Negligent Driving Harm Death

Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death

Overview

The offence of Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death is found at section 117 of the Road Transport Act 2013.

Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death are often successfully defended where there are no independent witnesses and it is your word against one other person or where crash investigation experts are able to establish that the version of events alleged by the police are incorrect.

If you are charged with the offence of Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You drove negligently;
  2. On a road or road related area; and
  3. By reason of your negligent driving grievous bodily harm (really serious harm) or death was occasioned to another.

Negligent driving is established where it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that you drove a motor vehicle in a manner involving a departure from the standard of care for other users of the road to be expected of the ordinary prudent driver in the circumstances.

If the police are able to prove the above elements beyond reasonable, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following defences can be established:

  • Duress
  • Necessity
  • Self-defence

Contact our office to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death.

Pleading guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

Where the charge is negligent driving with no grievous bodily harm or death is caused the maximum penalty a court can impose is $1,100.00.

The maximum penalty for the offence of negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm is a fine of $2200.00 or imprisonment for 9 months or both (for a first offence). The mandatory period of disqualification is 12 months, unless the court decides to deal with the matter pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, in which case you will not be disqualified from driving. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

For a second or subsequent major offence, the maximum penalty is a fine of $3300.00 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both. The mandatory period of disqualification is 12 months, unless the court decides to deal with the matter pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, in which case you will not be disqualified from driving. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

The maximum penalty for the offence of dangerous driving causing death is a fine of $3300.00 or imprisonment for 18 months or both (for a first offence). The minimum period of disqualification is 12 months. For a second or subsequent major offence the maximum penalty is a fine of $5500.00 or imprisonment for 2 years or both. The minimum period of disqualification is 2 years.

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

  • Section 10 – No conviction recorded
  • Fine
  • Section 9 – Good behaviour bond
  • Community service order
  • Section 12 – Suspended sentence
  • Intensive correction order
  • Home detention
  • Prison sentence

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