You will be charged with this offence if you:
- Drove a motor vehicle on a road or road related area
- Drove the vehicle dangerously, causing a person to suffer either grievous bodily harm or death
The maximum penalty for the offence of Dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm is 7 years. The maximum penalty for the offence of Dangerous driving causing death is 10 years imprisonment. Depending on your traffic record, the likely penalties can range from community service to full time imprisonment. Dangerous Driving occasioning grievous bodily harm/death is considered an extremely serious offence. We advise that you contact one of our solicitors immediately if you are charged with this offence.
What if I didn’t intend to drive dangerously?
This is an offence of ‘strict liability’ this means that the prosecution does not need to prove that you intended to drive in a manner dangerous. If the prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that you drove in a manner dangerous, it does not matter that you did not have the specific intent to do so.
What if I took my eye off the road momentarily?
Inattention of the driver being charged is not a defence to this charge. Again, the question the court will ask is was your manner of driving considered dangerous or not.
What happens if someone gets injured, or someone dies?
You could be charged with Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm, or Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death. These are very serious offences, and can very often lead to a penalty of full-time imprisonment.
Which court will hear my case?
Each offence may be dealt with in either the Local Court or in the District Court. It will be for the Prosecution to decide which Court will hear the matter. Generally, if you cause the death of a person as a result of your dangerous driving, your case will often be heard in the District Court.
What is the penalty for dangerous driving?
The automatic period of disqualification is 3 years, with a minimum of 12 months. A possible $3,300 fine applies as well.
If it is your first offence, you will likely receive the minimum period of disqualification, that is 12 months. You would also likely receive a fine, or in a more serious case, a Section 9 good behaviour bond.
A person is guilty of Dangerous Driving occasioning Death if a vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning the death of another person and the person was driving that vehicle in a manner dangerous to another person or persons. If convicted in the Local Court the maximum penalty which can be imposed is a gaol term of up to two years. If heard in the District Court a person may be sentenced to a gaol term of up to 10 years.
A person is guilty of Dangerous Driving occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm if a vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning the death of another person and the person was driving that vehicle in a manner dangerous to another person or persons. If convicted in the Local Court the maximum penalty is a gaol term of up to two years. If heard in the District Court a person may receive a gaol term of up to seven years.
There may be a defense if there was a mechanical defect of the vehicle. It is for the defense to raise this and then for the prosecution to disprove it.
Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are: