Dangerous driving is a serious criminal offence, which may result in large monetary fines, a driving prohibition and jail time. There are serious immediate and longer-term consequences of a conviction.
This means it’s crucial to seek professional legal advice as early as possible from lawyers who are experienced in the technical aspects of driving offences.
We have experience defending the offences of dangerous driving, dangerous driving causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing death.
Often these cases turn on the prosecution’s ability to reconstruct what occurred at the scene of an accident in order to prove the elements of the offence. In turn, our team will their collective technical knowledge to defend against the Crown’s allegations of wrongful conduct.
How will we defend you?
First and foremost, we provide criminal defence counsel for people charged with criminal offences in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. We spend a significant amount of time at trial, defending clients in complex driving (and other) cases. We have substantial experience defending all manner of driving charges, including dangerous driving, dangerous driving causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing death.
Our first step in every case is to gather all the evidence that the police and prosecution have in their possession. In addition, we work with our clients to gather and preserve any evidence in their possessions.
Our second step is to conduct thorough legal research on your case.
Our third step is to provide you with an opinion as to the best course of action in your unique circumstances and to guide you through all the implications of any decision you make.
Our goal is always to provide you with every possible defence and to keep you informed throughout what is often a stressful process.
What is the best defence for dangerous driving?
The best defence in every case will turn entirely on the unique facts of the case. Once we have examined the unique circumstances of your case we will provide you with our opinion as to the best course of action.
In dangerous driving cases, your defence often depends upon:
- The actions of the police during the arrest process;
- How the police interpreted your actions as “dangerous driving”; and
- The precise circumstances (traffic, road conditions, weather, etc.) when the alleged offence occurred
After analysing the facts and the evidence against you, we will start preparing a robust defence. Our goal is to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you.
Because of the discretionary nature of the charge, we may be able to argue that the driving activity should not have been interpreted as “dangerous”. In many cases, we are successful in arguing that the charge should be downgraded to the lesser offence of careless driving.
We will seek opportunities to prepare the best possible case in your defence to get the charges withdrawn, stayed or to defend a not guilty plea at trial.
Our goal is always to minimize the consequences for your future.
Understanding a dangerous driving charge in Ottawa
You will be charged with dangerous driving when you are deemed to be operating “a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public.” This applies whether the act was intentional or not. Also, note that a passenger in the vehicle is considered part of the public. The broad definition allows a high degree of culpability including for individuals that did not intent any wrongdoing.
Ultimately, the prosecution must prove that your conduct was a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the accused’s circumstances.
Some of the factors that a court will consider in determining whether the conduct was a marker departure includes:
- The nature of the place where the alleged driving offence occurred
- The amount of traffic at the time of the alleged offence
- The weather conditions at the time of the alleged offence
- Any other relevant conditions at the time of the alleged offence
Dangerous driving charges often, but not always, arise as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
After a serious motor vehicle accident where you are considered to be at fault, the police may decide to charge you with:
- Dangerous driving;
- Dangerous driving causing bodily harm or death;
- Criminal negligence; or
- Careless driving;
These are all separate charges that carry serious but differing penalties.
What’s the difference between dangerous driving and careless driving?
A dangerous driving charge is more difficult for the prosecution to prove and carries much more serious penalties. A dangerous driving conviction is a criminal conviction while a careless driving offence is a provincial offence under the Highway Traffic Act.
Penalties for dangerous driving
The penalties for a first dangerous driving conviction (whether or not your actions caused injury to another person) may include:
- A one-year licence suspension under the Highway Traffic Act;
- A fine of up to $5,000;
- A criminal record; and
- A prison term up to 6 months in jail
If you are convicted of an offence that caused bodily to any other person, you can receive a prison term of up to 10 years. If you cause the death of another person, the maximum prison term is 14 years. Repeat offenders will receive an increased fine, longer licence suspensions, and longer jail time).
With such severe penalties, you need to retain experienced and diligent counsel to lead your defence and ensure you have the best opportunity at being acquitted.
Conspiracy to traffic 10+ kg cocaine
Impaired driving, Over 80
Possession of a prohibited firearm with readily accessible ammunition
Child pornography cases
Possession and importation of child pornography
Domestic Assault Charges
Domestic assault causing bodily harm
Fraud/White collar charges
All Charges Were Stayed
Fady took very good care of me, keeping my best interest in mind and supported me throughout the process. I am very thankful for his help and would absolutely recommend this office and specifically Mr. Mansour.
Excellent and precise communications skills. Very clear on what my position was, what the legal actions available were, and what his strategy would be to address the situation. And precise execution. He assured me of my rights and position every step of the way. Made me feel totally comfortable with my rights, and let me continue with my life. Highly recommended.
Fady recently represented me in a legal matter during one of the most difficult periods of my life. From the onset, Fady was professional, supportive and reassured me that he would do all he could to ensure a positive outcome, which was achieved. Thank you to Fady and team for your hard work and support!
Solomon is an excellent Lawyer, top in the field of firearms legislation. Would definitely invest time and money for his expertise. Thank you Solomon for first, taking my case and second, supporting a injured veteran.
The night I was charged with assault after a night out drinking was the worst night of my life. As a police officer, an off duty assault conviction would have jeopardized my career. I have worked closely with lawyers my entire nine year career. Either directly with Crown on a case or through cross-examination by defence counsel and after a few minutes of speaking with Solomon shortly after my arrest I knew his knowledge and ability to articulate legal principles were unmatched. He spent nearly an hour on the phone with me gathering facts and providing clear instructions. Throughout the process he kept me updated as to what was going on and I was extremely impressed with his handling of my case. Solomon did his homework on the accusers and witnesses and prepared an unbelievable defence which ultimately led to the charge being dropped on the first day of trial and allowing me to continue my career as a police officer. I’d recommend Solomon to anybody who is in need of expert legal defence.