Dangerous Driving causing Bodily Harm
Dangerous Driving Causing Bodily Harm is a severe offense.
What should you do if you are charged with “Dangerous Driving Causing Bodily Harm?”
You should, at the very least, seek advice from a lawyer with respect to the particular circumstances of your case. Your lawyer should be able to advise you as to your prospects of winning and a proposed strategy in your defence.
Dangerous Driving Cause Bodily Harm (s.249(3) Criminal Code of Canada) must to be analyzed from 2 distinct perspectives.
- Can you WIN? and how.
The Crown must be able to satisfy the Court that the driving in question constituted dangerous driving. In law, driving offences cover a continuum from minor traffic allegations (eg. fail to yield), to careless driving (failing to take due care and attention to others), to dangerous driving (driving that is a marked departure from the standard of a reasonable prudent person), and then to criminal negligence.
There is often a fine line of distinction between careless driving and dangerous driving and the crown must establish a marked departure – in what way did the driving go markedly beyond mere carelessness.
Proving this can be extremely difficult for the Crown. In cases of accidents the physical evidence often is inconclusive. The Crown may try to establish its case through the use of accident reconstruction evidence. Accident reconstruction is an inexact science and has numerous potential flaws in its application. (note: Ken Byers partner is a physics major prior to entering the study of law and has extensive knowledge in this area).
Eye witness accounts are also subject to weaknesses. Seldom do two accounts of the same occurrence match.
There may also be an explanation for the driving behaviour that excludes criminal responsibility. eg – being cut off, or an animal darting in front of your path etc.
Even if dangerous driving is established, the Crown must further prove “bodily harm”. Bodily Harm as defined in s. 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada as “a hurt or injury that is more than merely transient or trifling in nature.”
2. In some cases it is appropriate to negotiate with the Crown to a lesser, non criminal charge such as unsafe lane change or maybe a careless driving. These negotiations can avoid a driving suspension and of course avoid a criminal record.
Dangerous driving cause bodily harm is serious and if convicted often (but not always) result in the imposition of a jail sentence.
The penalty imposed by the court is influenced by a number of different factors including but not limited to:
- age and driving experience of the accused,
- nature of the driving,
- nature of the injuries sustained,
- remedial steps taken by the accused (eg completion of a driving education program),
- past driving record of the accused.
You should with our criminal defence lawyers.