Careless driving is a serious offence but what is this ticket, is it a criminal offence to drive carelessly?
What is a Careless Driving Charge
A careless driving ticket is is not a criminal charge. Careless driving is a provincial offence under a Province of Ontario law.
In Canada we have two (3) types of offences in law:
- federal laws in the Criminal Code of Canada
- provincial statues in the Provincial Offences Act
- municipal bylaws in each municipality
Careless driving is a provincial law within the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
Criminal offences or criminal charges are federal laws valid throughout Canada. Criminal charges are usually more serious offences. Provincial statues are not criminal charges and under the Highway Traffic Act are called traffic tickets and are usually minor offences.
Although the penalties can be similar, the penalties for traffic tickets are usually less severe or debilitating.
Traffic tickets result in a record on your driving abstract with the Ministry of Transportation, and criminal charges result in a criminal record.
Careless driving is a provincial law within the Highway Traffic Act and is not a criminal offence.
Dangerous Driving Vs Careless Driving
Dangerous driving is a criminal charge under the Criminal Code of Canada where as careless driving is a traffic ticket under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario.
In criminal charges like dangerous driving the prosecution has to show intent that the driver planned on a driving action that was dangerous, e.g. street racing, or purposely braking in an attempt to scare or threaten another driver.
Careless driving incidents are usually accidents, where the driver didn’t intend for the incident to happen. They are accidents where an error in driving was made.
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