Operation While Prohibited

Section 320.18 (1) of the Criminal Code provides the following definition of operation while prohibited: 

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 now by calling (306) 585-1777 for a free legal consultation. Our expert legal counsel will discuss your options and advise you on next steps.

What is Needed to Convict Someone of Operation While Prohibited?

To convict someone of driving while prohibited, the prosecution must prove that the accused was driving a motor vehicle in a public place at a specific time. It must be shown that the accused's licence was suspended by court order, which they knew about, and the suspension was in effect at the time of the incident. 

Furthermore, the Crown must demonstrate that the culprit was not part of, or compliant with, the alcohol ignition interlock device program. In essence, the prosecution must confirm who drove, where and when they drove, what they drove, their knowledge of the prohibition, and that the prohibition was ordered by a judge.

Call (306) 585-1777 to receive a free legal consultation with a criminal defence lawyer. A lawyer can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your operation while prohibited case with you. 

Potential Penalties for Operation While Prohibited

Driving while prohibited is considered a hybrid offence under the Criminal Code. This means that the Crown prosecutor has the discretion to pursue 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 violated a federal or provincial Act that prohibits them from operating the vehicle.
  • The offender engaged in racing or high-speed contests with another vehicle on public roads or other public areas.
  • The offender had a blood alcohol concentration of 120 mg or higher per 100 mL of blood at the time of the offence.
  • The offender was being paid for operating the vehicle.
  • The offender was operating a large-sized motor vehicle.
  • There was a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle operated by the offender.
  • The offence resulted in bodily harm or the death of multiple individuals.

Dispositions Available 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

A driving while prohibited charge can lead to hefty penalties. Call (306) 585-1777 to learn how our expert legal counsel can help you with your operation while prohibited.

Don’t Face Your Operation While Prohibited Charge Alone

An experienced criminal defence lawyer is essential when facing a driving while prohibited charge. They can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, protect your rights, and develop a strong defence strategy tailored to your specific case.

Need a Criminal Lawyer? Get a Free Legal Consultation With Nicholas Robinson, Criminal Lawyer

Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have been charged with operation while prohibited. Call (306) 585-1777 and a skilled criminal defence lawyer will discuss your case with you and explore your options.

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