Posted on: 18 February 2015
A hit and run in Canada is a serious driving offense that can carry stiff legal penalties. It doesn't matter if you were at fault or the one who was hit...you must stay at the scene of the accident. If you do not, you could be subject to heavy fines, and even imprisonment.
Canadian law assumes a responsibility to stay at the scene of an accident for many reasons. For one, the person in the other car may be injured and need your assistance (even if it's just to call emergency services). This is true even if it is the person who hit you who is injured and you are fine. Other legal reasons for staying at the scene of the accident until authorities arrive include giving police the opportunity to correctly determine who was at fault, deciding who needs to pay for damages, and allowing police to safely manage traffic until the accident is cleared off the street.
So, what happens if you are involved in a hit and run, and you are the one who leaves the scene, regardless of your fault? If you're not caught, nothing will happen. However, with today's technology, the chances of you being found are quite high. If you're caught, expect the following:
1. Police Will Question You and the Other Driver to Determine What Type of Hit and Run You Were Involved In
According to OntarioTrafficTickets.com, hit and run accidents fall into two different categories in Canada. Depending on what category yours falls under, you may be subject to more severe penalties than others. The two types of hit and run accidents and their penalties are:
- Failure to Remain at the Scene--This is a violation of the Highway Traffic Act and usually results in a traffic ticket, as long as no one was killed or injured in the accident.
- Failure to Stop at the Scene--This is a Federal criminal offense as defined under the criminal code of Canada, and can result in prison time, heavy fines, community service, and a host of other severe legal penalties.
Failure to Remain and Failure to Stop may sound similar, but they are two very different things under Canadian law. With Failure to Remain, you initially stopped at the scene of the accident but did not stay. With Failure to Stop, you did not bother to stop at the accident scene at all and just kept going after the accident occurred.
2. You Will Go to Court
Once you are charged with either Failure to Remain or Failure to Stop, you will go to court, where a judge will determine what your penalty will be. The penalty will be based on the circumstances of the accident as well as your part in the hit and run.
If you are charged with Failure to Remain, you may receive any, all, or a combination of these penalties:
- A fine of between $400 and $2,000
- Six points on your license
- An increase in your insurance rates
- A potential suspension of your license for up to two years, depending on the circumstances of the accident
If you are charged with Failure to Stop, you may receive:
- 1. Up to five years in prison
- 2. Up to life in prison if someone was killed in the hit and run and you were at fault
A hit and run is a major traffic violation in Canada, regardless of whether you are charged with Failure to Remain or Failure to Stop. Whether you were the perpetrator or the victim, if you left the accident scene before police arrived, you need to get legal representation to make sure your case goes as well for you as possible.
If you've already been in a hit and run, call an attorney right away. If not, remember to always stay at the scene of the accident if you are ever involved in one, and things will go much better for you in court because of it.Share