Our firm assists victims with civil actions obtaining compensation when a loved one is killed in a motor vehicle accident. However, at the same time the party at fault is very often charged with criminal offences as a result of his or her conduct. The criminal charge when the driver is speeding is often dangerous driving causing death.

Although we pursue compensation in a separate civil claim, victims are often interested in what the criminal proceedings will result in punishment for the wrongdoer who killed their loved one. In a recent case, an accused was driving his truck northbound on a highway when he collided with another motor vehicle that was travelling southbound. The driver of the other vehicle died as a result of the injuries suffered in the collision. The driving pattern of the accused prior to the collision involved excessive speed. The accused was charged with dangerous driving causing death.

At trial the accused was convicted. At the sentencing hearing, the accused was sentenced to four and one half years in jail. The accused’s extensive related criminal record was an aggravating factor. The accused’s criminal record demonstrated an inability to understand and indifference towards serious consequences of his driving activities and suggested that he had little respect for the law and was a danger to the public. The Crown Prosecutor was seeking a five year sentence within the range of possible sentences.

This case is reported as R. v. Martin (2013), ABQB 174 Gill J. (Alta. Q.B.)