It is an offence under both the Criminal Code of Canada and the provincial Highway Traffic Act to drive with a suspended license. If your license has been suspended, you cannot drive under any circumstance. If you do so, you will face serious consequences- including jail time (whether or not you have a previous conviction or record) and significant financial penalties.
If your license has been suspended, or if you have been caught driving under suspension, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer with specific experience and skill handling such matters, as soon as possible and before you make any plea in court. The knowledgeable and strategic criminal defense lawyers at Hicks Adams LLP in Toronto can help. As one of the largest and most well-respected criminal firms in Canada, we rely on more than a century of combined knowledge to help clients in even the most technically demanding matters.
How Can a License be Suspended
A driver’s license can be suspended by the Ministry of Transportation, the police, or through a criminal conviction in court. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Speeding more than 50km/h;
- Dangerous driving;
- Refusing a Breathalyzer;
- Registering a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between 0.05 and 0.08;
- Accumulating too many demerit points;
- Failure to pay a fine;
- Failure to pay family support payments;
- Court order;
- Medical suspension.
Consequences for Driving with Suspended License
Under the Highway Traffic Act
If you are convicted for driving with a suspended license under the Highway Traffic Act, you face a fine of $1000 to $5000 for a first offence, and between $2000 to $5000 for a subsequent offence (i.e. if you are convicted again within five years of the first conviction). In addition to the fine, a judge may also give you up to six months in jail. An additional six months will be added to your current license suspension as well.
Under the Criminal Code
If you are convicted for driving with a suspended license under the Criminal Code, you face a fine of $5,000 to $25,000 for a first offence, and between $10,000 to $50,000 for a subsequent offence (i.e. one within five years of your first conviction). An additional suspension will be added to your license under the Highway Traffic Act (one year for a first offence, and two years for a subsequent offence). The maximum jail penalty is up to five years in prison.
In addition to the above, if you get into an accident while driving with a suspended license, your insurance will probably not cover the costs of the damages. You also may be sued by the other driver(s) or injured passengers.
Contact Us for a Free Driving Under Suspension Consultation
Our experienced Toronto criminal defence lawyers are ready to defend you against driving under suspension and any other related charges. We rely on a large network of respected experts in various related disciplines, including toxicologists that help us gather and analyze facts necessary to defend driving charges. Call us at 416-975-1700 or contact us online for a free consultation.