Dangerous Driving Offence in Calgary
In order to convict you of danger driving, the Crown must prove the following elements of the charge:
- You drove a motor vehicle
- The way you drove that motor vehicle was dangerous to the public in all the circumstances
- The Judge will consider the condition and use of the place where you were driving
- The volume of vehicle and pedestrian traffic that was present or might reasonably have been present at the time of driving
- That your state of mind was much more careless than a reasonable person’s mind would have been at the time
It is also important to consider the following points:
- The fact that you were involved in a serious accident that caused property damage or personal injury does not necessarily mean that you drove dangerously
- The fact that nobody was injured or no property was damaged as a result of your driving does not necessarily mean you cannot be found guilty of dangerous driving
The focus is on the way you drove and your state of mind, not just the consequences of your driving.
Bail Conditions for Dangerous Driving
When you are charged with dangerous driving, the police or Crown will often seek a condition that you “not be found behind the wheel of any motor vehicle”: a condition that amounts to a driving prohibition.
Defending Dangerous Driving Charge
We will give you the legal representation you need when you are charged with this serious offence. We will carefully review the entire police file, which may include expert reports of a traffic reconstructionist, witness statements, collision reports, photographs, and all other documents pertaining to your case. We will listen to your version of events, paying special attention to any evidence that bears on the following key issues:
- Was the driving conduct was truly dangerous?
- What is the quality of the Crown’s evidence with respect to the amount of foot and vehicle traffic at the time of the alleged offence?
- Will the Crown be calling an expert witness to help prove the case?
- Even if the driving pattern was dangerous, can the Crown prove that the driver had the required mental state?
- Is there an innocent explanation for the driving pattern?
- Can the Crown prove the identity of the driver?
After our review is complete, we will be able to give you our assessment of the Crown’s case and your options. This may include:
- Fighting the charges at trial
- Negotiating a plea to a less serious offence
- Pleading guilty (if there are no defences available)
Whichever option you decide on, we will ensure your legal interests are represented with full vigor.
Dangerous driving is punishable by up to 5 years in jail, and/or 3 years of probation, and/or a fine of up to $5000.
A Judge can also make an order prohibiting you from driving for up to ten years. The Province of Alberta will automatically suspend your driving privileges for a period of one year.
If you choose to proceed to sentencing after we provide you our opinion of the strength of the Crown’s case, we will tailor our submissions to the court to ensure that all your positive qualities and mitigating factors are before the Judge, so that she can pass a suitable sentence.
Your insurance rates will almost certainly increase as a result of dangerous driving conviction; you should contact your insurance agency for specifics.