What you need to know about careless driving tickets.
Careless driving is defined in the Highway Traffic Act as, “Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other users of the highway.” This definition covers just about every offence. It’s an umbrella or a catch-all charge.
Many people have said that if you take every moving violation out of the Highway Traffic Act and left only Careless Driving, this offence could apply to most situations. It’s the second most frequently laid charge in the Highway Traffic Act, second to only speeding tickets. Careless driving is the No. 1 charge for all accidents.
Because Careless Driving is broadly worded, it can be easier for prosecutors to prove than other less serious driving offences that require more detailed evidence.
Careless driving, without question, is one of the most serious charges in the Highway Traffic Act. Because of this, representation by a licenced, qualified, experienced paralegal is highly recommended.
Why and how you should fight a careless driving ticket.
A conviction for the offence WILL result in a fine ranging from $400 to $2,000. It can also include a jail sentence of up to 6 months in jail.
What’s more is that the court has the authority to suspend a driver’s licence for up to two years depending on the circumstances.
These are the legislative penalties for a Careless Driving ticket, but there are other ramifications that come with a conviction for this offence.
If the court does not suspend your driver’s licence, a conviction for Careless Driving can result in accumulating six demerit points. Depending on your licence classification and the number of demerit points on your record, if any, the Ministry of Transportation may also suspend your driver’s licence for various periods of time.
In some situations, the act of Careless Driving can even be characterized as an offence under the “Race or STUNT Driving” legislation, resulting in fines as high as $10,000, suspension of a licence for up to two years and even jail for a first offence.
The high cost of a careless driving conviction.
The cost of insurance is yet another factor in Careless Driving offences. In Ontario, the insurance industry has set three categories of offences: Minor, Major and Serious. If you are convicted of Careless Driving, all insurance companies in Ontario will consider the conviction to be “Serious” and there can be — depending on the circumstances — an increase in your insurance premiums by 100 to 250 percent for three years or more.
An insurance company may simply decide to cancel your insurance policy. If this occurs, it’s possible to seek coverage through the Facility Association, but its premiums are extremely high. Ontario insurance companies will consider you a high risk and you will be placed in the same category as persons convicted of criminal driving offences such as Impaired Driving, DUI, Over 80 Mg, Dangerous Driving, Criminal Negligence and Failing to Remain at the scene of an accident … to name a few.
All things considered, a conviction for this offence could cost you thousands of dollars per year before it finally comes off your record. Can you afford to pay this high price?
On this, it’s not a surprise that we strongly urge you to get representation if you are charged with Careless Driving. There are many serious consequences that can result from one small mistake. It’s HIGH risk if you choose to represent yourself just to save on representation costs.
Why choose our traffic ticket experts?
Located around the province of Ontario, HELP has a team of experienced, licenced paralegals ready to serve you. They’ve all met the high standards of the Law Society of Ontario, the governing body of paralegals and lawyers in Ontario.
You’ll get the best outcome working with our licenced paralegals as we have a high success rate in fighting traffic tickets. Our team has the integrity, knowledge, skill and experience to do the job right. We also have a strong desire to do the very best for you, our clients. From filing the ticket to the final disposition, we’re there for you.
Paralegals should never claim they can have the charge dismissed because that’s not always possible. However, in those situations, we usually negotiate a beneficial resolution to a minor offence in order to limit penalties, demerit points, CVOR points and insurance premiums.
The initial consultation is always free! You can learn more about our traffic ticket experts here.
Here’s a quote from a client:
“I’d very much like to extend my appreciation for your fine expertise during your negotiations on my behalf for the ‘careless driving’ charge on May 3rd.” – Sandra S.