Driving While Prohibited
Driving while prohibited charges are serious and complex. The penalties are severe. A first time offender will face a mandatory minimum one-year driving prohibition and a fine. Subsequent offences carry mandatory jail sentences, which tend to increase with each subsequent offence. There are also additional fines and driving prohibitions for subsequent offences. Prohibited driving is one of the most serious offences that exists under the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer Kyla Lee successfully defends hundreds of driving while prohibited charges every year. Her reputation as a knowledgeable source in driving while prohibited cases is well-known in the legal community, and she is frequently sought out by other counsel for advice in these cases. Kyla has advanced precedent-setting legal arguments in driving while prohibited trials.
Securing the Best Result in Driving While Prohibited Cases
Many lawyers do not want to take driving while prohibited cases to trial. Many lawyers believe that if they are not able to successfully negotiate a lesser resolution the only recourse is to plead guilty. Kyla does not believe that this is always the best course of action. Every case is unique, and there are defences that have yet to be explored and ways to challenge the evidence of police.
The Evidence in a Driving While Prohibited Case
In a driving while prohibited case, the Crown has to prove only three pieces of evidence: that a person was prohibited from driving, that they knew they were prohibited, and that they drove. This makes the prosecution’s job an easy task in many cases. Certain provisions of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act and the Offence Act allow the prosecution to introduce documentary evidence to prove both that you were prohibited and that you knew you were prohibited.
However, there are exceptions to the admissibility of these documents. They are rare and very technical. The documents must meet certain requirements, and Kyla Lee knows the technicalities that arise with the documentary evidence. There have been numerous cases in which the documentary evidence has been shown insufficient by Kyla Lee and the prosecution has dropped the charges.
Kyla is also familiar with the technology that police use to catch prohibited drivers, including the automatic license plate recognition system. She is aware of police policy surrounding the use of this technology and is able to challenge their reliance on it. There are Charter considerations that arise when using surveillance techniques like this, which considerations are examined and scrutinized by Kyla in every case.
With this foundation of knowledge in police procedure and technology, Charter litigation, knowledge of documentary evidence, and willingness to run courageous arguments in defence of her clients, Kyla is in a unique position to defend you in a driving while prohibited case.
What Will Happen in My Driving While Prohibited Case
Not all driving while prohibited cases will go to trial. In fact, Kyla Lee’s strong negotiation skills and skillful legal arguments are often persuasive before trial, resulting in an early resolution without a conviction. A successful result in your case is the first priority.
Kyla understands why many people rely on their licenses for their livelihood, or to care for their families. Reading Kyla’s blog will provide good insight into how many cases involving driving privileges Kyla has handled, and how deeply she understands the need to drive. Kyla will handle your case in a manner that best preserves your ability to drive, and is skilled at negotiating creative resolutions to avoid the consequences upon conviction for a driving while prohibited charge.
After your arrest, the police will give you a document with a court date. You are required to attend court at this time. If you hire Kyla Lee to defend your driving while prohibited charge, she or a member of her staff will attend all routine appearances for you. The first appearance is where the police evidence is provided and discussions with the prosecution begin. Police and the prosecution have up to a year from when you were caught driving while prohibited to charge you. Sometimes your first appearance may be rescheduled while evidence is gathered or prepared. Kyla will monitor your case to see if charges are laid.
Penalties for a Driving While Prohibited Charge
Driving While Prohibited carries with it a mandatory minimum $500 fine and one-year driving prohibition for a first time offender. However, there are also ten driver penalty points attached to the conviction as well. This means that you will also have to pay the Driver Penalty Point Premium if you are convicted of this offence. In addition to the court fines, there is a 15% Victim Fine Surcharge.
A second or subsequent driving while prohibited charge has a mandatory jail sentence. This starts at fourteen days, but can be as high as six months. Unlike criminal charges, a driving while prohibited charge can mean that you will receive a jail sentence, a driving prohibition, and a fine. Many people who do not hire an experienced driving lawyer like Kyla Lee find themselves facing these consequences and spiralling down without a license. Kyla has helped countless drivers with multiple driving while prohibited charges resolve their matters and get back on the road lawfully.
A jail sentence for driving while prohibited cannot be served by house arrest. Prohibited driving can only be punished by actual jail time. But a lawyer can often keep you from having to serve such a sentence.
Driving While Prohibited and Criminal Records
Driving while prohibited is not a criminal charge. You will not receive a criminal record for driving while prohibited. However, it is an offence for which a person can be arrested under the Offence Act. As a result of this, there may be a record of your arrest and this can show up in “local police file” searches or when crossing the border.
Additionally, driving under a prohibition imposed for a criminal offence, such as impaired driving or dangerous driving, is a criminal offence. This is known as driving while disqualified. Driving while disqualified charges are as serious as driving while prohibited offences, and the consequences on conviction are usually jail sentences, even for first time offenders.
If you have been charged with driving while prohibited, contact Kyla through the contact form on the website, or call her at 604-685-8889 to discuss your best options.
How Do People Get Caught?
A lot of people seem to believe that if they do not do anything wrong with their driving, they will be able to drive while prohibited undetected. Police officers scan license plates while they are driving. Technology now enables officers to automatically scan thousands of license plates an hour. Anytime a plate comes back as a “hit” the police will pull the vehicle over to investigate. This technology is known as Automated License Plate Recognition. According to statistics reported on the DriveSmartBC blog, 1944 people were charged for driving without a license and 313 people charged with driving while prohibited in 2013 alone. The BC RCMP statistics show that in a period of fewer than two years, 3.6 Million license plates were scanned using ALPR technology.
How Do They Prove The Case?
Driving while prohibited cases are unique. The Crown must prove only that the person charged was driving, was prohibited, and knew he or she was prohibited. Evidentiary shortcuts in the Motor Vehicle Act allow the Crown to introduce documentary evidence, such as the driving record, letters from ICBC/OSMV, and Certificates from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles or President of ICBC as proof of these facts. The documentary evidence creates a rebuttable presumption that the accused knew he or she was prohibited. Which makes defending these cases more difficult, although certainly not impossible.
There are defences to driving while prohibited charges. Mens rea must be proven. But knowing these defences involves a lot of research and particular knowledge. There are some defences that no longer work for driving while prohibited charges.
Many people, on learning that a driving while prohibited charge is a Motor Vehicle Act offence, do not think the charges are serious. This is a mistake.
The consequences for driving while prohibited are significant. On a first conviction, the mandatory minimum penalty is a $500 fine and a one-year driving prohibition, pursuant to Section 99 of the Motor Vehicle Act. On a subsequent conviction, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory jail sentence of no less than 14 days. These cases must therefore be taken seriously.