Reckless Driving Charges Dropped for Man with Undiagnosed ADHD

Toronto Lawyer Drinking Driving 2018

Toronto criminal lawyer Boris Bytensky discussed on NewsTalk1010 a case that deals with driving and ADHD. On Halloween night in 2015, a man ran through a red light, injuring another. He was charged with reckless driving but a judge recently dropped the charges.

It was discovered that the man had undiagnosed ADHD, and therefore was not at fault. Bytensky explains that while the verdict is initially surprising, there is a legal basis for the judge’s decision.

Criminal law is rooted in fault. There needs to be an appropriate level of moral wrongdoing in order for there to be guilt. However, because the man was not aware of his ADHD, and the limitations of the disorder, he is not at fault.

Bytensky believed the man was overcharged. Had he been charged with a driving offense such as careless driving, rather than the criminal offense of reckless driving, he likely would have been found guilty. When asked whether people with ADHD should have a drivers license, Bytensky explains that if a person with the condition is a danger to others on the road without medication there may be grounds to revoke it. While this case is shocking and sad, overall the judge’s decision was rooted in legal reason.

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About the author

I am one of the senior partners at Bytensky Shikhman, a criminal litigation firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In my 25+ year career, I have conducted numerous trials and appeals before all levels of Court in Ontario, defending just about every type of charge in our criminal law. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School and currently the Treasurer of the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario. I am also an Adjunct Professor for Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and a regular lecturer and placement supervisor for Osgoode's Intensive Programme in Criminal Law.
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