Stunt driving involves actions like street racing and doing wheelies. These behaviours can be dangerous and often result in a licence suspension, vehicle impoundment and substantial later fines. Convictions for stunt driving are strict liability offences and will likely lead to a dramatic increase in car insurance rates. Trial paralegal Mark Cardy focuses his practice on stunt driving defences in Ontario.
Driver’s License Suspension
Stunt driving is considered a criminal offence under section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act. The penalty for stunt driving is far more severe than a simple speeding ticket and will have long term effects on your insurance rates. A first time conviction for stunt driving carries a mandatory 1-3 year licence suspension. This means your ability to drive and support yourself and your family will be seriously affected. This is why it’s so important to fight this charge.
Stunt driving is defined as doing anything behind the wheel that wouldn’t allow you to properly adjust to changing road conditions or circumstances. This includes actions like racing, chasing, burnouts, and doing any other dangerous or illegal driving activity. It also covers illegal car modifications and street races.
As a driver, it’s important to understand what stunt driving is and how it can affect your insurance rates. Stunt driving is dangerous and illegal and can result in hefty fines and license suspensions. It’s also important to know how much a stunt driving conviction will increase car insurance in Ontario. While most people are aware that speeding by more than 50 km/h over the limit is considered stunt driving or racing, many are not familiar with how low you can go before you get charged with this offence. Under the new laws implemented by the province of Ontario, you can be charged with stunt driving at speeds as low as 29 km/h over the speed limit. If you get a stunt driving ticket ontario, your driver’s license will be suspended and your vehicle could be seized. You could also face expensive legal costs, impound or towing fees and increased insurance rates.
Once the summons to appear is received it’s important to seek legal advice or representation for the defence of the charge. The first court date for the case is referred to as a “Set Date”. This is when the judge will review the officer’s notes and driving record and give the driver a chance to plead guilty or not guilty. The case will then be adjourned to a date known as a To Be Spoken To Date (TBST).
Stunt driving is one of the most serious tickets to receive. It can result in a significant fine and even jail time. It also results in points on your driving record, which can lead to increased insurance premiums. If you fail to appear in court on your scheduled date, the Justice may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. A bench warrant authorizes police to immediately take you into custody and bring you before the judge. A bench warrant will show up on future background checks, whether you are guilty of the underlying offence or not.
On the first court date, known as a “set date hearing” or a “To Be Spoken To Date”, (TBST), the prosecutor will give the driver their disclosure which contains the officers notes and driving history. It is important to have representation at this point, someone who is familiar with the law and how it applies to your case. Jason Baxter is a lawyer with over two decades of experience fighting traffic tickets and other criminal charges. He is dedicated to ensuring that his clients receive the best outcome for their cases.
Depending on the nature of the stunt driving, it can carry significant penalties that may lead to thousands of dollars in fines, a driver’s license suspension and dramatically increased insurance rates. In addition, it can also mean losing your job. A motorist can be charged with stunt driving for speeding over 50 km/h over the limit in zones less than 80 km/h or for committing dangerous driving actions such as spinning their tires or driving into oncoming traffic. Other factors that can also lead to a stunt driving charge include illegal car modifications such as suspensions and high-performance motors, and participating in street racing or contests while operating a motor vehicle.
A first appearance is a crucial time for the driver to fight their ticket. The first step is to hire a paralegal that is familiar with how court proceedings function and what evidence is required to have a conviction dismissed or withdrawn. Often times, an in-person court appearance is not necessary. Most courts offer a Zoom option where you can appear from the comfort of your home or office.
If you’re caught in Ontario with a stunt driving conviction your vehicle gets impounded and the licence suspended for 30 days. It’s important to understand the penalties and how you can fight a stunt driving charge.