The penalties associated with the offence of dangerous driving vary in proportion to whether injury was caused and if so, what type of injury was caused.
Under section 52A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) if grievous bodily harm was caused as a result of dangerous driving then the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment. On the other hand, if dangerous driving caused death then the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment. However the maximum penalties for both of these offences may be increased to11 and 14 years imprisonment respectively if they occur in circumstances of aggravation.
In order to be convicted of this offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- You drove a motor vehicle on a road or road-related area; and
- You drove the motor vehicle dangerously; and
- Death or grievous bodily harm was caused to any person through 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 impact between the person and the vehicle;
- The impact of the vehicle with another vehicle or an object in, on or near which a 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; and
- At the time the vehicle was driven by the accused either under the influence or intoxicating liquor,
under the influence of a drug, at a speed dangerous to another person, or in a manner dangerous to another person.
If you are charged with dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm in circumstances of aggravation then the prosecution must also prove one of the following:
- The prescribed concentration of alcohol was present in your breath or blood; or
- You were driving the motor vehicle at a speed that exceeded the speed limit by 45 kilometers per hour; or
- You were driving the vehicle to escape a police pursuit; or
- Your driving ability was substantially impaired by the fact that you were under the influence of a drug or a combination of drugs.
If any of the above elements are not proven beyond reasonable doubt then you will not be found guilty of murder.
However, if the above factors are proven beyond reasonable doubt, the charge can be defeated and you will be found not guilty if any of the following defenses can be established:
- The death or grievous bodily harm could not be attributed to:
- The fact that the person charged was under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug or a combination of drugs; or
- The speed at which the vehicle was driven; or
- The manner in which the vehicle was driven.
Please contact our office for your first free consultation.