportation fees, impoundment fees, storage fees and license reinstatement costs. This usually results in thousands of dollars spent even before your first court appearance.
Once in court, if convicted, a defendant will be subject to thousands of dollars in fines, a mandatory license suspension, significantly increased insurance rates, and in some cases, incarceration.
If the police have charged you, you’re going to need to seek out critical information to make sure that you are making informed decisions to avoid legal missteps and protect your insurance rates and pocketbook.
Types of Stunt Driving Tickets
The legal grounds under which a Stunt Driving or Race Motor Vehicle charge can be issued include:
- Speeding over 50km/h in a zone that is 80km/hr or more
- Speeding over 40 km/h in a zone that is less than 80 km/hr
- Driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that is 150 km/hr or more.
- Competing or street racing with another vehicle
- Chasing another vehicle
- Driving without due care and attention
- Lifting some or all of a vehicle’s tires from the road
- Driving where the tires lose traction with the road while turning (drifting)
- Spinning or turning a vehicle in an uncontrolled manner
- Driving beside another vehicle while in the oncoming lane of traffic for a prolonged period of time
- Driving with someone in the trunk of the vehicle
- Driving while not in the driver’s seat
- Purposely preventing others from passing
- Purposely stopping or slowing to interfere with other traffic
- Driving unreasonably close to another vehicle, pedestrian or fixed object on or near the highway
- Turning left at an intersection across vehicles with the right of way in the opposite direction upon the light turning green
- Brake-checking a vehicle following you from behind
- Squealing tires in an abandoned parking lot
- Any maneuver inconsistent with normal driving
The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) Definition For Stunt Driving
According to the Ontario Regulation 455/07 in the Highway Traffic Act:
Races and Contests
“Race” and “Contest” include any activity where one or more persons engage in any of the following driving behaviours:
Driving two or more motor vehicles at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed and in a manner that indicates the drivers of the motor vehicles are engaged in a competition
Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to chase another motor vehicle
Driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway or in a manner that may endanger any person
Driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed
Outdistancing or attempting to outdistance one or more other motor vehicles while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed
Repeatedly changing lanes in close proximity to other vehicles so as to advance through the ordinary flow of traffic while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed. O. Reg. 455/07, s. 2 (1)
Fighting Your Stunt Driving Ticket
The first thing you need to do is to call our office at 1-844-647-6869 to set up a free consultation. We will provide you the relevant information you need to protect yourself. If you are convicted of Stunt Driving, the court and your insurance company will always be able to see that conviction on your complete driving history. You will also be subject to all the penalties that go along with a Stunt Driving conviction, such as a minimum fine of $2,000.00 and a minimum mandatory license suspension of 1-3 years, just to name a few.
Hiring OTD Legal to Fight Your Stunt Driving Charge
An experienced, licensed paralegal is generally your most cost-effective avenue in providing your defence at court. Paralegals know the law, and they know the court process. They are there to argue your defence in court on your behalf. Many defendants are relieved to find out that their defence can be argued without them ever needing to attend court.
Fighting Your Stunt Driving Ticket in Court Alone
If you decide to fight your Stunt Driving ticket alone, here is what you need to keep in mind:
- You will be questioned about every detail from the day you were charged with allegedly breaking the law.
- It will take at least 3-4 court appearances in order to fight a Stunt Driving ticket. For most people, it means taking time off from work.
- You need to schedule a trial date with the appropriate court and prepare your legal defence.
Stunt Driving Ticket Defence Strategies
Stunt Driving is a Strict Liability offence. This means that the Prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the act of Stunt Driving. They do not need to prove that you intended to commit the offence.
If they can prove that you committed this offence, you may raise a defence by proving on a balance of probabilities that you took all reasonable steps to avoid the particular act or that you reasonably believed in a mistaken set of facts which, if true, would render you innocent of committing the act.
Defence strategies to consider:
- The accuracy of the radar device at the time of the offence
- The diligence exercised by the driver at the time
- The physical intention of the act
- The context of the act, i.e., driving conditions, other drivers, location, etc.;
- Witness statements & testimony
- Inculpatory statements made by the defendant when speaking with the investigating officer
- A review of the leading cases on Stunt Driving guiding the decision of the Justice of the Peace
Court Processes for Stunt Driving Tickets
Once you have retained a paralegal firm such as OTD Legal, that’s when the legal work starts. One of the biggest benefits of hiring a paralegal is that they take care of the court filings and legal work for you. The devil is in the details. A strong firm has the experience to know when to file, what to file, and who it should be filed with.
Once your paralegal has ordered and obtained the Prosecutor’s evidence or any necessary court transcripts, they will meet with the Prosecutor’s Office on your behalf. This meeting usually happens after the first court appearance and is referred to as a Crown resolution meeting. The two sides will review the evidence and discuss the legal merits of that evidence to, first, determine whether or not the charge(s) can be withdrawn. If there is a strong legal argument that the charge(s) would be dismissed at trial, the best resolution is to argue to simply have the charge(s) withdrawn without the need for trial. There is no obligation for your representative to present or disclose your defence. Since it may not be wise to disclose to the prosecution what your full defence might be, your representative will only provide enough detail to advocate on your behalf while protecting your right not to disclose your defence.
If the Prosecutor’s evidence is sufficient for them to proceed to trial, the next step would be for the two sides to discuss potential resolutions. If the evidence against you could reasonably lead to a conviction at trial, your paralegal will negotiate within your written instructions to get you the best resolution possible.
If no mutually agreeable resolution can be reached, then your case may need to be argued at trial, or it may be necessary to engage in further resolution discussions.
Trials can be very stressful for self-represented defendants. They generally don’t know the law or the court process. They must face off in the courtroom against an experienced and trained prosecutor. They may open themselves up to being a witness that can be cross-examined by the Prosecutor. The idea of having to appear before a Justice of the Peace or questioning the police officer that charged them may be very intimidating.
The successful litigation of any trial requires years of education and even more experience. It is very rare that an inexperienced and unrepresented defendant is successful after a trial. That is not to say that the defendant is not intelligent. Many unsuccessful trials have been conducted by doctors, scientists, engineers, etc. Being highly educated or being known as intelligent simply does not guarantee success.
Stunt Driving Ticket Penalties
Starting from July 1, 2021, speeding over 40 km/h in a zone that is less than 80 km/hr is considered Stunt Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. If you have been charged with Stunt Driving, you could face some or all of the following penalties:
- Court Fine – A conviction for Stunt Driving can result in a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $10,000 (plus a 25% victim fine surcharge).
- Driver’s License Suspension – Your driver’s license will also be immediately seized and suspended at the side of the road for 30 days. This means additional transportation costs in meeting your day-to-day travel requirements. Worst case, if your employer specifically requires having a valid driver’s license, you could miss time at work or face loss of employment.
Upon conviction of Stunt Driving, you could face the following suspensions:
- A license suspension of 1 to 3 years for a first offence
- A license suspension of 3 to 10 years for a subsequent offence
- A lifetime license cancellation (that may be reduced in certain circumstances)
- A permanent lifetime license cancellation
- Vehicle Impoundment – Upon being charged, your vehicle will immediately be towed and impounded for 14 days. Towing and impounding fees can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
- Imprisonment – A Stunt Driving conviction could result in a jail term of up to six months. It is therefore imperative to seek help from a licensed paralegal who can help you avoid imprisonment. This level of penalty is rare, however, it does happen.
- 6 Demerit Points – The MTO ranks Stunt Driving as a six demerit point offence. A convicted defendant will, at a minimum, receive an MTO warning letter regarding their license. Depending upon your driving history and current demerit points, you could also be required to attend an MTO interview (that you must pay to attend) or face a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for accumulating too many demerit points.
- 5 CVOR Points – For Commercial Drivers Stunt Driving offences carry the highest possible CVOR penalty of five points.
- An Insurance Increase – Given the serious nature of Stunt Driving, a conviction may result in no longer being insurable under a standard insurance policy. Being forced into high-risk or even facility insurance can result in thousands of dollars of additional insurance costs which results in the cost being unaffordable for many drivers.
Insurance Rates With a Stunt Driving Conviction
Stunt Driving convictions generally impact insurance rates. Your insurance broker is your most reliable source of information on the potential impact of a conviction. Generally, they will consider the severity of the new offence along with your driving history in calculating their risk assessment and your insurance rate. If the risk assessment is high, your current insurance policy may be cancelled, and you will be required to seek out high-risk or facility insurance.
You should understand that the more convictions you have on your driving record and the greater the severity of those offences, the greater the expense of obtaining automobile insurance. Once your risk assessment reaches a certain point, you will no longer qualify for standard insurance coverage and will have to seek out high-risk or facility insurance coverage that is very expensive to obtain.
Consequences for Novice Drivers
Novice drivers (such as those with a G1, G2, M1, or M2 license) are subject to additional licensing restrictions compared to a fully licensed driver. One such limitation is that being convicted of any single offence that carries four or more demerit points will result in the MTO applying escalated sanctions penalties as follows:
- 30-day license suspension for the first occurrence
- 90-day license suspension for the second occurrence
- License cancellation and a requirement to re-apply for a G1/M1 after the third occurrence. Any fees paid, credit received for time spent in the program or BDE credit would be forfeited when the license is cancelled.
Please Note – in the case of a hybrid driver, only the novice-class license is cancelled on the third occasion; their full-class license is maintained.
Novice drivers may already be at a default higher level of risk assessment for insurance costs. A conviction for Stunt Driving may therefore result in a larger impact on insurability and insurance costs compared to an equivalent driver with a full driver’s license. Your insurance broker will be able to provide you with more specific information.
Consequences for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers must aggressively protect their driving record. CMV drivers face all of the usual licensing and insurance problems faced by non-commercial drivers. However, more importantly, a conviction for Stunt Driving can also directly impact their current or future employability. If a transport truck driver or other CMV driver is charged with Stunt Driving while on the job, their offence notice will likely include their employer’s CVOR number. If convicted, not only would the driver receive a record of conviction and six demerit points, but their employer’s CVOR would also receive a record of conviction and 5 CVOR points. The company vehicle will also be seized and impounded for 14 days.
Your driving record can be impacted by a number of factors, such as convictions, demerit points or license suspensions.
|Time on Your Driving Record
|Stunt Driving Conviction
|3 years after the date of conviction
Stunt Driving Ticket FAQs
Is stunt driving a criminal charge in Ontario?
No, stunt driving is not a criminal offence in Ontario. It falls under the purview of the Highway Traffic Act, section 172(1).
How long does stunt driving stay on your driving record in Ontario?
Stunt driving charges stay on your driving record for a duration of three years.
How many demerit points are for stunt driving in Ontario?
Stunt driving violations result in six demerit points on your driving record.
How much is a stunt driving ticket in Ontario?
Do I really need to fight my stunt driving ticket? Or is it useless?
It is advisable to consider fighting a stunt driving ticket, as convictions can lead to severe penalties, including fines, demerit points, and license suspension.
What speed is considered stunt driving in Ontario?
Stunt driving is considered if you drive 40 km/h or more over the speed limit on roads with a posted speed limit of less than 80 km/h, or 50 km/h or more over the speed limit if the limit is 80 km/h or more.
What is the penalty for stunt driving in Ontario?
Penalties for stunt driving include immediate roadside license suspension, vehicle impoundment, fines, demerit points, potential jail time, and license suspension upon conviction.
How long do you lose your license for stunt driving in Ontario?
License suspension periods vary, ranging from 30 days to indefinite suspension, depending on the number of convictions.
Can you go to jail for stunt driving in Ontario?
Yes, there is a possibility of jail time for stunt driving convictions in Ontario.
How many demerit points do you get for street racing?
Street racing violations also result in six demerit points on your driving record.
What is the sentence for street racing?
The sentence for street racing includes fines, license suspension, and potential jail time.
Stunt Driving Resources
- 5 Facts About Stunt Driving in Ontario
- Stunt Driving Penalty Changes April 2022
- How to Fight a Stunt Driving Charge
- Stunt Driving – MOMS Act New Legislation
- What Is Considered Stunt Driving In Ontario?
- Difference Between Reckless, Careless and Stunt Driving
- Dangerous Driving Vs. Careless Driving Charges in Canada
- Can You Go To Jail For Stunt Driving?
- Is Stunt Driving A Criminal Offence?
- How To Beat A Stunt Driving Charge In Ontario
Stunt Driving Videos
Can You Go To Jail For Stunt Driving?
What Is Considered Stunt Driving?
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