Some drivers make the mistake of thinking that driving with a suspended driver’s license in Toronto is not so serious, since the license was not completely revoked. This is certainly not the case, and driving under a suspended license is a serious offence that can come with punishments of hefty fines or even jail time, depending upon your number of offences.
Penalties for Driving Under Suspension in Ontario
According to the Ministry of Transportation, if your license is suspended due to a Highway Traffic Act (HTA) conviction, and you are then convicted of driving under suspension, you will face the following punishments:
- Your first offence: A fine of $1,000 to $5,000
- Additional offences that occur within the next five years: A fine of $2,000 to $5,000, a jail sentence of up to six months, or both.
- Your license suspension is also extended an additional six months.
- If your license is suspended due to a Criminal Code conviction, such as driving while under the influence, the penalties for driving under suspension increase significantly
- Your first offence: A fine of $5,000 to $25,000.
- Additional offences that occur within the next five years: A fine of $10,000 to $50,000, a prison sentence of up to two years, or both.
- Your license suspension is extended an additional year after your first offence, and extended two years for any subsequent offences.
But I Didn't Know My License Was Suspended
Some drivers unknowingly drive with suspended licenses because they do not know about the suspension. Unfortunately, this is not an acceptable defense, and you can still be convicted.
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Reasons Your License May Be Suspended in Toronto
There are many reasons your license may be suspended, and not all of them are traffic violations. Common reasons include, but are not limited to:
- A DUI/DWI conviction
- Failing to appear in court or attend a Ministry of Transportation Driver’s Interview
- Unpaid traffic fines
- 15 or more demerit points on your driving record
- Drug offence convictions
- Driving without insurance
Seeking Legal Help for Traffic Violations
The best way to avoid a driving under suspension conviction is to avoid the suspension. If you are facing any traffic violations, or other offences that could lead to a driver’s license suspension, consult with a paralegal to learn more about your options. Our paralegals can help you learn whether or not your license is suspended to help you avoid unknowingly driving without a valid license.
If you are already charged with driving under suspension in Toronto, our paralegals can still offer you assistance. While they are serious, driving under suspension charges are also quite complex and a strong legal defense can have a large impact on the outcome of your case. Once you have fulfilled the terms of your suspension, our paralegals can also help you with the reinstatement of your suspended license.
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