One of the first things that people charged with credit card fraud don’t realize is how seriously the Crown treats the charges against them. Victims of credit card fraud can face serious, long-term consequences. These can include low credit report scores that can affect their ability to buy a home, a car or start a business. So federal laws are particularly severe in an effort to prevent more people from becoming victims.
What to Know if You’re Charged with Credit Card Fraud
In addition to stiffer penalties, anyone charged with using stolen credit card information can face a number of other consequences they may not be prepared for.
- Who Can Be Found Guilty – The Criminal Code of Canada says that anyone who steals a credit card, forges or falsifies a credit card or knowingly possesses, uses or traffics an unauthorized credit card, or credit card number, can be found guilty of an offence. This can even include using your own credit card number, knowing that it has expired, been revoked or cancelled.
- You May Be Charged with More than One Offence – The offence(s) you can be charged with include credit card theft and trafficking credit card data.
- You Don’t Need to Steal or Possess a Stolen Card to Be Guilty – If you possess, use or traffic credit card account data, or other personal data of a victim that can be used to illegally get credit cards or other credit card data, you can still be found guilty of credit card fraud charges. That data includes illegally possessing a credit card account number and expiration date.
- You Don’t Need to Use a Credit Card or Credit Card Data to Be Found Guilty – You can be found guilty of credit card fraud merely by illegally possessing personal information from a credit card, even if you don’t make any unauthorized transactions.
If you found this article helpful, check out our recent post about how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in Ontario.
While “how long does a speeding ticket stay on your record in Ontario?” sounds like it should have a fairly straightforward answer, it can have many answers.
For a number of reasons, tickets for exceeding the speed limit are among the most common driving tickets issued by Ontario police. Primarily, speeding is a leading cause of road fatalities in Ontario, so police forces are eager to prevent it. Secondly, radar makes it comparatively easy to enforce speed limits compared to detecting other Highway Traffic Act violations, like following too closely.
Three Different Records of Your Speeding Ticket
It’s important to know that the speeding ticket you get today does not appear on any record of your driving until you are convicted of the offence. If you’re wondering how long a ticket stays on your record, you’re probably most concerned about how it impacts your insurance rates. Speeding convictions can stay on your record in three different ways and they can affect car insurance rates for differing lengths of time.
- Your Driver’s Abstract – This is what’s commonly known as your driving record. Convictions can affect your auto insurance rates more than anything else on your abstract.
- Your Demerit Points – While they are included in your driver’s abstract, demerit points stay on your record for only two years. Demerit points generally don’t affect your insurance coverage by themselves. The main exception being if your license is suspended due to the number of demerit points on your record.
- Your Insurance Company’s Records – To set the rates they charge each driver, insurers will check driver’s abstracts on a semi-regular basis. Depending on your driving history and how long you’ve been a customer, they may not check your record for two or three years. Your insurance rates are not affected by traffic tickets until your insurance company checks your driving record and discovers a conviction. In some cases, if the conviction expires on your driver’s abstract before it appears in your insurance company records, your rates may not be affected.
Up next, here’s what you should always have in your car’s emergency kit.
There’s no feeling quite like it. The combination of nervousness and fear you suddenly get when a police officer appears in front of you motioning you to pull over, or when you see the cruiser lights go on behind you. A million things flash through your mind. What did I do? Are they going to arrest me? And, the big one: will I get any demerit points that’ll make my insurance rates go up?
While it’s common to feel some anxiety when you’re pulled over for any reason, it shouldn’t just be about the number of demerit points you might get.
Demerit Points & Why They Shouldn’t Be Your Biggest Concern
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation uses a demerit points system to penalize severe and/or repeated traffic violations. Here are a few demerit point’s facts.
- You don’t lose demerit points. You start with zero and they are added to your driving record for some traffic violations.
- They stay on your record for two years from the date of the offence.
- You can get points for traffic convictions in other provinces and territories.
- Penalties range from receiving a warning letter for two to eight points, to a driver’s license suspension of 30 days for 15 or more points.
Why Convictions Matter Most to Insurance Companies
There’s a misconception that you should be most concerned about your demerit points when you get a ticket. While points may affect your insurance rates, they are impacted more by the number and/or severity of the convictions. Here’s how:
- The Number of Traffic Tickets & Infractions
Tickets and infractions are a sign to insurance companies of increased risk to re-offend. The more you have, regardless of demerit points, the higher the risk you represent to insurers. And the higher your insurance rates will go.
- The Severity of the Conviction
Generally, insurance companies have three categories for convictions: minor, major and serious. Minor convictions include making an improper right turn (two points) or disobeying a stop sign or railway crossing signal (three points). Major convictions include exceeding the speed limit by 50km/hour or more (six points).
You might accumulate six points from a series of minor convictions, but the major conviction of exceeding the speed limit by 50km/hour or more will likely have a greater impact on your insurance rates.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article “5 Ways to Be a More Defensive Driver”.
Why Defensive Driving is Important
Defensive driving is a way of driving that increases your level of safety while on the road regardless of the road and weather conditions and the actions of other drivers around you. The goal of defensive driving is to predict and avoid dangerous situations.
You can do this by following guidelines, reacting to potential situations in a certain way, and taking specific steps while driving.
Many of us don’t think about having a car emergency kit. It’s one of those things we don’t need until one dark evening when we find ourselves stranded on the side of an empty road. Especially in Canada, where it is not unusual to end up in a bad situation in the dead of winter, it’s good to have a kit passively in the trunk that you have on hand should you need it.
The Move Over law was enacted across Canadian provinces in order to better protect emergency workers after they pull over on the shoulder of a road in response to a traffic collision or related emergency. Once emergency vehicles are stationary and the workers are outside their vehicles (this includes police, fire fighters, EMTs, paramedics, and tow truck drivers in Alberta), they are dangerously exposed to the traffic still driving by the scene. Continue reading
photo credit tc.gc.ca
As winter ends and Canada heats back up to a reasonable temperature, many Canadians flock to the water to bask in the often short-lived summer heat. There are tons of boating possibilities across the country’s numerous lakes, from renting a houseboat with friends, to fishing, to hopping in a neighbour’s motorboat for a ride.
This is a time to socialize and let the cares of the world drift away, a ritual that often includes a few cold drinks on a boat deck. It’s important to note that in Canada, operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence. Continue reading
You are driving along and see those dreaded flashing police lights in your rearview mirror. Maybe you know why you’re being pulled over, and maybe you don’t. Regardless, panic sets in. What should you do? Here are a few tips to make an interaction with the police less tense and more successful.
You know the traffic jam. It’s the one where you’re sailing along the open road on a Sunday afternoon, when you suddenly encounter a long line of traffic shuddering along at 10km/hr. You slam on the brakes, as do all the drivers behind you, and then all of you inch along for a while before picking up speed again. There is no accident or construction in sight. There aren’t even any rain clouds! What the heck happened?
Car Horns. They give you a voice when you have something important to say, but you are inside a vehicle where no one except your dog can hear you. Horns should only be used in specific scenarios. Here is a short crash course on some helpful messages you can relay using your horn, as well as the unhelpful messages that at best, make you “one of those people” on the road, and at worst, compromise someone else’s safety. Continue reading