In addition to these crippling sanctions, a person has to worry about the costs associated with reinstating/reissuing licences, victim fine surcharges, impound fees, massive insurance rate hikes (or possible ineligibility), and the inconvenience of not driving for whatever period of time may be imposed. As inconvenient and costly as it may have been to be charged, it will pale in comparison to the costs and inconvenience of being convicted of these offences.
Defences to stunt driving and racing under the Highway Traffic Act:
The penalties for stunt driving are significant and can include large fines, driving suspension, or even incarceration. Speaking to a lawyer can assist you in understanding what you options and defences may be.
There are many defences that can apply for stunt racing or driving. However, those defences are always very nuanced and specific to the individual. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all defence for a category of offence like stunt driving or racing. Depending on what the police are alleging you did, certain defences may or may not apply.
For example, in some contexts under this section, a person’s intentionality has little, if any applicability, to the defence. Many people believe, for example, that if they tell the Court that they “thought’ they were going under 50km/h then it is a defence – yet by itself, it is not. Without getting into complicated readings of subsections and legal definitions of “reasonable diligence”, it is enough to say that it really takes someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in this area of law to advise a person what defence may apply.
Depending on the specifics of the allegations for stunt racing, some of those defence may include:
- The accuracy of the radar device at the time of the offence;
- The identity of the driver;
- The mental intentionality of the driver in committing the alleged act;
- The diligence exercised by the driver at the time;
- The physical intentionality of the act;
- The context of the act, i.e., driving conditions, other drivers, location, etc.
Again, none of these defences fit every case that comes before us. Although everyone has some very basic common-sense understanding of what is right and wrong, it is only a lawyer or legal professional who can properly advise you on such things. Considering the consequences of a conviction, obtaining that opinion may be one of the best decision you ever make. It’s ironic at times that people will spend tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars on their vehicles but will not put aside a small fraction of that to ensure they keep driving it.
Take this seriously and hire a lawyer to assist you in defending stunt driving or racing charges.
What do to? Hire a lawyer to assist you of course.
Even though these driving offences do not carry with them the same level of stigmatization as criminal offences, the sanctions are often much worse than many criminal offences. Even for impaired driving, a first offence typically results in a $1000.00 to $1500.00 fine and a one year driving suspension. For these offences above, it could be even worse.
The costs of lawyers fees can range considerably but often people are surprised to hear how affordable they may be. That is why our firm offers initial consultations at no charge so that people who are charged with offences like these can appreciate their options and the costs associated with defending the case before making a very important decision in their life.
Our lawyers are always happy to assist and can be reached at (416) 999-8389.
– Sean Robichaud, Barrister & Solicitor