Driving and Traffic Offences

Criminal traffic offences in Ottawa are extremely common. However, most people dealing with these charges don't fully realize their opportunities for protecting their rights and driving privileges. Dealing with driving offences can be frightening, especially when it comes to the possibility of your driving insurance rates going up, or even losing your license. Regardless of the severity of a driving offence, you should always seek experienced legal counsel to at least consult with first.


Edelson Law has over 75 years of combined criminal defence experience, helping countless clients navigate the legal process. Our extraordinary reputation stems from extensive knowledge of criminal defence — giving us the ability to offer reliable representation for clients throughout Ottawa and the surrounding area. We’re committed to protecting your rights, driving record, and freedom.

How Driving Offences Affect Your Life

Paying hefty fines can be bad enough, but driving offences could affect other areas of your life that you may not realize, particularly if you are at risk of losing your driver’s license because you were convicted of a traffic offence or a series of traffic offences.  Your career may depend on your ability to drive.  The inconvenience of not being able to drive may have adverse effects on your family and personal life too. Costs from driving offences also extend beyond fines, as they may increase car insurance rates and premiums.

Traffic offences can not only impact your driving future but also limit career and financial opportunities. The lawyers at Edelson Law Barristers are experienced in dealing with traffic offences, and will go through the appropriate steps and take every measure possible to defend you against consequences that could affect your future. Over the years, our firm has helped defend countless clients dealing with traffic-related charges.


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Our Traffic Offence Services – Criminal and Quasi-criminal

When you contact Edelson Law, you can be confident that we’ll take every possible step to defend you against both criminal and provisional driving related charges.

Impaired Driving Offences – Criminal Code

Impaired driving offences can be devastating. DUI charges are highly technical and demand careful scrutiny of the police work done at the investigation stage. The lawyers at Edelson Law have defended over a thousand DUI and driving-related charges. We have an extensive understanding of the technical, legal, and constitutional defences available to you — and will do everything we can to obtain a withdrawal of your DUI charge or a reduction of your criminal charge to a Highway Act offence.

The Criminal Code defines driving over the legal limit  as having a blood-alcohol concentration equal to or over 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood (80 and over) or a blood-drug concentration equal to or over the prescribed blood drug concentration or regulated drug. This may include cannabis, as between 2-5 nanograms (ng) of THC per ml of blood.  Drug and alcohol combinations can also lead to criminal charges. It is also possible to be charged with impaired driving in circumstances where your blood alcohol level was not over the legal limit, but you were nevertheless impaired, even slightly, in your ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Recent changes to the Criminal Code state that police officers do not need to suspect impaired driving to demand a roadside screening test, giving them the authority to conduct mandatory roadside breath tests to screen to see if drivers are over the legal limit.  You may be charged with failure or refusal to comply if you fail to perform the test or provide a sample.  If you do provide a sample and fail because you have too much alcohol in your blood, this will lead to your being arrested, and brought back to the police station for further breath testing, which may then lead to additional criminal charges.

If you are charged with a DUI related offence, contact us.  We will explore every avenue to obtain for you the best possible results.

Dangerous Driving  – Criminal Code

Under the Criminal Code, dangerous driving is a serious, criminal offence. If convicted of it, it carries serious penalties, including the possibility of a criminal record, jail time, heavy fines, and being prohibited from driving by way of a Court order for a certain period of time. These consequences, in turn, can affect the status of your license with the Ministry of Transportation.

Depending on the situation, problematic driving can even rise to the level of driving-related criminal negligence, which often carries even more severe consequences than a dangerous driving conviction would.

Every case is different, and we’ll exhaust every possible opportunity to reduce charges or have them dismissed completely.

Driving While Prohibited – Criminal Code

You can be prosecuted under the Criminal Code for driving while prohibited from doing so, either because of a court order prohibiting you from driving made as a result of a prior criminal conviction, or even because you were driving while suspended from doing so because of a provincial or Highway Traffic Act offence.

It is relatively standard that convictions for driving while prohibited, even for first time offenders, carry short jail terms.  If convicted, you will also accumulate an entry on your criminal record. Given how serious these consequences are, you need effective legal representation to best position you to avoid these consequences.

Serious Traffic Violations – Highway Traffic Act

While not criminal charges, there are a number of serious traffic violations that are nevertheless serious, and can carry crippling consequences if convicted.  This makes proper representation crucial. The serious traffic violations under the Highway Traffic Act include:

  • Careless driving
  • Careless driving causing bodily harm or death
  • Failure to stop for emergency vehicle
  • Operating while suspended
  • Stunt driving
  • Street racing

Certain charges under the Highway Traffic Act, even if not criminal, can lead to jail terms if convicted.  Stiff fines, demerit points, being suspended from driving, or being placed on Provincial Offences Act probation which might limit driving, and have other restrictions, are possibilities where convicted of certain traffic offences.  Again, contact us so that we can do everything in our power to help you avoid a guilty finding, and any consequences that might stem from it.

Every case is different, and we’ll exhaust every possible opportunity to reduce charges or have them dismissed completely.

Operating a Conveyance While Suspended – Highway Traffic Act Offence

Even if you are not charged under the Criminal Code for driving while you are prohibited from doing so, you can be charged under the Highway Traffic Act for driving while suspended.  The penalties for driving while suspended may vary depending on how many prior offences you have been convicted of. However, typically the first offence usually results in vehicle seizure for 30 days and a summons to appear in court. A conviction could result in losing your license for six months and hefty fines (up to $2,000).  You’ll also be at risk of losing your license, sometimes even permanently.

Our lawyers are trained in representing clients in these cases, and will fight on your behalf to prevent a conviction and get your license back.

Failure to Remain Accidents – Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code offences

Our traffic offence lawyers offer legal counsel for hit and runs that lead to charges under the Criminal Code or under the Highway Traffic Act.  While you do have certain reporting obligations where there is an accident where someone got hurt, or that caused enough damage to an involved vehicle, before making any statements or speaking with police, we recommend using your cell phone to speak to a traffic offence lawyer following an accident, who can advise you of your legal rights and obligations.

Depending on the charges, fail to remain accidents can carry serious consequences. If you are being investigated or have already been charged with Fail to Remain under the Highway Traffic Act Law or Fail to Stop under the Criminal Code — we urge you to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

As your criminal defence attorney, we’re here to dispute the evidence and explain your defence.  We will also work to uncover possibilities of dropping charges to a lesser charge if not dismissing them completely.

Failure to Pull Over or Yield, Failure to Stop or Flight From a Peace Officer  – Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code Offences

Failing to stop for police offence charges can have a severe impact on your future and can lead to criminal charges or charges under the Highway Traffic Act.  But you may have a valid defence, regardless of whether you are facing provincial charges or criminal charges.  We will help you find that defence.



If you or someone you know is dealing with traffic offence charges in Ottawa, whether criminal or under the Highway Traffic Act, we are ready to help. Contact Edelson Law by calling (613) 237-2290 or email us today. We’re here to help give you the representation you deserve, to protect your rights and to help you navigate the complicated legal regime relating to driving offences. Don’t let criminal driving related charges or Highway Traffic Act charges derail your life. Protect your driving future, business opportunities, and career.

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