What are defences to dangerous driving?
There are a variety of defences for individuals charged with dangerous driving based on the circumstances of each specific case. The most important step in determining what defences are available to you, is to hire an experienced lawyer who can properly assess your case. Cory Wilson has successfully represented countless individuals charged with dangerous driving.
Determining whether an accused has committed dangerous driving contrary to section 249 of the Criminal Code is done by looking at the manner in which the vehicle was operated as opposed to the consequences of the driving. Simply because there was an unfortunate result of the driving, such as a collision, bodily harm or death, does not automatically mean that the operation was done in a dangerous manner.
A common defence to dangerous driving is to show that there was not a marked departure from the standard of car that a reasonable person would observe in the accused’s circumstances. A minor departure from the appropriate standard of care does not constitute dangerous driving. The difference between a minor and marked departure is a matter of degree.
Another common defence is that the dangerous driving was caused by a momentary loss of attention, rather than an ongoing marked departure. Most cases demonstrating a very brief or momentary loss of attention will not be sufficient to form a conviction.
Unexpected medical impairments such as black-outs, hallucinations and seizures may also afford a defence to dangerous driving. Medical evidence will be required to demonstrate the impairment was unexpected as opposed to an individual who voluntarily chose not to take prescribed medication leading to the impairment.