Hello, my son went into the ditch (single car accident) and hit a hydro pole. It was a dark country road with no lights and he didn't even realize he'd hit the pole -his airbags blew and he thought he'd hit the snowbank (we get big banks out here). He had a friend pick him up and then called his brother from the friend's house. He was back at the scene within 45 minutes to try to pull his car out. A plow had alerted the city and there was a city official there. They spoke and after showing my son where he'd hit the pole, he let mu son know he had a crew coming out to make repairs. My sons tried to pull his car out, but couldn't so after getting the opinion of the city worker that it should be OK until the morning -they left. The police later showed up and charged him with Fail to Remain 200 (1) (a). How long was he supposed to remain on scene if he'd done all.he could and felt all was being taken care of? He failed to tell the police that he had returned but we can prove it in court. So the question is - if we show he did return can they still charge him?
Fail to remain at the scene of an accident is a serious offence which carries 7 demerit points, and a fine between $400 and $2000, or a jail term of up to 6 months. Considering the seriousness of the offence, it would probably be a good idea to contact a paralegal or lawyer.
Duty of person in charge of vehicle in case of accident
"200. (1) Where an accident occurs on a highway, every person in charge of a vehicle or street car that is directly or indirectly involved in the accident shall,
(a) remain at or immediately return to the scene of the accident;"
Did you son receive an offence notice (ticket) or a summons?
Does your son have a learner's permit (G1 or G2)? If so, a conviction for this offence would result in a license suspension.
But, I would try to meet with the prosecutor, if possible, to get a plea deal for a lesser charge, such as section 201 of the Highway Traffic Act, fail to report damage to property on highway:
"Every person who, as a result of an accident or otherwise, operates or drives a vehicle or leads, rides or drives an animal upon a highway and thereby damages any shrub, tree, pole, light, sign, sod or other property on the highway or a fence bordering the highway shall forthwith report the damage to a police officer."
This section carries a $85.00 set fine and I do not believe it has any demerit points associated with it.
This section seems to be more applicable to what you described, rather than the more serious offence of fail to remain as your son did return to the scene of the accident, but he simply just did not report it to the police (or did he?)
That was my thought. Even then, he thought the damage was under the provincial amount -we still don't know the amount. But regardless I'm going to try to get them to reduce it to that & he'll accept it with a smile.
The above information from Whenaxis on FAIL TO REMAIN contrary to HTA section 200(1)(a) is incorrect.
(2) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition the persons licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. 2009, c. 5, s. 54."
In addition to the range of fine that may be issued by the court, an additional 25% victim fine surcharge is applied.
In addition, a conviction would result in a 7 demerit point penalty. The summons will list a mandatory first appearance court date. For a serious charge of this nature, your son would be well served to seek out a licenced and experienced paralegal.
Correction: Looks like I misread Whenaxis' posting. His referral to set fine and no demerit points was in relation to a potential lesser offence and not regarding the original offence.
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