Traffic law violations and driving offences are not uncommon in Canada. In most cases, you pay the fine, and that’s the end of the process. However, this makes people assume that they are not a big deal and often dismiss them or not take them seriously until they or someone they know gets charged with dangerous driving causing property damage, injury, or, God forbid, someone’s death. In these cases, not being aware of the violations and their consequences can get you into some serious trouble.
For this reason, it is essential to understand the various types of traffic offences and what steps you should take to ensure you receive the best possible deal in the courtroom. If you don’t educate yourself on the various traffic violations and their penalties, you could end up losing your license, and in worst-case scenarios, even your personal freedom.
Below we discuss some of the most common traffic violations and why you should take them seriously.
Types Of Traffic Violations
In Canada, there are many different types of traffic violations. The consequences of these violations and infractions can vary from simple tickets to the possibility of severe criminal code convictions that can adversely affect your driving record. However, an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Edmonton, such as Slaferek Callihoo Lawyers, can help prevent this from happening.
Some of the most common traffic law offences include:
- Improper braking or non-working brakes
- Traffic sign or stop sign infraction
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Not carrying an insurance card
- Taking unsafe turns and more
- Careless driving
- Highway offences
- Not following speed limits at construction or school zones
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Stunt driving
- Failing to produce valid car registration documents or license
- Operating a vehicle without insurance
Serious Criminal Violations
- Dangerous driving
- Driving under the influence or impaired driving
- Failing to cooperate with law enforcement officers
- Fleeing the scene of an accident with the intent of avoiding criminal charges
- Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC of 0.08 or over
- Criminal negligence or causing an accident that results in injury or death
- Refusing a Breathalyzer Test and more
Although the violations mentioned above are the most common ones, the list of traffic crimes and driving offences is extensive. Let’s discuss some of these common offences and their penalties in detail below:
The careless driving offence is committed when a driver drives without due care or attention to the other drivers and traffic laws and causes bodily harm or death to any person. Its penalties include:
- A fine of not less than $2000 and more than $50,000
- A possible two-year jail term
- Up to five years of license suspension
- Six demerit points
Dangerous driving is a hybrid offence and is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. If convicted with less serious outcomes, it can result in a maximum jail time of two years. If convicted with more severe outcomes, the driver could face imprisonment for up to 10 years. In addition to other penalties, the court may also order a licence suspension.
Penalties for dangerous driving increase if the violation committed resulted in someone’s injury or death.
Criminal negligence is also a criminal offence under the criminal code of Canada. According to this, a person is criminally negligent if he shows reckless disregard for other people’s lives and safety—for example, criminally negligent behaviour causing harm or death to someone due to street racing, excessive speed, or impaired driving.
This driving offence is punishable by a jail term of up to 10 years. Criminal negligence causing death is punishable by life imprisonment.
Penalties For Traffic Violations
Minor traffic and driving violations can result in traffic tickets. However, if you let these tickets add up over time, they can lead to serious consequences. For example, in Alberta, you might receive demerit points with a traffic-related conviction. If you receive at least 15 points within 2 years, your license may be revoked or suspended altogether.
Moreover, for minor convictions, you may receive small or moderate fines. However, major or serious criminal offences involve hefty fines, court costs, jail time, or life imprisonment, depending on the subsiding facts.