If you have failed to stop for the police when they indicated they wanted you to do so, or if you failed to stop at the scene of an accident after colliding with a person, vehicle or livestock, you will likely be charged with committing a criminal offence.
In order to prove that you are guilty of failing to stop for the police, the Crown will need to show that you were being pursued by the police and that you:
Failed to stop your vehicle as soon as was reasonable;
Did so for the purpose of evading the police; and
Did not have a reasonable excuse for failing to stop
If you have failed to stop for the police, once arrested there is a higher likelihood that you will be kept in custody prior to trial. Because you failed to stop, the Crown will likely argue that you do not follow the direction of authorities, and therefore will not be likely to follow an order to appear before the court once released. If you or someone you know has failed to stop for the police, contact one of the lawyers in our Edmonton office immediately. We can help you with the bail process, and work to ensure that you or the person you care about is not kept in custody.
Failing to Stop at Scene of an Accident
To prove that you failed to stop at the scene of an accident, the Crown will need to provide the court with proof that shows:
You were driving a vehicle that collided with a person, another vehicle, or livestock;
After the collision you did not stop or give your name and address to anyone else involved;
You did not offer to help anyone who might have been injured and in need of assistance following the collision; and
You did not stop because you wanted to evade any legal repercussions for the collision.
If you failed to stop at the scene of an accident, fled, and have yet to be caught by the police, you can expect that you will show up on the Edmonton Police Service’s Crime Files. The EPS’ Crime Files are an online reporting system that engages the public to help the police solve a number of crimes including hit and runs. The police will be able to use what information they gather about the collision from the Crime Files and other sources to track you down and arrest you.
As with failing to stop for the police, this is a serious charge where the Crown may fight to keep you in custody following your arrest. They will argue that you need to be kept in custody because you have shown that you seek to escape and avoid responsibility and therefore there is little reason to believe that you will voluntarily appear before the court as directed.
Penalties for Failing to Stop Offences
The penalties for failing to stop for the police and failing to stop at the scene of an accident are significant. The starting point position of the prosecution is typically a jail sentence. Immediately after being found guilty of either offence you will also face a one-year driving prohibition, with the potential for a maximum prohibition of 3 years upon a judge’s order. In addition, following a conviction you can certainly expect to see a very sharp increase in your insurance.
Defending Failing to Stop Offences
If you have been charged with either of these offences, contact our Edmonton office as soon as possible. We will review your case and see if any defences apply to the facts of your case. If there seems to be only weak defences and a low likelihood of succeeding at trial, we can also strive to reach a favourable resolution to your matter through early case resolution with the Crown prosecutor. It is often the case that we are able to resolve these types of charges outside of trial, and in a manner that ensures you are not convicted of a criminal offence. For example, we may be able to negotiate a plea to a less serious, non-criminal offence under the Traffic Safety Act. To see what options are available to you, contact one of the skilled criminal defence lawyers at Oykhman Criminal Defence right away.
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