If you’ve received a stunt driving first offence, Ontario laws and penalties can be quite strict and severe. For example, if a police officer stops you for exceeding the speed limit by 50 km or more (the most common offence that’s classified as stunt driving), You will get a drivers licence suspension for seven days and your vehicle will be impounded for seven days – even if you were never convicted of stunt driving or racing in the past.
If you are convicted, you can face fines of up to $10,000, get six demerit points, or be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail. On top of that, the conviction can have a lasting effect on your life, including a license suspension of up to 10 years and increased insurance premiums.
The seriousness of being charged with stunt driving means you should learn as much as you can about the offence to minimize the impact of a conviction.
4 Things to Know if You Got a First Offence Stunt Driving in Ontario
There are lots of myths about what is considered stunt driving and the implications of receiving a stunt driving ticket.
You Should Get Legal Advice – Again, due to its gravity, the most important step you can take if you are charged with stunt driving is to get legal advice and representation in court from lawyers and experts well-versed in how to fight a stunt driving ticket.
It’s Not Just for Speeding – While exceeding the speed limit by 50 km or more is the most common reason for a stunt driving ticket, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines many more, including:
Doing burnouts, drifts or donuts
Driving while you’re not in the driver’s seat, or with someone in the trunk
Jumping the green light at an intersection to make a left turn before oncoming traffic begins to move.
The Costs of Getting a Ticket Are All Yours – If you are stopped and given a traffic ticket for stunt driving, the consequences are all your responsibility, including the financial ones.
If your license is suspended and/or vehicle impounded, you must find and pay for your own transportation (police officers are only obligated to take you to a safe place).
You are responsible for the costs of towing your vehicle to the impoundment lot and the cost of storage for the duration of the impoundment.
You must pay a $180 fee to get your driver’s license reinstated.
You Will Likely need to Make More Than One Court Appearance – When you get the ticket, you will also get a summons to appear in court. You or your licensed legal representative must appear in court or face a bench summons for your arrest. If you do not intend to plead guilty at that first court appearance, another court date will be set for your trial.
You may have heard differently, but Ontarians have never been able to refuse a breathalyzer without facing a consequence of one form or another.
What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
The reasons for confusion around whether or not you can refuse to comply with a breath sample request includes the laws as they were up until late last year. Before new laws came into effect last December, police needed to have reasonable suspicion of impaired driving before demanding a roadside breath test.
Today, police no longer need to have reasonable suspicion to demand an on-the-spot roadside breath test. And refusing a breathalyzer can result in criminal charges similar to those of being convicted of a DUI charge.
What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer?
The government was forced to eliminate the need for reasonable suspicion because studies showed that up to 50% of impaired drivers were not being detected by police officers at roadside stops.
In Ireland, authorities credit mandatory roadside breathalyzer tests with a 40% reduction in the number of road deaths due to impaired driving.
Here are just some of the minimum penalties a driver can face for a first-time conviction for refusing a breathalyzer. You can also face these penalties for refusing to give a breath sample at a police station, mobile police station and/or hospital.
Drivers license suspension for one year.
Pay a fine of $1,000 or more
Mandatory participation in a Provincial counselling program at your own expense
Installation of an ignition interlock system, also at your own expense, for one year
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.
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.
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 very first car-related fatality occurred in London in 1896. Since then, millions of people around the world have died on the road, for a variety of different reasons. Although statistics vary widely from place to place, some factors remain consistent worldwide. Here are six common causes of car accidents:
You’re driving to a friend’s house. Your phone is in your bag on the passenger seat. While waiting at a red light, you hear the unmistakable sound of a text message and see the screen’s light shining up at you invitingly. The light is still red, and you might have time to read it. You reach over and grab the phone. It’s your friend asking if you’re bringing your partner. You’re not, and you feel the need to reply. Now the light is green, so you cradle the phone in one hand and steer with the other, typing as many characters as you can between quick glances at the road. Your mind is trying to both answer and drive, and meanwhile, you’re spelling everything wrong and getting frustrated. Continue reading →
Today CBC news published an article titled “Inconsistent radar testing casts doubt on validity of millions of speeding tickets”. For your reference, see the article written by Marnie Luke, Lori Ward, and CBC News here: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/speeding-tickets
This article has gained some traction through social media today, and is starting to become a topic of conversation in some circles. It is very important that in reading this article, we take this information with a grain of salt and understand what this means in a practical sense to anyone who unfortunately finds themselves charged with a Speeding offence. Continue reading →
If you operate commercial vehicles in Ontario, you are subject to the rules of Ontario’s Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) system and the Carrier Safety Rating (CSR) Program. These systems are in place to maintain the safety of Ontario’s roads by rating and inspecting commercial vehicles and drivers. As an operator, there many aspects of your CVOR rating you need to be aware of. The following information is good to know in general, but especially useful if you find yourself charged with a traffic infraction or offence.
In Ontario, doctors are required by law to report anyone over 16 who they believe is not able to drive safely due to a medical condition. They file their report with the Ministry of Transportation, which may then request more information, or may suspend the license without need for further evidence. Some of the more common conditions that lead to a medical suspension include alcohol/drug abuse, epilepsy, diabetes, and major vision problems, among others. The timeline and necessary steps for getting a license reinstated depends on the severity and nature of the condition, and will require proof that the driver has taken these steps and can now drive safely.
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