'Doing or Not Doing' - Criminal Negligence

Criminal Negligence is one area of the law where a guilty finding might be made if some offence occurred, even though the accused didn’t intend for that offence to occur.  But there does have to be a “wanton or reckless” behaviour or a duty upon a person to do something to prevent harm. 

Essentially, if the person accused of Criminal Negligence did not act in a manner that would be considered the appropriate manner in which to act, or with disregard to how their actions might affect another person, or if they had a duty to act in a manner that would not harm others, then Criminal Negligence might be made out.

Criminal Negligence charges are often laid in relation of firearm “accidents”, or in leaving children in vehicles, or in situations where a person has a duty to assist another, beyond a moral duty.

Do I have a duty to assist another?

It depends.  As a parent, spouse, teacher, daycare provider, or medical or emergency professional, you may have an obligation to assist your child (not limited to biological children), your spouse, or person in your care.

Example:  In cases of Criminal Negligence, as an owner of a firearm, there are regulations in place to ensure no harm comes to another individual.  If you as the owner, have done something, or not done something to ensure that firearm was kept and used in a manner consistent with the laws, and harm has come to another individual, then Criminal Negligence may be made out.

If you are charged with Criminal Negligence.

It is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.  There is no obligation to talk to police, and in fact, you have a legal right to remain silent.  Do so!  You may qualify for Legal Aid:  See Legal Aid Ontario Information.

Criminal Defence Lawyers

I am here to help you through the process of being charged with Criminal Negligence.  The ramifications of a finding of guilt are very serious.  My job is to make the process easier for you - to review your case in relation to the charge(s) you are facing - address the court when, and as necessary – deal with the Crown Attorney for your matter – and give you the best defence at trial, or plea resolution possible.  Make sure you have a lawyer that understands the law and is prepared to act for you.

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If you or someone you care about is looking for a criminal lawyer in Ontario, please contact us 24/7 for help:

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