Stunt Driving: Not the Average Speeding Case
It was in the mid 2000’s when the province of Ontario decided to get serious about excessive speeding tickets. While it was understood that your average speeding ticket was suffice to curb speeders in Ontario, citizens travelling 50km/hr or more ABOVE the posted speed limit needed a harsher penalty than just your run of the mill speeding ticket fine.
As Careless Driving proved to be an ineffective alternative to impose a harsher penalty, the offence of Stunt Driving was widened to include cases in which an individual was clocked going 50km/hr or more over the posted speed limit.
Previously reserved for drivers with the intent to be in an actual motor vehicle race on Ontario highways, and for individuals who are performing a “stunt” in the more literal definition of the word, the stunt driving charge under section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act has some serious consequences.
If convicted of stunt driving, someone can be subject to the following consequences:
Fine of up to $10,000.00
Licence Suspension for up to 2 years on your first offence, and up to 10 years for your second offence
6 Demerit Points
Imprisonment for up to 6 Months
The stunt driving charge is not laughing matter. Now that the speed portion has been applied to the previously seldom charged stunt driving, the incidents in which a stunt driving charge is laid have gone up by a staggering degree.
With that being said, the stunt driving charge is far from unbeatable. Although the charge is for a speeding act, stunt driving is treated very differently than speeding.
Speeding is known as an absolute liability offence, in which the prosecution only needs to prove the act itself. As a result, many people charged with stunt driving because of a speeding action believe there is no way to beat it.
The truth is stunt driving is treated much differently than speeding, and the prosecution has a much higher level to reach to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Not to mention, the charge of stunt driving can be dismissed on multiple defences that do not apply to an absolute liability charge like speeding.
Your stunt driving charge is not unwinnable. Every stunt driving charge should have a professional managing the case to ensure you achieve the best outcome.
My small piece of free legal advice for stunt driving is this: Arguing at the side of the road will do nothing. But contacting a professional can make all the difference. Your stunt driving charge needs a professional opinion. It is winnable, but it may take a professional opinion to make it happen.