CARELESS DRIVING IN ONTARIO
Charged with careless driving in the province of Ontario? Most insurance companies consider careless driving a major offence. Too often, we receive calls from prospective clients inquiring about appealing their careless driving convictions because their insurance rates doubled after they decided to pay their careless driving tickets. In some cases, insurance companies refused to continue covering prospective clients after their careless driving convictions. Thus, It is important you first consider the penalties associated with a careless driving conviction before simply paying the ticket fine and essentially pleading guilty to the offence. We decided to formulate this FAQ page to help educate you on your careless driving offence.
What are the consequences associated with a careless driving conviction?
Careless Driving - Part 1 Offence
If you received a careless driving traffic ticket with the option of pleading guilty, not guilty, and guilty with an explanation, you received a Part 1 careless driving ticket. If convicted of a Part 1 careless driving offence, you face a maximum fine of $2000, as well as a probable 100% insurance rate increase (in some extreme cases, your insurance company might decide they can no longer cover you as a result of your careless driving conviction). Insurance companies consider careless driving a major offence regardless of whether you were charged with a Part 1 careless driving ticket or a Part 3 careless driving summons.
Careless Driving - Part 3 Summons
If you received a summons to attend court on an assigned date and time for your careless driving charge, you were charged with a Part 3 offence. If found guilty of a Part 3 careless driving charge, you can face the following
- A minimum fine of $400 to a maximum fine of $2,000
- Imprisonment for not more than 6 months
- Licence suspension for not more than 2 years
- Probable 100% insurance rate increase (in some extreme cases, your insurance company might decide they can no longer cover you as a result of your careless driving conviction)
What can a paralegal from Road Warriors do to assist me with my careless driving charge?
A paralegal from Road Warriors can defend your careless driving charge. First, we will aim to have your charge dismissed. If a dismissal is not possible upon reviewing the evidence, the case manager from Road Warriors assigned to your case will negotiate with the prosecutor to have your careless driving charge reduced to a minor (and therefore less serious) offence. Before pleading guilty to a lesser offence, we caution our clients and prospective clients to ensure there is enough evidence to convict them of careless driving to begin with. The option of pleading guilty to a lesser offence may not be necessary to take especially if the evidence does not prove you were driving carelessly. For example, according to case law, rear-ending a car because of a momentary error in judgement does not constitute careless driving.
Is it worth fighting my careless driving charge?
Yes, careless driving is a charge we believe you should fight. We believe fighting minor speeding offences is ultimately up to you and whether a minor speeding ticket is worth fighting depends on each individual circumstance. A conviction for careless driving, on the other hand, carries far too many consequences. We have received too many phone calls from prospective clients who wished to appeal their careless driving convictions because they did not realize the consequences associated with pleading guilty to the offence. In these circumstances, we were unable to assist them because pleading ignorance to the consequences of a careless driving conviction is a weak argument upon appeal. Before pleading guilty, it is important you first review the evidence against you to ensure there is enough evidence to convict you of the charge to begin with. Secondly, there is always a possibility that the prosecutor will be willing to offer you a resolution to plead guilty to a lesser offence which will not carry the heavy fine, possible license suspension, custodial sentence, and 100% insurance rate increase associated with your careless driving offence.
How much do you charge to fight my careless driving charge?
If you would like to inquire about our rates to fight your careless driving ticket, you may fill up a rate request form here, or contact us at 1-877-2SHIELD. Alternatively, you may also fax us a copy of your traffic ticket together with your contact information (ie. phone number and email address) to 1-866-841-6608.