Dangerous driving lawyers central coast 2250

What is Dangerous Driving?

There are four offences related to Dangerous Driving:

  1. Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death
    2. Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)
    3. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death
    4. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH

Section 52A Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH

The elements for Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH are the same except for the last element: the result of the dangerous driving.

Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH are offences which are committed when you are caught doing the following:

1. Driving a vehicle:

This includes being “in control of the steering movement or propulsion of a vehicle” (Section 4(1) Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW)

  • Under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug; or
  • At a speed dangerous to another person or persons; or
  • In a manner dangerous to another person or persons;

2. In a manner that the Court considers dangerous to members of the public (McBride v

The Queen (1966) 115 CLR 44 at 49-50); and
Whether or not the Court considers that you were driving dangerously or not is judged based on objective community standards. Your belief as to whether you were driving safely or is not the necessary test. Driving in a manner that the Court considers dangerous may include:

  • Momentary inattention
  • Driving through a red light at a busy intersection
  • A reasonable belief that your vehicle had a mechanical defect (objective test)
  • Falling asleep at the wheel or other medical condition; and

3. The vehicle you are driving is involved in an impact, an impact can include any of the following:

  • The vehicle overturning or leaving a road while the person is being conveyed in or on that vehicle;
  • An impact between any object and the vehicle while the person is being conveyed in or on that vehicle. An object includes an animal, building, structure, earthwork, embankment, gutter, stormwater, channel, drain, bridge, culvert, median strip, post or tree;
  • An impact between the person and the vehicle;
  • The impact of the vehicle with another vehicle or an object in, on or near which the person is at the time of the impact;
  • An impact with anything on, or attached to, the vehicle;
  • An impact with anything that is in motion through falling from the vehicle;
  • The person falling from the vehicle, or being thrown or ejected from the vehicle, while being conveyed in or on the vehicle;
  • An impact between any object (including the ground) and the person, as a consequence of the person being or protruding outside the vehicle, while the person is conveyed in or on the vehicle; and

4. In the case of a Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death, this caused the death of another person; or in the case of Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm, this caused a person to suffer from GBH.

The definition of GBH includes:

  • Destruction of the foetus of a pregnant woman;
  • Any permanent or serious disfiguring of a person; and
  • Contraction of grievous bodily disease

The Police Prosecutor must prove all the elements beyond reasonable doubt in order for the Judge or Magistrate to find a person guilty.

Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH

Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death has the same elements as Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death plus additional elements of aggravation. These elements of aggravation make the offence more serious.

Similarly, Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH has the same elements as Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH plus additional elements of aggravation.

Aggravating circumstances are:

  • The prescribed concentration of alcohol present in your breath; or
  • You are driving the vehicle on a road at a speed that exceeds the speed limit by 45 kilometres per hour; or
  • You are driving the vehicle to escape pursuit by a police officer; or
  • Your ability to drive is very substantially impaired because you are under the influence of a drug (other than intoxicating liquor) or a combination of drugs (intoxicating liquor can be part of that combination)

    Section 52A(7), Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

The Police Prosecutor must prove all the elements beyond reasonable doubt in order for the Judge or Magistrate to find a person guilty.

How serious are Dangerous Driving Offences?

Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death are strictly indictable offences. Therefore, they are considered very serious offences that must be dealt with by the District Court of NSW before a Judge.

Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH and Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH are Table 1 Offences. A Table 1 Offences are indictable offences which can be dealt with summarily by a Magistrate in a Local Court. However, they can be elected to be heard in the District Court of NSW before a Judge.

What are the Penalties for Dangerous Driving?

The maximum penalty for Dangerous Driving causing Death is 10 years imprisonment. If the offence is aggravated the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for Dangerous Driving causing GBH is 7 years imprisonment. If the offence is aggravated the maximum penalty is 11 years imprisonment.

Dangerous Driving OffencesPenalties
Dangerous Driving Occasioning DeathMaximum penalty: 10 years imprisonment
Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBHMaximum penalty: 7 years imprisonment
Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning DeathMaximum penalty: 14 years imprisonment
Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBHMaximum penalty: 11 years imprisonment

Will I lose my licence?

For the above offences, there is an Automatic Licence Disqualification period of 3 years. This Disqualification period commences prior to any Court orders being made. However, once the matter is heard before a Court, the Court may reduce the Disqualification period to 12 months.

If you have committed a previous Major Offence (as defined under the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW)), then there will be an Automatic Licence Disqualification period of 5 years. This Disqualification period also commences prior to any Court orders being made. However, once the matter is before a Court, the Court may reduce the Disqualification period to 2 years.

Other Sentencing Options

  • Section10 Bond 
  • Fine
  • Section 9 Good Behaviour Bond
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Home Detention
  • Suspended Sentence
  • Prison

1. Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – under influence:

  • 10% of these offences result in a section 9 Good Behaviour Bond
  • 5% of these offences result in a CSO
  • 33% of these offences result in a Suspended Sentence
  • 29% of these offences result in an ICO
  • 24% of these offences result in a Prison Sentence

2. Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – speed dangerous:

  • Ordinarily these offences result in an ICO

3. Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – manner dangerous:

  • 2% of these offences result in a Section 10 Bond
  • 1% of these offences result in a section 10A dismissal
  • 9% of these offences result in a Fine only
  • 32% of these offences result in a Section 9 Good Behaviour Bond
  • 11% of these offences result in a CSO
  • 16% of these offences result in a Suspended Sentence
  • 10% of these offences result in an ICO
  • 2% of these offences result in Home Detention
  • 16% of these offences result in imprisonment

4. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – PCA

  • 17% of these offences result in an IC
  • 17% of these offences result in Home Detention
  • 67% of these offences result in a Prison Sentence

5. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – speed >45km/h over limit

  • 25% of these offences result in an IC
  • 75% of these offences result in a Prison Sentence

6. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – escape police pursuit

  • These offences result in a Prison Sentence

7. Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death

  • These offences may result in a Section 9, CSO, ICO, Home Detention, Suspended Sentence or Prison Sentence

Can I plead “not guilty” to Dangerous Driving?

There is a Defence to the above offences if the death or GBH resulted by an impact that was not in any way attributable:

  • to the fact that you were under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug or a combination of drugs; or
  • to the speed at which the vehicle was driven; or
    to the manner in which the vehicle was driven
  • Section 52A(8) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

Other defences may include:

  • Honest and reasonable mistake: this occurs when you make the honest and reasonable mistake that it was safe to drive (Jiminez v The Queen [1992] 173 CLR 572).

We are here to help

Our solicitors specialise in Drink Driving matters and represent clients in Courts throughout the Central Coast and Hunter Regions. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the court process from beginning to end to get you the best possible outcome.

If a section 10 is not possible, our drink driving experts can help reduce suspension periods, minimise any fines you may face and help you avoid or minimise a gaol term.

If you or your loved one has been charged with dangerous driving and you need advice from a criminal lawyer, contact one of our criminal law specialists immediately on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week

More reading -

Do I need a Criminal Lawyer?

Do I have the Right To Silence?

What is Dangerous Driving?

There are four offences related to Dangerous Driving:

  1. Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death
    2. Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)
    3. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death
    4. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH

Section 52A Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH

The elements for Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH are the same except for the last element: the result of the dangerous driving.

Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH are offences which are committed when you are caught doing the following:

1. Driving a vehicle:

This includes being “in control of the steering movement or propulsion of a vehicle” (Section 4(1) Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW)

a. Under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug; or
b. At a speed dangerous to another person or persons; or
c. In a manner dangerous to another person or persons;

2. In a manner that the Court considers dangerous to members of the public (McBride v

The Queen (1966) 115 CLR 44 at 49-50); and
Whether or not the Court considers that you were driving dangerously or not is judged based on objective community standards. Your belief as to whether you were driving safely or is not the necessary test. Driving in a manner that the Court considers dangerous may include:

  • Momentary inattention
  • Driving through a red light at a busy intersection
  • A reasonable belief that your vehicle had a mechanical defect (objective test)
  • Falling asleep at the wheel or other medical condition; and

3. The vehicle you are driving is involved in an impact, an impact can include any of the following:

a. The vehicle overturning or leaving a road while the person is being conveyed in or on that vehicle;
b. An impact between any object and the vehicle while the person is being conveyed in or on that vehicle. An object includes an animal, building, structure, earthwork, embankment, gutter, stormwater, channel, drain, bridge, culvert, median strip, post or tree;
c. An impact between the person and the vehicle;
d. The impact of the vehicle with another vehicle or an object in, on or near which the person is at the time of the impact;
e. An impact with anything on, or attached to, the vehicle;
f. An impact with anything that is in motion through falling from the vehicle;
g. The person falling from the vehicle, or being thrown or ejected from the vehicle, while being conveyed in or on the vehicle;
h. An impact between any object (including the ground) and the person, as a consequence of the person being or protruding outside the vehicle, while the person is conveyed in or on the vehicle; and

4. In the case of a Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death, this caused the death of another person; or in the case of Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm, this caused a person to suffer from GBH.

The definition of GBH includes:

a. Destruction of the foetus of a pregnant woman;
b. Any permanent or serious disfiguring of a person; and
c. Contraction of grievous bodily disease

The Police Prosecutor must prove all the elements beyond reasonable doubt in order for the Judge or Magistrate to find a person guilty.

Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH

Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death has the same elements as Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death plus additional elements of aggravation. These elements of aggravation make the offence more serious.

Similarly, Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH has the same elements as Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH plus additional elements of aggravation.

Aggravating circumstances are:

a. The prescribed concentration of alcohol present in your breath; or
b. You are driving the vehicle on a road at a speed that exceeds the speed limit by 45 kilometres per hour; or
c. You are driving the vehicle to escape pursuit by a police officer; or
d. Your ability to drive is very substantially impaired because you are under the influence of a drug (other than intoxicating liquor) or a combination of drugs (intoxicating liquor can be part of that combination)
Section 52A(7), Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

The Police Prosecutor must prove all the elements beyond reasonable doubt in order for the Judge or Magistrate to find a person guilty.

How serious are Dangerous Driving Offences?

Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death are strictly indictable offences. Therefore, they are considered very serious offences that must be dealt with by the District Court of NSW before a Judge.

Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH and Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH are Table 1 Offences. A Table 1 Offences are indictable offences which can be dealt with summarily by a Magistrate in a Local Court. However, they can be elected to be heard in the District Court of NSW before a Judge.

What are the Penalties for Dangerous Driving?

The maximum penalty for Dangerous Driving causing Death is 10 years imprisonment. If the offence is aggravated the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for Dangerous Driving causing GBH is 7 years imprisonment. If the offence is aggravated the maximum penalty is 11 years imprisonment.

Dangerous Driving OffencesPenalties
Dangerous Driving Occasioning DeathMaximum penalty: 10 years imprisonment
Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBHMaximum penalty: 7 years imprisonment
Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning DeathMaximum penalty: 14 years imprisonment
Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBHMaximum penalty: 11 years imprisonment

Will I lose my licence?

For the above offences, there is an Automatic Licence Disqualification period of 3 years. This Disqualification period commences prior to any Court orders being made. However, once the matter is heard before a Court, the Court may reduce the Disqualification period to 12 months.

If you have committed a previous Major Offence (as defined under the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW)), then there will be an Automatic Licence Disqualification period of 5 years. This Disqualification period also commences prior to any Court orders being made. However, once the matter is before a Court, the Court may reduce the Disqualification period to 2 years.

Other Sentencing Options

  • Section10 Bond 
  • Fine
  • Section 9 Good Behaviour Bond
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Home Detention
  • Suspended Sentence
  • Prison

1. Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – under influence:

  • 10% of these offences result in a section 9 Good Behaviour Bond
  • 5% of these offences result in a CSO
  • 33% of these offences result in a Suspended Sentence
  • 29% of these offences result in an ICO
  • 24% of these offences result in a Prison Sentence

2. Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – speed dangerous:

  • Ordinarily these offences result in an ICO

3. Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – manner dangerous:

  • 2% of these offences result in a Section 10 Bond
  • 1% of these offences result in a section 10A dismissal
  • 9% of these offences result in a Fine only
  • 32% of these offences result in a Section 9 Good Behaviour Bond
  • 11% of these offences result in a CSO
  • 16% of these offences result in a Suspended Sentence
  • 10% of these offences result in an ICO
  • 2% of these offences result in Home Detention
  • 16% of these offences result in imprisonment

4. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – PCA

  • 17% of these offences result in an IC
  • 17% of these offences result in Home Detention
  • 67% of these offences result in a Prison Sentence

5. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – speed >45km/h over limit

  • 25% of these offences result in an IC
  • 75% of these offences result in a Prison Sentence

5. Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning GBH – escape police pursuit

  • These offences result in a Prison Sentence

Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death and Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death

  • These offences may result in a Section 9, CSO, ICO, Home Detention, Suspended Sentence or Prison Sentence

Can I plead “not guilty” to Dangerous Driving?

There is a Defence to the above offences if the death or GBH resulted by an impact that was not in any way attributable:

a. to the fact that you were under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug or a combination of drugs; or
b. to the speed at which the vehicle was driven; or
to the manner in which the vehicle was driven
c. Section 52A(8) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

Other defences may include:

d. Honest and reasonable mistake: this occurs when you make the honest and reasonable mistake that it was safe to drive (Jiminez v The Queen [1992] 173 CLR 572).

We are here to help

Our solicitors specialise in Drink Driving matters and represent clients in Courts throughout the Central Coast and Hunter Regions. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the court process from beginning to end to get you the best possible outcome.

If a section 10 is not possible, our drink driving experts can help reduce suspension periods, minimise any fines you may face and help you avoid or minimise a gaol term.

If you or your loved one has been charged with dangerous driving and you need advice from a criminal lawyer, contact one of our criminal law specialists immediately on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week

More reading -

Do I need a Criminal Lawyer?

Do I have the Right To Silence?

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