Fail to Stop Charge at the Scene of an Accident | Toronto Criminal Lawyers
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Fail to Stop Charge (Accident)

Section 252 of the Criminal Code of Canada covers the Fail to Stop at the Scene of an Accident charge.

fail-to-stop-charge

 

IMPORTANCE OF THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT WITH A FAIL TO STOP CHARGE

 Every person has the right to remain silent. This right should be exercised in almost every case involving this charge. Without an admission to the Police of being the driver of the vehicle at the time of the accident, the Crown may not be able to prove you were in fact the person who left the scene. Do not give a statement to the police without legal advice first.

At Daley, Byers we have represented a number of clients who have avoided charges by following our advice. In some instances we have attended at the police station with clients for the purpose of retrieving vehicles or in response to the Police request for a statement. Our statement to the police is simple.

  • We are here to pick up our vehicle.
  • We are not reporting the vehicle stolen.
  • We have nothing else to say.

Note: it is a criminal offence to lie to a police officer in the course of an investigation. It is not a criminal offence to say nothing – that is your right!


ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS THAT THE CROWN MUST PROVE BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT:

  • The existence of an accident;
  • Contemporaneous knowledge of the accident by the accused (i.e. It is not sufficient to prove that the accused “should have known”);
  • (1)Accused failed to stop the vehicle, or (2) give his or her name and address, or (3) where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.
  • The accident must involve another person, vehicle, vessel or aircraft (i.e. an accident involving the accused’s vehicle and a pole is not covered by this section; i.e. another person can include a passenger in the car.)
  • The accused was the driver or had care or control of the vehicle at the time of the accident.
  • If the accused fails to perform any of the three (3) duties imposed on him as set out above, he is presumed to have intended to escape civil or criminal responsibility and must present “evidence to the contrary” to rebut that presumption. S. 252(2)

In these cases, the police investigation often takes place long after the accident.

PENALTIES FOR FAIL TO STOP AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT

  • Criminal record
  • Possible jail (up to 5 years where there is no injury or death) and a maximum of 10 years where there is injury or death)
  • Fine
  • Automatic 1 year licence suspension pursuant to provisions of the Highway Traffic Act
  • Possible criminal court ordered driving prohibition
  • Substantial insurance rate increase
  • No insurance coverage for damage to your vehicle incurred in the accident

REDUCTION TO HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT OFFENCE

In some instances, it is possible to negotiate with the Crown a reduction from the Criminal Code offence to the Highway Traffic Act offence.

Reference to other “Fail to Stop Charges”:

 

If you have any other questions or wish a free consultation call or email. Daley, Byers – Criminal Defence Lawyers.

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