Toronto Criminal Negligence Lawyer

Toronto Criminal Defence Lawyers Defending Clients in Criminal Negligence Matters

What Is Criminal Negligence?

Criminal negligence is a legal concept that denotes the reckless or careless disregard for the safety and well-being of others, resulting in bodily harm or death. It involves a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise under similar circumstances.

In the context of criminal law, an individual may be charged with criminal negligence when their actions or omissions demonstrate a significant failure to recognize and address the potential risks associated with their behavior.

How Is Criminal Negligence Established?

For the offence of criminal negligence to be established under s. 219 of the Criminal Code, it must be proved that the accused,

  • in doing anything, or,
  • in omitting to do anything that it is their duty to do,

Shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.

The courts have outlined that in order to establish the offence, the alleged negligent behaviour must be a “marked and substantial departure” form the conduct of a reasonably prudent person in similar circumstances.

A number of key elements must be present, including:

  • Duty of Care: Establishing that the accused had a duty of care toward the victim or the public.
  • Breach of Duty: Demonstrating that the accused failed to meet the standard of care expected under the given circumstances.
  • Causation: Establishing a direct link between the defendant’s actions or omissions and the resulting harm.
  • Knowledge or Awareness: Proving that the accused was aware or should have been aware of the risks associated with their actions.

Examples of Criminal Negligence

Criminal negligence can be a factor in many different dangerous situations. Some examples include:

  • Speeding and texting while driving
  • Leaving a loaded weapon in a child’s reach
  • Leaving a child unattended in a hot car
  • Making an unsafe lane change and hitting a cyclist

The Importance of Seeking Legal Counsel

If you or someone you know is facing criminal negligence charges, it is important to seek legal counsel promptly. DSF’s experienced criminal defence lawyers can assess the specific circumstances of the case, identify potential defences, and advocate on your behalf.

We offer multiple convenient locations in Toronto, Whitby, Barrie and more to serve our clients better. To begin your initial consultation and find the right criminal lawyer, please contact us at (416) 449-1400.

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