Failure to Stop or Remain at Scene of Accident (Offence)

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Failure to Stop or Remain at Scene of Accident
s. 320.16(1), (2) or (3) of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown Election Hybrid / Indictable
summary proceedings must initiate within 12 months of the offence (786(2))
Jurisdiction Prov. Court

Sup. Court w/ Jury (*)
Sup. Court w/ Judge-alone (*)

* Must be indictable. Preliminary inquiry also available.
Summary Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
Fine (734)
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)

Conditional Sentence (742.1)
Minimum None
Maximum 2 years less a day
Indictable Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)*

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
Fine (734)
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)
Conditional Sentence (742.1)*

(* varies)
Minimum None
Maximum 5 years incarceration
10, 14 years incarceration or Life
Reference
Offence Elements
Sentence Digests

Overview

Offences relating to failure to stop or remain at scene of accident are found in Part VIII.1 of the Criminal Code concerning "Offences Relating to Conveyances".

Pleadings
Offence
Section
Offence
Type
Crown Election Defence Election
s. 536(2)
Preliminary Inquiry
s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] Hybrid Offence(s) OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png (* only if Crown proceeds by Indictment) X Mark Symbol.png (under 14 years max)
s. 320.16(2) [failure to stop at accident involving bodily harm] Hybrid Offence(s) OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png (* only if Crown proceeds by Indictment) OK Symbol.png (14 years max)
s. 320.16(3) [failure to stop at accident involving death] Indictable Offence(s) X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png (life max)

Offences under s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] are hybrid with a Crown election. If prosecuted by indictment, there is a Defence election of Court under s. 536(2).

Offences under s. 320.2 [failure to stop with bodily harm] are hybrid with a Crown election. If prosecuted by indictment, there is a Defence election of Court under s. 536(2).

Offences under s. 320.21 [conveyance offences causing bodily harm] are straight indictable. There is a Defence election of Court under s. 536(2).

Release
Offence(s) Appearance Notice
by Peace Officer

s. 497
Summons
by Judge or Justice

s. 508(1), 512(1), or 788
Release by
Peace Officer
on Undertaking

s. 498, 499, and 501
Release By
a Judge or Justice
on a Release Order

s. 515 to 519
Direct to Attend
for Fingerprints, etc.
Identification of Criminals Act

s. 2 ID Crim. Act
s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png
s. 320.16(2) [failure to stop at accident involving bodily harm] or
s. 320.16(3) [failure to stop at accident involving death]
X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png

When charged under s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] , the accused can be given an appearance notice without arrest under s. 497 or a summons. If arrested, he can be released by the arresting officer under s. 498 or 499 on an undertaking with or without conditions. He can also be released by a justice under s. 515.

When charged under s. 320.16(2) [failure to stop at accident involving bodily harm] or (3) [failure to stop at accident involving death], the accused can be given a judicial summons without arrest. If arrested, he can be released by the arresting officer under s. 498 or 499 on an undertaking with or without conditions. He can also be released by a justice under s. 515.

Reverse Onus Bail

If police decide to bring the accused before a Justice pursuant to s. 503, there will be a presumption against bail (i.e. a reverse onus) if the offence, prosecuted by indictment, was committed:

  • while at large under s. 515 [bail release], 679 or 680 [release pending appeal or review of appeal] (s. 515(6)(a)(i));
  • "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association" with a criminal organization (s. 515(6)(a)(ii));
  • where the offence involved a firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, while the accused was subject to a prohibition order preventing possession of these items (s. 515(6)(a)(viii)); or
  • where the accused is not "ordinarily a resident in Canada" (s. 515(6)(b)).
Fingerprints and Photos

A peace officer who charges a person under s. 320.16 of the Code can require that person to attend for the taking of fingerprints, photographs or other similar recordings that are used to identify them under the Identification of Criminals Act.

Publication Bans

For all criminal or regulatory prosecutions, there is a discretionary general publication ban available on application of the Crown, victim or witness to prohibit the publishing of "any information that could identify the victim or witness" under s. 486.5(1) where it is "necessary" for the "proper administration of justice". Other available publication bans include prohibitions for publishing evidence or other information arising from a bail hearing (s. 517), preliminary inquiry (s. 539) or jury trial (s. 648). There is a mandatory publication ban in all youth prosecutions on information tending to identify young accused under s. 110 of the YCJA or young victims under s. 111 of the YCJA.

Offence Designations
Offence(s) Wiretap
Eligible

s. 183
Dangerous Offender
Designated Offence

s. 752
Serious Personal
Injury Offence

s. 752
AG Consent Required Serious Criminality
Offence
s. 36 IRPA
s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png (10 years max)
s. 320.16(2) [failure to stop at accident involving bodily harm] X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png (14 years max)
s. 320.16(3) [failure to stop at accident involving death] X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png (life max)

See below in Ancillary Sentencing Orders for details on designations relating to sentencing orders.

Offence Wording

Failure to stop after accident

320.16 (1) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance and who at the time of operating the conveyance knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the conveyance has been involved in an accident with a person or another conveyance and who fails, without reasonable excuse, to stop the conveyance, give their name and address and, if any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.

Accident resulting in bodily harm

(2) Everyone commits an offence who commits an offence under subsection (1) [failure to stop after accident] and who at the time of committing the offence knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the accident resulted in bodily harm to another person.

Accident resulting in death

(3) Everyone commits an offence who commits an offence under subsection (1) [failure to stop after accident] and who, at the time of committing the offence, knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the accident resulted in the death of another person or in bodily harm to another person whose death

2018, c. 21, s. 15.
[annotation(s) added]

CCC


Note up: 320.16(1), (2) and (3)

320.19
[omitted (1), (2), (3) and (4)]

Punishment — dangerous operation and other offences

(5) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection 320.13(1) [dangerous operation] or 320.16(1) [failure to stop after accident], section 320.17 [flight from peace officer] or subsection 320.18(1) [operation while prohibited] is liable

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or
(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day.

2018, c. 21, s. 15; 2019, c. 25, s. 402.

CCC


Note up: 320.19(5)

Punishment in case of bodily harm

320.2 Everyone who commits an offence under subsection 320.13(2) [dangerous operation causing bodily harm], 320.14(2) [impaired operation causing bodily harm], 320.15(2) [refusal where collision results in bodily harm] or 320.16(2) [fail to stop at accident resulting in bodily harm] is liable on conviction on indictment or on summary conviction

(a) to the following minimum punishment, namely,
(i) for a first offence, a fine of $1,000,
(ii) for a second offence, imprisonment for a term of 30 days, and
(iii) for each subsequent offence, imprisonment for a term of 120 days;
(b) if the offence is prosecuted by indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years; and
(c) if the offence is punishable on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day.

2018, c. 21, s. 15; 2019, c. 25, s. 402.

CCC


Note up: 320.2

Punishment in case of death

320.21 Everyone who commits an offence under subsection 320.13(3) [dangerous operation causing death], 320.14(3) [impaired operation causing death], 320.15(3) [refusal where collision results in death] or 320.16(3) [fail to stop at accident resulting in death] is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of,

(a) for a first offence, a fine of $1,000;
(b) for a second offence, imprisonment for a term of 30 days; and
(c) for each subsequent offence, imprisonment for a term of 120 days.

2018, c. 21, s. 15.

CCC


Note up: 320.21

Draft Form of Charges

See also: Draft Form of Charges
Pre-ambles
"THAT [accused full name] stands charged that, between the <DATE> day of <MONTH>, <YEAR> and <DATE> day of <MONTH>, <YEAR>***, at or near <COMMUNITY/TOWN/CITY>, <PROVINCE>, he [or she]..." OR
"THAT [accused full name] stands charged that, on or about the <DATE> day of <MONTH>, <YEAR>, at or near <COMMUNITY/TOWN/CITY>, <PROVINCE>, he [or she]..." OR
"AND FURTHER at the same time and place aforesaid, he [or she]..."
Code Section Subject of Offence Draft Wording
"..., contrary to section XXX of the Criminal Code.

Proof of the Offence

Proving Failure to Stop or Remain at Scene of Accident under s. 320.16(1) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the accused must be the operator of one of the vehicles
  5. the make and model of the vehicle driven by accused
  6. there must be an accident with a person, vehicle, or cattle
  7. the condition of the objects before and after a collision
  8. the culprit must be aware of the accident
  9. the accused did not stop, give his name/address or offer assistance to any injured persons
  10. the accused must flee for the purpose of escaping criminal or civil liability in relation to the accident

Proving Failure to Stop or Remain at Scene of Accident under s. 320.16(2) should include:

  1. underlying elements of s. 320.16(1)
  2. the culprit knew that "bodily harm has been caused to another person involved in the accident"

Proving Failure to Stop or Remain at Scene of Accident under s. 320.16(3) should include:

  1. underlying elements of s. 320.16(1)
  2. the culprit "knows that another person involved in the accident is dead" or "knows that bodily harm has been caused to another person involved in the accident and is reckless as to whether the death of the other person results from that bodily harm, and the death of that other person so results".

Interpretation of the Offence

Duty

The offence imposes a duty upon all people to stop their vehicles, provide their name and address, and offer assistance to injured persons. A failure to do any of these duties will make out the mens rea of the offence.[1]

Mens Rea

Actual subjective knowledge of the accident is necessary.[2]

Circumstances of the Offence

It is not necessary for the Crown to prove that there was any damage or injury.[3]

Section 320.16(1) can include a single vehicle accident where "another person" refers to the passenger of the vehicle.[4]

  1. R v Parks, 1979 ABCA 242 (CanLII), per Harradence JA, at paras 7 to 8
    R v Steere, (1972) 6 CCC (2d) 403 (BCCA), 1972 CanLII 1256 (BC CA), per MacFarlane JA
  2. R v Slessor, 1969 CanLII 248 (ON CA), [1970] 2 CCC 247 (Ont. C.A.), per Laskin JA, at pp. 260-61
    R v Faulkner (No. 2) (1977), 37 CCC (2d) 217 (N.S. Co. Ct.), 1977 CanLII 1976 (NS SC), per McLellan J
    R v MacDonald (1972), 8 CCC (2d) 16 (B.C.S.C.), 1972 CanLII 1286 (BC SC), per Berger J, at p. 18 - ("The test therefore is a subjective one. Did the accused know he had been involved in an accident?")
    see also R v Bartlett, 1994 CanLII 4427 (NL SCTD), per Barry J
  3. R v Chase, 2006 BCCA 275 (CanLII), per Rowles JA, at para 40
  4. R v McColl, 2008 ABCA 287 (CanLII), per Hunt JA, at para 28 - referring to old legislation
"Liability"

"Liability" refers to liability that flows from the accident, not simply any liability that may arise from unrelated acts.[1]

  1. R v Hofer, 1982 CanLII 2378 (SK CA), (1982), 2 CCC (3d) 236 (Sask. C.A.), per Hall JA - judge found sole reason for failing to stop was to avoid arrest due to outstanding warrants

Participation of Third Parties

See also: Role of the Victim and Third Parties and Testimonial Aids for Young, Disabled or Vulnerable Witnesses
Testimonial Aids

Certain persons who testify are entitled to make application for the use of testimonial aids: Exclusion of Public (s. 486), Use of a Testimonial Screen (s. 486), Access to Support Person While Testifying (s. 486.1), Close Proximity Video-link Testimony (s. 486.2), Self-Represented Cross-Examination Prohibition Order (s. 486.3), and Witness Security Order (s. 486.7).

A witness, victim or complainant may also request publication bans (s. 486.4, 486.5) and/or a Witness Identity Non-disclosure Order (s. 486.31). See also, Publication Bans, above.

On Finding of Guilt
Offence(s) Victim Notice
of Agreement
s. 606(4.1), (4.2)
Victim Notice
for Restitution
s. 738
Victim Notice
of Impact Statement
s. 722(2)
s. x [x]

Under s. 738, a judge must inquire from the Crown before sentencing whether "reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victims with an opportunity to indicate whether they are seeking restitution for their losses and damages".

Under s. 722(2), the judge must inquire "[a]s soon as feasible" before sentencing with the Crown "if reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victim with an opportunity to prepare" a victim impact statement. This will include any person "who has suffered, or is alleged to have suffered, physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss" as a result of the offence. Individuals representing a community impacted by the crime may file a statement under s. 722.2.

Sentencing Principles and Ranges

See also: Purpose and Principles of Sentencing, Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offender, and Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offence
Maximum Penalties
Offence(s) Crown
Election
Maximum Penalty
s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] summary election Two years less a day
s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] indictable election 10 years incarceration
s. 320.16(2) [failure to stop at accident involving bodily harm] N/A 14 years incarceration
s. 320.16(3) [failure to stop at accident involving death] N/A life in custody

Offences under s. 320.16(1) are hybrid. If prosecuted by indictment, the maximum penalty is 10 years incarceration. If prosecuted by summary conviction, the maximum penalty is 2 years less a day jail and/or a $5,000 fine (from Sept 19, 2019) .

Offences under s. 320.16(2) and (3) are straight indictable. The maximum penalty is 14 years incarceration under s. 320.16(2) or life under s. 320.16(3).

Minimum Penalties

These offences have no mandatory minimum penalties.

Available Dispositions
Offence(s) Crown
Election
Discharge
s. 730
Suspended
Sentence

s. 731(1)(a)
Stand-alone
Fine

s. 731(1)(b)
Custody
s. 718.3, 787
Custody and
Probation
s. 731(1)(b)
Custody and
Fine
s. 734
Conditional
Sentence
(CSO)
s. 742.1
s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] any OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png
s. 320.16(2) [failure to stop at accident involving bodily harm] N/A OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png
s. 320.16(3) [failure to stop at accident involving death] N/A X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png

For offences under s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] or (2) [failure to stop at accident involving bodily harm], all dispositions are available. The judge may order a discharge (s. 730), suspended sentence (s. 731(1)(a)), fine (s. 731(1)(b)), custody (s. 718.3, 787), custody with probation (s. 731(1)(b)), custody with a fine (s. 734), or a conditional sentence (s. 742.1).

If convicted under s. 320.16(3) [failure to stop at accident involving death] a discharge is not available under s. 730(1) as it is "an offence for which a minimum punishment is prescribed by law or an offence punishable by imprisonment for fourteen years or for life".

Offences under s. 320.16(3) [failure to stop at accident involving death] are ineligible for a conditional sentence order under s. 742.1(c), when prosecuted by indictment, as the maximum period of incarceration is 14 years or life.

Consecutive Sentences

There are no statutory requirements that the sentences be consecutive.

Principles

Ranges

see also: Failure to Stop or Remain at Scene of Accident (Sentencing Cases)
Aggravating circumstances for sentencing purposes

320.22 A court imposing a sentence for an offence under any of sections 320.13 to 320.18 [all conveyance offences] shall consider, in addition to any other aggravating circumstances, the following:

(a) the commission of the offence resulted in bodily harm to, or the death of, more than one person;
(b) the offender was operating a motor vehicle in a race with at least one other motor vehicle or in a contest of speed, on a street, road or highway or in another public place;
(c) a person under the age of 16 years was a passenger in the conveyance operated by the offender;
(d) the offender was being remunerated for operating the conveyance;
(e) the offender’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of committing the offence was equal to or exceeded 120 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood;
(f) the offender was operating a large motor vehicle; and
(g) the offender was not permitted, under a federal or provincial Act, to operate the conveyance.

2018, c. 21, s. 15.

CCC


Note up: 320.22

Ancillary Sentencing Orders

See also: Ancillary Orders
Offence-specific Orders
Order Conviction Description
DNA Orders s. 320.16(1) [failure to stop at accident] - regardless of election
s. 320.16(2) [failure to stop at accident involving bodily harm] - only on indictable election
s. 320.16(3) [failure to stop at accident involving death]
General Sentencing Orders
Order Conviction Description
Non-communication order while offender in custody (s. 743.21) any The judge has the discretion to order that the offender be prohibited "from communicating...with any victim, witness or other person" while in custody except where the judge "considers [it] necessary" to communicate with them.
Restitution Orders (s. 738) any A discretionary Order is available for things such as the replacement value of the property; the pecuniary damages incurred from harm, expenses fleeing a domestic partner; or certain expenses arising from the commission of an offence under s.402.2 or 403.
Victim Fine Surcharge (s. 737) any A discretionary surcharge under s. 737 of 30% of any fine order imposed, $100 per summary conviction or $200 per indictable conviction. If the offence occurs on or after October 23, 2013, the order has smaller minimum amounts (15%, $50, or $100).
General Forfeiture Orders
Forfeiture Conviction Description
Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime (s. 462.37(1) or (2.01)) any Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence under the Code or the CDSA in which property is "proceeds of crime" and offence was "committed in relation to that property", the property shall be forfeited to Her Majesty the Queen on application of the Crown.
Fine in Lieu of Forfeiture (s. 462.37(3)) any Where a Court is satisfied an order for the forfeiture of proceeds of crime under s. 462.37(1) or (2.01) can be made, but that property cannot be "made subject to an order", then the Court "may" order a fine in "an amount equal to the value of the property". Failure to pay the fine will result in a default judgement imposing a period of incarceration.
Forfeiture of Weapons or Firearms (s. 491) any Where there is finding of guilt for an offence where a "weapon, an imitation firearm, a prohibited device, any ammunition, any prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance was used in the commission of [the] offence and that thing has been seized and detained", or "that a person has committed an offence that involves, or the subject-matter of which is, a firearm, a cross-bow, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance has been seized and detained, that the item be an enumerated weapon or related item be connected to the offence", then there will be a mandatory forfeiture order. However, under s. 491(2), if the lawful owner "was not a party to the offence" and the judge has "no reasonable grounds to believe that the thing would or might be used in the commission of an offence", then it should be returned to the lawful owner.
Forfeiture of Offence-related Property (s. 490.1) any Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence, "any property is offence-related property" where (a) by means or in respect of which an indictable offence under this Act or the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act is committed, (b) that is used in any manner in connection with the commission of such an offence, or (c) that is intended to be used for committing such an offence". Such property is to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province.

Record Suspensions and Pardons

Convictions under s. 320.16 are eligible for record suspensions pursuant to s. 3 and 4 of the Criminal Records Act after 5 years after the expiration of sentence for summary conviction offences and 10 years after the expiration of sentence for all other offences. The offender may not have the record suspended where the offender was (1) convicted of 3 or more offences with a maximum penalty of life, and (2) for each 3 offences he "was sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more".

History

Until December 18, 2018, the offence read as follows:

Failure to stop at scene of accident

252 (1) Every person commits an offence who has the care, charge or control of a vehicle, vessel or aircraft that is involved in an accident with

(a) another person,
(b) a vehicle, vessel or aircraft, or
(c) in the case of a vehicle, cattle in the charge of another person,

and with intent to escape civil or criminal liability fails to stop the vehicle, vessel or, if possible, the aircraft, give his or her name and address and, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.

Punishment

(1.1) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) in a case not referred to in subsection (1.2) or (1.3) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Offence involving bodily harm

(1.2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) knowing that bodily harm has been caused to another person involved in the accident is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

Offence involving bodily harm or death

(1.3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life if

(a) the person knows that another person involved in the accident is dead; or
(b) the person knows that bodily harm has been caused to another person involved in the accident and is reckless as to whether the death of the other person results from that bodily harm, and the death of that other person so results.


...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 252; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36; 1994, c. 44, s. 12; 1999, c. 32, s. 1(Preamble).

CCC

See Also

References