Driving While Prohibited



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    When faced with a Driving While Prohibited (DWP) charge, the legal process can feel like an overwhelming barrier.

    At Sarah Leamon Law Group, our role is to break down these complexities for you. We are a criminal defence law firm based in Vancouver, specializing in representing individuals implicated in DWP cases. Our dedicated team is equipped to provide the highest standard of advocacy and guidance.

    If you, or someone you care about, find yourselves confronted with Driving While Prohibited allegations, our lawyers are here to ensure that your rights are fully protected.

    With our knowledge and commitment to justice, you can trust that your case is in capable hands.

    What is Driving While Prohibited?

    Driving While Prohibited (DWP) is the act of operating a vehicle when your driving privileges have been legally revoked or suspended.

    In the context of British Columbia’s legal landscape, this offence is governed by the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA). This legislation outlines various aspects of the offence, providing critical details about what constitutes DWP and the penalties for committing such an offence.

    Is this a BC MVA offence?

    Yes, Driving While Prohibited is recognized as an offence under the BC MVA, primarily outlined in Sections 95 and 102. While the MVA includes, identifies and defines prohibited driving, you must consider consulting with a legal professional for a comprehensive understanding of these provisions and their implications for your case.

    Is Driving While Prohibited a Criminal offence?

    While Driving While Prohibited is primarily recognized as a provincial offence under the BC MVA, a similar offence is also outlined in the Canadian Criminal Code (CCC). However, the CCC offence is not under provincial jurisdiction, and therefore, involves a separate set of legal processes and potential penalties.

    What does ‘Driving’ Cover?

    The legal definition of ‘driving’, according to the MVA, is broad and extends beyond merely moving a vehicle on a roadway. It further includes the act of being in care or control of a vehicle, even when stationary. This may include situations where you’re not physically moving but are seated behind the wheel with the engine running.

    What does ‘Prohibited’ Mean?

    In legal terms, ‘prohibited’ means being legally barred from driving due to various circumstances. These can range from being convicted for a driving offence, accumulating demerit points above what is allowable in the MVA , or a court order following criminal offences. The prohibition can vary in duration, depending on the nature and severity of the violation leading to it.

    Why am I being charged for Driving While Prohibited when My Driving Prohibitions Were Over?

    The legal landscape surrounding driving prohibitions can be complex. Even if your prohibition period has ended, you may still face charges if you’ve not been officially reinstated by the relevant authority. Reinstatement usually involves a set process, including payment of outstanding fines and completing mandated courses or programs.

    What Happens if I am Found or Plead Guilty?

    Being found guilty of a Driving While Prohibited offence carries severe consequences. These can include significant fines, additional driving prohibitions, potential imprisonment, and a tarnished driving record. In some cases, the penalties can escalate if the offence is committed repeatedly.

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    Should I Plead Guilty?

    We strongly advise against pleading guilty without a prior consultation with a seasoned lawyer. Plea decisions can have lasting repercussions on your driving privileges, personal freedom, and overall quality of life. Each case is unique and must be evaluated individually to explore potential defences and mitigate the impact of potential penalties.

    How Does Driving While Prohibited Affect my Driving Record?

    A conviction of Driving While Prohibited significantly affects your driving record. It can lead to increased insurance premiums due to perceived risk, restrictions on vehicle access, making future employment in driving jobs difficult, and demerit points accumulation leading to stricter penalties for future violations.

    How Can a Lawyer Help Me with a Driving While Prohibited charge?

    An experienced Driving While Prohibited lawyer brings an invaluable perspective and resources to your case. They can critically evaluate the evidence against you, identify procedural errors or weak points in the prosecution’s case, and build a strong defence. With a skilled lawyer, you can potentially challenge the charges and reduce or avoid penalties.

    Do I Have to Go to Court for a Trial?

    The need for a court trial depends heavily on the specifics of your case. If your lawyer can identify significant flaws in the Crown’s case or negotiate effectively on your behalf, a trial might not be necessary. This can save you significant time, stress, and financial resources.

    What Does a Court Date Mean?

    A court date is a scheduled appearance before a judge. It is an obligatory part of the legal process. Failure to attend can lead to additional legal consequences, including a warrant for your arrest. However, if you have legal representation, your lawyer can attend on your behalf, simplifying the process for you.

    What Defences are Available?

    Defences in Driving While Prohibited cases can vary widely. One could argue that they were not operating the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence or that they were unaware of the prohibition.

    For example, if a driver was not in physical control of the vehicle – say, they were in the back seat, or the car was stationary and off – they might successfully argue that they were not “driving.”

    Similarly, if they were not properly notified about the driving prohibition, it could form the basis for a defence.

    What Happens on My First Court Date?

    Your first court date is primarily an administrative proceeding. It allows you to collect the disclosure documents that the Crown is relying on to prove their case against you. Following this, you’ll receive another court date.

    It’s worth noting that some individuals choose to plead guilty at their first court date before reviewing the disclosure documents thoroughly. We strongly advise against this as it can prevent you from fully understanding the potential defences available to you.

    Contact Today

    Sarah Leamon Law Group has built a solid reputation for providing comprehensive legal defences to clients accused of driving while prohibited. Led by Sarah Leamon, a recognized figure in criminal law, the team brings a wealth of experience and a nuanced understanding of traffic law to your case.

    We work diligently to protect your driving privileges and your liberty.

    If you or a loved one has been charged with Driving While Prohibited, contact Sarah Leamon Law Group today.

    Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

    If you have a criminal case, driving matter or family law issue in BC or Alberta, please call or e-mail Criminal Lawyer for a free consultation.