Vehicular Crimes and Traffic Violations
There are two main types of motor vehicle offences: those under the Criminal Code, and those under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA). They encompass a range of behaviours that include speeding, dangerous driving, impaired driving, flight from police, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, as well as driving without insurance, failing to stop at a red light, and turning violations.
If you are charged with an HTA violation, the consequences may not be as serious as those under the Criminal Code. However, both can have a severe impact on your life, particularly if your life or job requires a great deal of driving.
At Darwin R. Witmer Criminal Law, I take both kinds of charges seriously, and work to protect you from excessive negative consequences.
As a lawyer with a great deal of experience and success with driving-related charges, I will discuss a number of topics with you when we meet. We will look at:
- Criminal consequences: These may include incarceration and a criminal record. This could be disastrous for your future employability, ability to travel, and other areas of your life.
- Insurance: Your insurance rates may go up significantly if you are convicted or plead guilty.
- Demerit points: Different charges result in different amounts of demerit points. These can add up, particularly if it’s your second or third offence of the same type. Sometimes we will go to trial just to argue for fewer points. Speeding, for example, will often be taken down one point if you merely show up to court.
- Personal consequences: These include impacts on your job and ability to provide mobility for your family members, especially children. As well, if you are in an accident and are charged, a conviction may have severe consequences for any lawsuit related to the accident.
Depending on your needs, I may have a number of different approaches to your charge. In some circumstances, the best results will be obtained by pleading to a lesser, HTA-related charge, instead of a Criminal Code offence. In some, I will fight your charge in court.
It will depend on your charge, the evidence against you, and your needs.