A Synopsis Of Dangerous Driving And The Criminal Code In Ontario

In Ontario, the act of dangerous driving is detailed under Section 320.13(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. This section refers to individuals driving in a way that endangers the public or themselves. Understanding the legal process and potential consequences of such charges is crucial for anyone facing them.


Prosecution Process

Upon being charged with dangerous driving, the prosecution will assess details of the case, focusing on the driver’s behavior. They have the option to proceed either summarily or by indictment, with summary proceedings typically indicating a less severe view of the offense.


Penalties & Conviction

The judge determines the penalties for dangerous driving, which can vary significantly based on the case’s specifics. Common consequences include:

  • Incarceration: There’s a possibility of jail time, depending on the severity of the offense.
  • License Suspension: A common penalty, temporarily revoking your driving privileges.
  • Driving Prohibition: Ordered by the court, this goes beyond a standard suspension, explicitly forbidding the individual from driving for a period determined by the judge.


The Crown’s Burden of Proof

For a conviction of dangerous driving, the Crown must conclusively establish several key points:

  • Identity of the Driver: Confirming the defendant was indeed the person driving.
  • Date, Time, and Location: Verifying when and where the incident occurred.
  • Public Endangerment: Demonstrating that the driving behavior posed a danger to the public.
  • Nature of the Driving: Proving the driving was dangerous to the level that warrants conviction under the Criminal Code.


Dangerous driving in Ontario is a serious offense with significant legal implications, including the potential for jail time and driving suspension. The prosecution’s responsibility is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s driving endangered public safety. Understanding these legal standards and potential penalties is essential for anyone involved in or affected by such cases. Seeking legal assistance can provide the necessary guidance and representation to navigate these charges.


Video Transcription:

I’d like to give you a synopsis of dangerous driving and the criminal code in Ontario. Section 320.13 sub one of the Canadian criminal code outlines the offense of dangerous driving. More specifically, if you’re driving in a manner that puts yourself or the public in danger, you could be charged with this particular offense.

If you’re charged, the Crown is going to look at the facts of the case. They’re specifically going to look at that driving and make an election to proceed summarily or by indictment. Typically, in these cases, the Crown will proceed summarily. When it’s proceeded summarily, it can be considered less serious.

The penalties for these offenses are set by the judge upon conviction or a guilty plea. There is a possibility of a period of incarceration. There’s also distinctly a possibility of a license suspension, which is quite common. In addition to that, it would be called a driving prohibition, which is different than a suspension in the traditional sense.

A driving prohibition is something that’s ordered by the judge, who’s listened to the facts. The Crown has certain things to prove in a case like this. Those musts include things like the identity of the person driving. They also need to prove, beyond any doubt, the date, time, and jurisdiction of where this may have occurred.

The Crown has the responsibility of demonstrating that the public was in fact in danger. They also have the responsibility of proving to the court that the defendant was driving in such a fashion that it should be considered dangerous. And when that happens, that would bring about the conviction and all the subsequent penalties for that offense.

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