The crime of Criminal Negligence within the laws of Canada, refers to acting irresponsibly without caution, to put others at risk of injury or death, or failing to do something to prevent the same circumstances from happening. This can occur both in public (as with: child endangerment, drunk driving, etc.), or at a place of employment (as with: a building construction site, manufacturing plant, etc.), whether intentionally or inadvertently, but usually involves a level of recklessness. It is normally attributed to someone having to absence of foresight with prior knowledge of the potential for danger.
As criminal negligence charges are often the subjective view of other observers, it is of the onus of the courts to determine if the accused had the foreknowledge to be able to prevent the consequences from occurring, and are required to decide:
1) subjectively what the intentions of the accused were at the time of the incident (wilfulness)
2) objectively what the qualifications (and physical abilities) were of the accused to be able to prevent the incident
As most cases of criminal negligence are said to put the public at risk, prosecutors are eager to lay charges for these types of crimes, especially if someone was injured or killed. To face the courts under these circumstances, you will need the assistance of a highly experienced lawyer to navigate you through these icy waters, to avoid a guilty verdict and criminal record. To attempt to go it alone during your trial would mean you could end up in a much worse predicament than first anticipated.
Penalties for Criminal Negligence in Ontario
A conviction for criminal negligence in Ontario could land you stiff fines and up to 10 years in prison if anyone was injured, or a life sentence if anyone was killed because of the incident. Restitution is usually also required to those who have experienced loss or bodily harm. Circumstances surrounding infant deaths or vehicular manslaughter often face higher penalties as these tend to be viewed more apparently in intent to law enforcement.
In all cases of a guilty verdict, you will face a criminal record for life. Most professional designations and licenses are revoked or denied to those convicted of negligence, and employers will often view you as too high of a risk to their businesses.
If you have been charged with criminal negligence contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer to help you through this difficult time.
Contact The Criminal Law Team Toronto for a free consultation.
As dedicated, honest and caring criminal lawyers, we bring you over 60 years of experience and an excellent record of success to help defend your criminal charge.