Driving Offences

Driving Offences 2015-06-28T13:23:05+00:00

Driving Offences

Brad Smith is an experienced Vancouver & Kamloops criminal defence lawyer who defends people charged with Driving Offences.

The Criminal Code creates a number of driving offences. If you are convicted of certain driving offences there is a good chance you will receive a jail sentence, particularly if the commission of the offence caused bodily harm or death. For certain driving offences, serving the jail sentence in the community under a Conditional Sentence Order is not an available sentencing option. A criminal record for Driving Offences will negatively affect your life in many ways.

Click on the links below to find out more about various Driving Offences.

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  • Criminal Code, section 249

249. (1) Every one commits an offence who operates

(a) a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the place at which the motor vehicle is being operated and the amount of traffic that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be at that place;

(b) a vessel or any water skis, surfboard, water sled or other towed object on or over any of the internal waters of Canada or the territorial sea of Canada, in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of those waters or sea and the use that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be made of those waters or sea;

(c) an aircraft in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of that aircraft or the place or air space in or through which the aircraft is operated; or

(d) railway equipment in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of the equipment or the place in or through which the equipment is operated.

(2) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection (1)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • Hybrid Offence (prosecutor can prosecute by Indictment or Summarily)
  • Maximum Sentence
    • 5 years (if prosecuted by Indictment)
    • 6 months jail or $5,000 fine, or both (if prosecuted Summarily)
  • Minimum Sentence
    • None
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • Available
  • Conditional Sentence (jail in the community)
    • Available

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  • Criminal Code, section 249

249. (1) Every one commits an offence who operates

(a) a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the place at which the motor vehicle is being operated and the amount of traffic that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be at that place;

(b) a vessel or any water skis, surfboard, water sled or other towed object on or over any of the internal waters of Canada or the territorial sea of Canada, in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of those waters or sea and the use that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be made of those waters or sea;

(c) an aircraft in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of that aircraft or the place or air space in or through which the aircraft is operated; or

(d) railway equipment in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of the equipment or the place in or through which the equipment is operated.

(2) …

(3) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1) and thereby causes bodily harm to any other person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

  • Indictable Offence
  • Maximum Sentence
    • 10 years
  • Minimum Sentence
    • None
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • Available
  • Conditional Sentence (jail in the community)
    • Not Available

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  • Criminal Code, section 249

249. (1) Every one commits an offence who operates

(a) a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the place at which the motor vehicle is being operated and the amount of traffic that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be at that place;

(b) a vessel or any water skis, surfboard, water sled or other towed object on or over any of the internal waters of Canada or the territorial sea of Canada, in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of those waters or sea and the use that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be made of those waters or sea;

(c) an aircraft in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of that aircraft or the place or air space in or through which the aircraft is operated; or

(d) railway equipment in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature and condition of the equipment or the place in or through which the equipment is operated.

(2) …

(3) …

(4) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1) and thereby causes the death of any other person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

  • Indictable Offence
  • Maximum Sentence
    • 14 years
  • Minimum Sentence
    • None
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • Not Available
  • Conditional Sentence (jail in the community)
    • Not Available

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In the Canadian criminal justice system, the accused has a constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. This right is guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What this means is that the prosecution has to prove every element of a Dangerous Operation charge. The accused does not have to prove anything. All of the admissible evidence taken together must satisfy a judge or a jury that the offence of Dangerous Operation has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If the prosecution is successful the accused will be found “guilty” and be convicted. If the prosecution fails to prove the accused committed the offence of Dangerous Operation he or she will be found “not guilty” and acquitted of the charge.