Appellant pled guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm (Code s 249(3)) He was sentenced to a $3,500 fine and one-year driving prohibition plus a victim surcharge (VFS) of $1,050. Prior to sentencing, appellant voluntarily completed a defensive driving course. Appellant had a family and was a chartered accountant studying for his MBA. Trial Judge did not grant him a discharge.

Held: Appeal allowed; conditional discharge substituted.

Trial judge erred in finding that a discharge was outside the range of appropriate sentences. Discharges can be granted in dangerous driving cases. Trial judge further erred in over-emphasizing general deterrence and denunciation. The Court cited Reid [2015 ABCA 334] and held that this was an exceptional case. The discharge provisions were enacted to recognize human frailty. Following Boudreault [2018 SCC 58], the VFS was vacated.

Accused In Person