The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) defines a vast majority of traffic offences in Canada, while the more serious criminal traffic offences are defined in the Criminal Code of Canada. For example, speeding is part of the Highway Traffic Act. On the other hand, impaired driving is a criminal offence and is part of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Most of the traffic offences in the HTA are not considered criminal offences nor are they recorded on a person’s permanent criminal record. Typically, traffic offences have large fines and fees. They also are assigned a set number of demerit points that does get recorded on your permanent driving record for a set period of time. Depending on the type of traffic offence, your insurance rates could increase significantly as well.
Bylaw offences are also not criminal offences nor do they go on your permanent criminal record. These types of offences have to do with specific municipal legislation, like city ordinances and municipal codes. For example, in some cities you may not be permitted to park on the street at set times of the day.
Just like traffic offences, bylaw offences normally involve paying a fine or fee. If the bylaw offence was considered a municipal traffic offence, there could be demerit points associated with the offence that gets recorded on your permanent driving record.
However, it is worth noting that there are some traffic and bylaw offences which could end up in being sentenced to jail for varying periods of time, if convicted and found guilty of the offence. As such, it is always worthwhile to consult with a traffic and bylaw lawyer in Brampton at Manbir Sodhi to find out the seriousness of the offence and what you can expect.