Section 320.18 (1) of the Criminal Code defines operation while prohibited as follows: 

Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance while prohibited from doing so

(a) by an order made under this Act; or

(b) by any other form of legal restriction imposed under any other Act of Parliament or under provincial law in respect of a conviction under this Act or a discharge under section 730.


(2) No person commits an offence under subsection (1) [operation while prohibited] arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle if they are registered in an alcohol ignition interlock device program established under the law of the province in which they reside and they comply with the conditions of the program.

Have you been charged with operation while prohibited? Act immediately by dialling (855) 585-1777 for a free legal consultation. Our expert legal advisors will explore your options and provide advice on the best course of action.

What Evidence is Required for an Operation While Prohibited Conviction?

In order to convict a person of operation while prohibited, it is essential for the prosecution to establish that the defendant was operating a vehicle in a public place at a specific moment. They must prove that a court order, which the defendant was aware of, had suspended their licence and that the suspension was effective at the time of the event.

Additionally, the Crown must confirm that the defendant was neither enrolled in nor complying with the alcohol ignition interlock device program. Essentially, the prosecution has to verify who was driving, when and where they were driving, what vehicle they drove, their awareness of the prohibition, and that a judge ordered the prohibition.

Dial (855) 585-1777 to obtain a free legal consultation with a criminal defence lawyer. An lawyer can analyze the merits of your operation while prohibited case with you.

Potential Consequences for Operation While Prohibited

The Criminal Code classifies driving while prohibited as a hybrid offence. This allows the Crown prosecutor the choice to prosecute the charge either as an indictable offence or a summary conviction. 

  • Summary Conviction: Maximum of 2 years less a day imprisonment.
  • Indictment: Maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

There is no minimum penalty for driving while prohibited.

Aggravating Factors

  • The offender contravened a federal or provincial Act prohibiting them from operating the vehicle.
  • The offender participated in a race or high-speed competition with another vehicle on public roads or other public spaces.
  • The offender's blood alcohol concentration was 120 mg or more per 100 mL of blood during the offence.
  • The offender was remunerated for operating the vehicle.
  • The offender was controlling a large motor vehicle.
  • A passenger under the age of 16 was present in the vehicle operated by the offender.
  • The offence caused bodily injury or the death of several individuals.

Available Dispositions for Operation While Prohibited

The following dispositions are available for both summary and indictable offences:

  • Discharge
  • Suspended Sentence
  • Fine
  • Fine + Probation
  • Jail
  • Jail + Probation
  • Jail + Fine
  • Conditional Sentence

An operation while prohibited charge can result in severe penalties. Call (855) 585-1777 to understand how our proficient legal advisors can assist you with your operation while prohibited.

Don’t Face Your Operation While Prohibited Charge Unaided

A seasoned criminal defence lawyer is vital when dealing with an operation while prohibited charge. They can guide you through the legal maze, safeguard your rights, and devise a robust defence strategy specific to your case.

Get a Free Legal Consultation With a Criminal Lawyer

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have been accused of operation while prohibited. Call (855) 585-1777 and a skilled criminal defence lawyer will review your case with you and consider your alternatives.

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