Defending Against Driving While Suspended Charges in BC: Your Rights and Options

Written by Jerry Steele


Defending Against Driving While Suspended Charges in BC: Your Rights and Options

Written by Jerry Steele

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For more than 20 years, Steele Law has successfully guided individuals and business entities through the unique challenges posed by criminal and regulatory investigations, as well as prosecutions in state and federal courts nationwide.
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We often hear from clients who feel their case is hopeless and there’s no possible defence to their driving while suspended charges, so they plead guilty before consulting an expert criminal defence lawyer. The truth is, you have rights and options when facing driving while suspended charges in BC and your criminal lawyer will help you explore them. 

Understanding the Charge

Driving while suspended is a serious offence in BC and can result in significant penalties, including: 

  • Fines: The fines range from $500 to $2000 for first and subsequent offences.
  • Further licence suspensions and vehicle impoundment for 7-90 days.
  • Jail time: Up to six months for a first offence and between 14 days and one year for subsequent offences.
  • The accused is responsible for towing costs and other associated fees as well.

Challenging the Suspension

Considering the severity of the charges, doing everything you can to challenge the suspension is vital. Your criminal defence lawyer can help you gather evidence and present a strong case for why your licence should not have been suspended in the first place. This could include proving that you were not adequately served with a notice of suspension or that there were errors in the process.

Arguing Lack of Knowledge

In some cases, individuals may be able to successfully argue they were unaware of their licence suspension. This is especially true if you have moved and did not receive notification or if there was a clerical error on the part of the licensing authority.

Seeking Mitigation

If you cannot successfully challenge your suspension, your criminal defence lawyer can work with you to seek mitigation in sentencing. This could involve presenting evidence of any extenuating circumstances that may have led to the offence. This might include a medical emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. The goal? To demonstrate to the court you’re taking responsibility for your actions and are committed to not repeating them in the future.

Alternative Sentencing Options

In some BC criminal cases, alternative sentencing options may be an option. 

These options include: 

  • Completing a safe driving course
  •  Participating in community service
  • Paying a fine instead of serving additional jail time

These options may be negotiated with the Crown counsel and presented to the court as an alternative to suspending your licence. Your criminal defence lawyer can help you explore these options and determine which may be most beneficial for your case. 

Call Jerry Steele: Fight Your Suspended Driving Charges

Before you decide there’s no hope in fighting your suspended driving charges, call Jerry Steele—a criminal defence lawyer who has successfully defended countless individuals facing licence suspension and other serious driving offences. 

Don’t let a suspended driving charge derail your life – contact Jerry Steele today at 778-700-0012.