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Stunt Driving and a Careless Driving charge in Ontario

Stunt Driving and Careless Driving in Ontario: What You Need to Know

When you’re caught stunt driving in Ontario, you might also find yourself slapped with a careless driving charge. If you’re scratching your head wondering if you have to defend yourself against two separate charges in court, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll break down what each charge means, why you could face both, and what typically happens in court.

What is Careless Driving in Ontario?

Careless driving is a serious offense under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, specifically Section 130. In simple terms, you’re guilty of careless driving if you’re not paying attention while driving or if you’re not considering the safety of others on the road. If found guilty, you could face fines ranging from $400 to $2,000, or even imprisonment.

Understanding Stunt Driving Charges in Ontario

Stunt driving charges come under Section 172(1) of the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, and they closely resemble careless driving charges. You could be charged with stunt driving if you drive without proper attention or in a manner that could endanger someone. Penalties for stunt driving are even more severe, including a mandatory license suspension for 1-3 years and fines between \$2,000 and \$10,000.

Stunt Driving and Careless Driving in Ontario

Do I Have to Defend Against Both Charges?

The short answer is usually no. The court typically proceeds on only one of the two charges, which is often the stunt driving charge due to its more severe penalties. So while you may be initially charged with both, the main focus will likely be on the stunt driving offense when it’s time for your court appearance.

Why Would I Be Charged with Both Careless Driving and Stunt Driving?

If you’re wondering why a police officer would charge you with both stunt driving and careless driving, know that this is up to the officer’s discretion. Often, when officers are particularly concerned with your driving behavior posing a threat to public safety, they issue multiple charges to underscore the severity of your actions. However, in court, it usually boils down to the stunt driving charge being the one you need to defend against.

Final Thoughts on Careless Driving and Stunt Driving

Getting charged with both stunt driving and careless driving in Ontario can be a distressing experience. While you may face both charges initially, the court usually proceeds with the more serious charge of stunt driving. Understanding the difference between the two and the penalties involved can better prepare you for what to expect in court.

So if you find yourself in this situation, consult with a law firm specializing in Stunt Driving to help navigate Ontario’s traffic laws and defend your case effectively.

Do I have to defend against both Stunt Driving and Careless Driving in Ontario?

Typically, no. While you may be charged with both offenses, Ontario courts usually focus on the more serious charge, which is often Stunt Driving, due to its harsher penalties.

Why would I get charged with both Stunt Driving and Careless Driving in Ontario?

Police officers have the discretion to charge you with both offenses if they believe your driving posed a significant threat to public safety. However, in court, you'll likely only need to defend against the Stunt Driving charge.

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About Jon Cohen, Partner
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Jonathan practices exclusively in defending Stunt Driving charges in Ontario.Β  He is the co-founding partner of Nextlaw and is licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.

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Next Law publishes these articles and videos as a service to our website visitors for general informational purposes only. These materials do not, and are not, intended to, constitute legal advice. You should not act upon any such information without seeking professional counsel.