Stunt Driving: Fines, Penalties and Consequences

Stunt driving. Fines, penalties and consequences. The best way to sort out in your mind what’s happening if you’re charged with stunt driving is to realize there’s really two layers to this, okay? The first layer is, I presume, what you’ve already been exposed to, I presume, and that is what happens at the roadside.

At the roadside, it’s a traumatic event. They are going to immediately impound your vehicle and remove you from your driver’s license. Your vehicle is impounded for the next two weeks or 14 days. At the end of the 14 days, you will be allowed to get your vehicle back. You are, however, suspended, so it’s not you that can get that vehicle back.

You will have to get another driver to go and get your vehicle. Your license is suspended on the spot for 30 days. So your vehicle you can pick up in 14 days, you will have to pay the towing and storage fees for that vehicle. And then in 30 days, you’re eligible to get your driver’s license back. You would need to attend a Service Ontario location, at which point you would pay an reinstatement fee of your license, and they would issue you a temporary license right on the spot.

So at day 31 you would be allowed to drive that particular vehicle or drive in Ontario, again. That’s the first tier of problems that you face. The next tier of problem is you will be going to court. You’ll be given a summons at that roadside. You will see a court date there and you will be commanded to attend the court.

When you attend court, you are going to be exposed to a set of penalties for a potential conviction of stunt driving. The fine is the first sort of thing that you’ll be dealing with. If you read the Highway Traffic Act, it will tell you that the range of fine is somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000.

It’s been my experience that when you see these fines in a courtroom the average is somewhere between 25 and 35 hundred dollars, across Ontario. The demerit points also follow with that conviction once on your record. You will be exposed to six demerit points. If convicted at that time, there is potential to be put in jail for a period of six months.

Now, it is important to be aware that if a courtroom is considering putting you in jail, that is relatively rare. It’s very rare that you see a client or a potential conviction resulting in someone going immediately to jail. That’s generally reserved for someone that has a history of not following court orders, not being told that you’re a suspended driver and continuing to drive.

You also have a history of not paying fines. The court at that point in time is in a position where they have no other remedy to control you, other than to put you in jail. And I can tell you from authority and from experience that it’s very rare that that happens. The next possibility is that the court, if convicted, can suspend your license all over again for a period of one year.

There is some discretion there, depending on the facts of that particular case, but I think if you were to go to the court, plead guilty, you can expect that your driver’s license in all likelihood would be suspended for one year. I don’t like being in a position when I deal with new clients that they are not aware of these things.

My concern is always that when I provide this information that’s there to see in the Highway Traffic Act, that they become scared. That’s, that’s not my role, that’s not my job. The opposite approach is what I like. I’m trying to provide relief from that sort of anxiety. When clients read what the penalties are, because they are quite extreme, quite serious, my concern is that I’m trying to simply reduce that anxiety for them.

The final thing to be aware of is what will happen on subsequent offences. So on some occasions you will find that someone has committed this offence in their history, and that will be considered. So if you have other offenses such as this the court will consider suspending your driver’s license, not for a year, but somewhere between three and ten years.

And if it continues further they will indefinitely suspend your license, which would be a lifetime ban.

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