What is Careless Driving?
- In Ontario, Canada, careless driving is driving without due care and attention, or consideration for other users of the roadway.
- It is a broadly worded charge and the best way to find out if your actions fall into that category is to call a Ticket Defender®.
- If you feel that you were making every reasonable effort to drive in a safe manner then you will potentially have a defence.
- If you were actually driving in a manner that could have objectively been considered careless, you still may have defences.
- Many charges of this nature are also capable of being reduced.
- We would strongly advise you to hire a professional if you can afford to do so. We offer a free no-obligation consultation so contact us first before you make any decisions about what to do. You have nothing to lose.
- If you cannot afford to hire a professional then you should try, as a last resort, to defend yourself; but this is certainly a time when hiring a professional is very important.
- A conviction to this charge should be expected to adversely increase insurance rates.
If you have received a Careless Driving offence, there are three important things that you need to know to protect your licence:
- Careless is a 6-demerit major offence and a conviction is likely to have significant insurance ramifications; it absolutely needs to be defended.
- You are in the right place; Careless Driving is the #1 charge that we defend and we will help you. Reckless driving is the American equivalent and is sometimes confused with the term careless driving.
- We would strongly recommend against trying to handle a case of this magnitude on your own; unless you are a trained and licensed legal service provider. But even then, if this is not your primary area of practice, you would be well advised to let us handle the case for you. A lot of damage can be inadvertently done to cases by Defendants trying to self-represent; or worse yet by seeing how far they can get on their own before turning to a professional. We generally only take these cases if we have control from the beginning. Defendants can cure defects in process by self-attending that we might have been able to leverage to eliminate charges. Once a Prosecutor has taken a position they are unlikely to be moved off of it and our potential ability to secure a better result can be thwarted by a defendant saying the wrong things during resolution meetings. If you are going to hire a professional then it is critically important to let them handle the case from the very beginning.
I need help eliminating or pleading down a careless driving ticket.
We will give you honest, straightforward advice. We understand that when it comes to traffic offences, each case is unique. We have helped thousands of clients and we hope that our predominantly 5-star Google reviews speak for themselves.
To arrange for a free consultation regarding your Careless ticket, simply send us your online request for a free ticket case evaluation. You will always have the legal right to go to trial and challenge the evidence against you. The courts must prove you committed this act beyond a reasonable doubt; if they don’t, that is grounds for dismissal. That’s why it’s important to consult with us before making any decisions about what to do. If you have been accused of driving carelessly, get experienced legal advice by calling us today.
What is considered a careless driving charge?
Careless Driving refers to any behaviour on the road that shows a lack of care or attention, posing a risk to other drivers, pedestrians, or property. This can include actions such as texting while driving, excessive speeding, failing to yield right of way, or not signaling properly when changing lanes. There is now an onus on drivers to drive defensively and adjust for road conditions.
Careless driving, dangerous driving and negligence:
Careless driving is when a driver operates a vehicle without proper care and attention, which can include distracted driving or failing to yield the right of way. Dangerous driving is when a driver operates a vehicle in a manner that endangers others. Criminal negligence while driving involves a disregard for the safety of others and can result in serious harm or death.
What is careless driving and should I fight my Ontario careless driving ticket?
Ticket Defenders® offers a free, no-obligation traffic ticket consultation to anyone who has received a Careless Driving ticket in Ontario, Canada. We will explain how your ticket can affect you and we will evaluate your chances of successfully fighting, or having us negotiate, the charge in traffic court. If you do decide that you would like our assistance, the retainer process can be completed remotely the same day, without having to attend an office in person, and we will take over from there and look after everything. We will turn in the ticket for you; secure a copy of the Crown brief and review it with you; attend to all resolution meetings, motions, and applications on your behalf; keep you posted throughout the process; attend all court appearances for you if we have instructions to negotiate a resolution to a lesser offence and arrange and complete such a resolution without you having to attend court; or, attend court with you for trial if you have testimony to offer that we think might result in an acquittal on the whole charge. We will also spend time preparing you, in advance of any trial date, so that you know what to expect.
How many points for Careless Driving?
Careless Driving is one of the most serious charges in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. It is defined as the offence of careless and driving without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway, and, therefore, it is a broadly worded charge with wide applications. A conviction from a Careless charge under Section 130 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act is one that often carries devastating consequences, especially from an insurance perspective. This conviction involves serious penalties including 6 demerit points, a fine between $400 and $2,000, possible jail time (up to six months), and driver’s licence suspension for up to 2 years. While Careless is not a criminal offence in Ontario, it can still result in a non-criminal charge with significant consequences, such as hefty fines, a driver’s licence suspension, and possible jail time. For a dangerous driving charge or distracted driving charge please see our other pages for additional information.
Regular Ticket vs. Summons
Careless driving can lead to serious consequences, including receiving a ticket or summons. A regular ticket is typically issued for minor traffic violations and can be paid off with a fine. However, a summons is a legal document that requires the driver to appear in court and may result in more severe penalties such as fines, license suspension, or even jail time. It is important to take careless driving seriously and follow traffic laws to avoid receiving either of these penalties.
Careless driving charge
Highway Traffic Act excerpt
130 (1) Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 17.
(2) On conviction under subsection (1), a person is liable to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her driver’s licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 17.
Careless driving causing bodily harm or death
Modified Paragraph: (3) Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and who thereby causes bodily harm or death to any person. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 17. Furthermore, the above mentioned careless driving penalties could be much higher and could have much more serious consequences.
(4) On conviction under subsection (3), a person is liable to a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years, or to both, and in addition his or her driver’s licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than five years. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 17.
Deemed lack of reasonable consideration
(5) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (3), a person is deemed to drive without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway if he or she drives in a manner that may limit his or her ability to prudently adjust to changing circumstances on the highway. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 17.
Sentencing — aggravating factor
(6) A court that imposes a sentence for an offence under subsection (3) shall consider as an aggravating factor evidence that bodily harm or death was caused to a person who, in the circumstances of the offence, was vulnerable to a lack of due care and attention or reasonable consideration by a driver, including by virtue of the fact that the person was a pedestrian, cyclist or person working upon the highway. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 17; 2019, c. 8, Sched. 1, s. 25.
Careless driving ticket accident?
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