Careless driving is a common offence with quite serious consequences if you are convicted. Like speeding tickets, the fine amount is not the only penalty you can receive with a careless driving charge. There are two types of careless driving tickets, careless driving with a fine and careless driving without a fine.
Careless Driving with a Fine
Careless driving tickets with a fine amount printed on it will carry 6 demerit points and a minimum fine of $325. You have 3 options when you receive these tickets:
- Pleading guilty
- Pleading guilty with an explanation
- Trial / not guilty
If you pay a careless driving ticket you are automatically pleading guilty to the charge and will have to pay the fine along with receiving 6 demerit points on your record that will increase your insurance rates. A plea of guilty with an explanation is not a trial and your careless driving ticket will not be eliminated off of your record with this option. At most the careless driving ticket may be slightly reduced by the prosecutor, but this usually only includes the fine amount and not the demerit points.
Careless Driving Without a Fine Attached
Careless Driving tickets that do not have a fine amount listed on them are an automatic summons to court. This means that you do not have the option of pleading guilty by paying the fine and must go to the court to answer to your charges. If you are convicted of careless driving you could face fines of up to $1000.00, jail time of up to 6 months, and a driver’s licence suspension of up to 2 years.
A guilty plea of a careless driving charge will likely increase your insurance rates by thousands of dollars a year and may raise you to a high risk bracket for auto insurance. Some insurance companies will even refuse to insure you, even if your record is completely clean other than that one careless driving ticket.
Careless driving is one of the more serious and complicated offences you can receive a ticket for. There is good news though! With proper sound research and court skills, a careless driving ticket can more often then not be argued to elimination.
Careless Driving Demerit Points
Careless driving carries 6 demerit points against your licence if convicted.
Careless Driving Fine
Careless driving tickets with fine are $260 plus a victim surcharge of $65 for a total of $325.
Careless driving tickets in a community safety zone have no set fine.
Careless driving tickets without a fine are determined by the Justice of Peace and can be $500-$1000.
Careless Driving as Stated in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
130. Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 130