Fail to Remain at the Scene of An accident in Ontario
Every driver in Ontario is expected to remain at the scene of an accident or return as soon as possible to exchange driver particulars and assist any injured persons.
Important: in this article we’ll tell you only about failing to remain at the scene of a collision as a provincial offence (according to the Highway Traffic Act), but not a criminal charge called failure to stop at the scene of an accident, which carries much more serious charges depending on the intent and damages resulting from an accident.
Driver’s who fail to remain usually leave the scene of an accident for several reasons:
- They operate a motor vehicle without insurance;
- They are impaired and are afraid to get charged for driving while impaired;
- They do not wish to involve their insurance company to avoid insurance premium hikes;
- They drive while under suspension;
- They hit a pedestrian(s) and are afraid of punishment (possibly going to jail in cases of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle resulting in bodily injuries);
- There are also instances where the driver may have not known that the accident had occurred.
Please note, that the law requires for drivers to report an accident regardless of the above reasons. Yes, it is possible to get charged for driving while impaired as a result of having to report an accident, but the punishment can be much more severe if you fail to return to the scene of an accident or fail to report.
Penalties For Failure To Remain At The Scene Of An Accident
A conviction for fail to remain in Ontario results in:
- 7 demerit points;
- fine from $500 to $2,500;
- driver’s licence suspension for up to a maximum of 2 years;
- possible jail time for up to 6 months;
- insurance rates increase.
As you can see, such conviction is quite serious in terms of penalties and liability. Thus, the most appropriate here is to consult with a paralegal or a lawyer to seek legal consultation about your options. Time is of the essence and often receiving knowledgeable advice can significantly improve your final consequences of walking away from potentially very serious legal issues.
A knowledgeable traffic ticket lawyer or paralegal will know how to provide you with the best possible defence and secure the cleanliness of your driving record for as long as possible while reducing your fines, demerit points, avoid driver’s licence suspensions or help you get rid of the charge(s) entirely. Fail to remain charges are usually accompanied by at least 2 more charges: – careless driving and/or dangerous operation of a motor vehicle (criminal charge), and/or – fail to report an accident (3 demerit points).
How to Fight Charges for Fail to Remain at the Scene of An Accident
As already mentioned, the best option for you to fight your ticket is to hire a professional traffic ticket paralegal. If you want to do it by yourself – bad idea! Do you remember the police officer’s phrase “Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law”? Exactly because of it you have to get legal advice before going to court.
Every case is different, hence fighting fail to remain charges must be tackled by expert knowledge and knowing how the court treats these cases when it comes to using police officer’s evidence and how to resolve these cases.
The process is usually started by police contacting the owner of the vehicle by inviting them to the police station to establish who was driving the car at the time of an accident or by visiting the owner at home to serve them with a court summons.
It is advisable that you do not visit the police without knowing your options. Also, prior to your court date specified on summons you must attempt to request or obtain police officer’s evidence such as video, audio, pictures, witness statements, police officer’s notes and develop your own defence strategy.
Remember, once you’ve been contacted by the police, immediately call X-COPS for your free consultation. Such a serious charge requires the involvement of real specialists to help you to defend your rights and protect you from being misled by wrong advice.