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Driving While Disqualified

Mar 30, 2022

Driving While Disqualified

Criminal Code of Canada Section 259

Driving while disqualified and prohibited from driving is a criminal charge that can result in a jail sentence or substantial fine.

Where the licence suspension is from a criminal driving conviction.

  • Everyone who operates a motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft or any railway equipment in Canada while disqualified from doing so,
  • 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.

“Motor vehicle” means a vehicle that is drawn, propelled or driven by any means other than muscular power, but does not include railway equipment. This includes, any farm machinery, construction machines, and any vehicle that has an engine attached to it.


Driving While Disqualified Penalty

The penalties for driving while disqualified are harsh, as the justice system perceives the violation as the accused has directly violated a Provincial Judges direct orders not to drive.

  • The police officer may immediately impound and hold the vehicle driven for 45 days
  • The owner is responsible for the cost of the impoundment.
  • Additional one year licence suspension.
  • A fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000; and
  • Jail for a term of not more than six months, or to both.
  • Subsequent offences a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000,

Driving while disqualified charges, the crown attorney will want to consider a period of jail because the driver has defied a criminal court judges order which is considered a serious criminal offence in Canada.