Hit and run Ontario: criminal charge VS provincial offence
As you may know, failure to remain at the scene of an accident is an offence under both – the Criminal Code of Canada and the Highway Traffic Act:
- Fail to remain or stop – the HTA, section 200(1);
- Fail to stop after an accident – Criminal Code, section 320.16.
Depending on the seriousness of an accident, you can be charged under either the Criminal Code or the Highway Traffic Act. The charges under the latter are considered minor hit and run charges.
What is Failing to Remain at the Scene of a Collision under the Criminal Code?
According to section 320.16 of the Criminal Code of Canada everyone commits an offence if they operated a motor vehicle or were reckless as to whether the vehicle had been involved in an accident, and without reasonable justification failed to:
- stop their vehicle;
- provide phone, name and address; and
- offer assistance (if anyone has been injured or requires assistance).
Please note that a motor vehicle can be a car, vessel or aircraft.
A person can be accused of failing to stop (Criminal code) if they failed to perform ANY of the above-mentioned three obligations.
Serious personal injuries, death or an accident on private property can lead to fail to stop charge too.
Penalties for hit and run – Criminal Code
If you’re convicted for failure to stop for an accident, you’ll be liable to:
- minimum fine – $1,000
- criminal record (for life)
- licence suspension min. for 1 year and up to 10 years
- jail time: up to 2 years less a day (under summary conviction); up to 10 years (under indictable offence).
In all cases, a judge will assess the facts of the allegation and the track record of the accused person.
There are also other types of fail to stop offence that involve more serious consequences.
Failure To Stop at the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Bodily Harm
Every person who commits an offence under 320.16(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada knowing that bodily harm has been caused to another person involved in the accident is guilty of an indictable offence and is subject to imprisonment for a term up to 10 years.
Fail To Stop for an Accident Resulting in Death
Every person who commits an offence under 320.16(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is guilty of an indictable offence if:
- the person knows that the accident led to the death of another person; OR
- the person knows that the accident led to the bodily harm of another person and is reckless as to whether the death of the other person results from that bodily injury, and the death of that person so results.
Liability: imprisonment for life.
How to Fight Fail to Stop charge?
Hiring a criminal lawyer is a MUST when it comes to criminal charges. Hit and run crime involve severe consequences, up to life imprisonment. Whereas professional fail to stop lawyer knows how to negotiate and dispute with a court to make your charge dropped to a lesser one or completely dismissed.
During the court procedure, the prosecutor must prove beyond doubt that:
- the accused operated a vehicle;
- the vehicle was involved in an accident with another person or vehicle;
- the accused knew or was reckless as to whether the vehicle had been involved in an accident;
- the accused failed to do the following: stop the vehicle, provide his/her name & address, and offer assistance (if necessary).
An experienced lawyer knows all the aspects and can prepare a proper defence strategy and argue any fact or evidence presented to the judge.
Hiring X-COPS ensures you receive the highest level of professionalism, expertise and confidentiality. You’ll be connected with a lawyer who has been fighting criminal charges for a long time and has deep knowledge & understanding of traffic and criminal laws.
Our professionals are trained to win and get the best possible outcome. We know how to negotiate & dispute in court to reduce the charge or to withdraw it completely.
What we provide:
- legal support at all stages;
- development of custom defence strategy;
- representation in court and at trials;
- trials preparation (if applicable);
- all paperwork associated with your case.
We also provide free initial consultations with no obligations! Confidentiality is guaranteed. Just make a call!