Operating while Disqualified, which is a Criminal Code offence and Driving while Unauthorized (usually suspended), which is an offence under the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta, can have serious consequences. These offences can be quite technical to prove. If your licence was suspended for unpaid fines or excessive demerits, you will likely be charged under the provincial Traffic Safety Act, but you can also now be charged under the Criminal Code. With a suspension from dangerous or impaired operating, you will be charged under the Criminal Code with Operating while Disqualified and can result in a criminal conviction.
- There is no minimum penalty for Operating while Disqualified (s.320.18 of the Criminal Code). The maximum penalties are two year in prison for a summary offence, or 10 years for an indictable offence.
- A jail sentence is often given even on a first offence for Operating while Disqualified under the Criminal Code
- Operating Disqualified can result in a further suspension of your driving privileges
- Driving while Unauthorized (under s.94(2) of the Traffic Safety Act) provides a penalty for a first offence to a fine of not more than $2000 and in default of payment to a term of imprisonment of not less than 14 days nor more than 6 months, and for each subsequent offence committed within one year, to imprisonment for a term of not less than 14 days nor more than 6 months. Further, you will be suspended for a further six months consecutive to the previous suspension.
Most convictions for Driving Disqualified will result in a jail sentence and a further suspension of your driving privileges. Mike will review your case and help you understand what your options are.