Dangerous Driving

What is the offence of Refusal or failure to submit to test, analysis or assessment?

The offence of Driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous is found at section 117 of the Road Transport Act 2013.

This offence is one where the criminality of the offending can vary greatly depending on what is alleged. In serious examples of this charge, an experienced criminal lawyer will often be necessary to avoid an Accused person receiving some form of imprisonment. In less serious examples, an experienced criminal lawyer will often be able to obtain a section 10 for his or her client thus helping them retain a clean record and meaning that they are not disqualified. In order to be found not guilty of this offence you will need a criminal lawyer who has a deep understanding of the legal meaning of reckless, furious and dangerous.

We strongly advise obtaining a criminal lawyer if you are charged with this offence.

If you are charged with the offence of Driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You drove a motor vehicle;
  2. Furiously or recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public; and
  3. On a road or road related area.

Reckless driving is not merely driving without due care and attention but driving in a manner that creates an obvious and serious risk of causing physical injury to any other road user or substantial damage to property. A reckless driver drives in such a manner without giving any thought to the risk or, having recognised that it exists, nevertheless takes the risk.

Driving at a speed or manner dangerous imports a quality in the speed or manner of driving which either intrinsically in all circumstances, or because of the particular circumstances surrounding the driving, is in a real sense potentially dangerous to a human being or human beings who as a member or as members of the public may be upon or in the vicinity of the roadway on which the driving is taking place.

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:

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 Driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous.

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.

The maximum penalty for the offence of Driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous is a fine of $2200.00 or imprisonment for 9 months or both (for a first offence). The minimum period of disqualification is 12 months and the automatic period of disqualification is 3 years 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 minimum period of disqualification is 2 years and the automatic period of disqualification is 5 years 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.

Where you are charged with this offence, a court cannot decline to record a disqualification or impose a disqualification less than the mandatory period unless your matter is dealt with by way of section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.

Depending on the circumstances of your offending and the number of times you have committed this offence, our lawyers are often able to convince a court to deal with this offence by way of section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty (including no disqualification) and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

In deciding whether to deal with your matter by way of section 10, the court will consider, amongst other factors:

  • Your character (employment, family, charity)
  • Your criminal record (if any)
  • Your traffic record
  • The circumstances of you consuming alcohol
  • The circumstances of your driving
  • The deliberateness of your offending
  • Your need for a licence in particular for employment, family or medical reasons, or where you live in a remote area
  • Whether you have completed the Traffic Offenders Program

Do I need references for the offence of Driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous?

In order to obtain a section 10, Driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous cases should be tailored to address the above listed factors and matters unique to your own case. In order to give you the best chance of keeping your licence, it is recommended that you work closely with one of our solicitors to prepare your case. Your criminal lawyer will request you obtain references. If the offence is one that carries a loss of licence, the referees should state your needs for a licence. Below are some reasons a court may invoke for not recording, or reducing, a disqualification period.

Employment

Loss of employment is a classic reason for a court not disqualifying a person. If a person will lose their job if they lose their licence then the referee should put forward that assertion with absolute certainty. The court will see straight through waffle such as “his position may be reviewed”. For example:

A licence disqualification will prevent Joe Blog’s from fulfilling his duties and hence, if this occurs, he will be asked to temporarily leave his post until the disqualification lapses or if the disqualification is for more than 3 months, his employment will be terminated as per clause 8.2 of his contract enclosed herein. There is no discretion in this situation. He is a sales representative and our clients cannot be serviced by public transport.

Lack of public transport

No viable alternative transport is a matter the court may consider when deciding whether to impose a disqualification. This mainly applies to people in the country, but may apply if you are a shift worker, reside or work in an area not serviced by public transport, or to females who work late. For example:

Joe Blog’s works at Marayong Chickens in an industrial area where there is no public transport. He wakes up at 3am, leaves at 4am, and starts his shift at 5am. We have explored all options and, as he is the only licenced driver in our family, he has no way to get to work if he loses his licence. We have a mortgage and two school age children. Without a licence, he cannot get to work. Worse still, we’d have no way to get to the Richmond shops, a 20 minute drive from where we live on acreage.

Family responsibilities

Family reasons such as care for a child or elderly parents, sickness of yourself or another who relies upon your ability to drive, are matters a court may consider. For example:

Joe Blogs resigned from his job to look after our sick son as he is the only licenced driver in our family who could take him to his daily medical appointments. When he stopped working, I started a lower paying job. Even though it meant less money, it was the only way we could ensure our son received the treatment he needed. Joe is with our son 24 hours a day in case his conditions worsens and he needs to be taken to hospital. We simply cannot look after our son without a car.

A detailed guide to reference writing can be viewed here.

Penalties a court in NSW can impose:

Why choose AC Law Group?

Our solicitors are experts at obtaining section 10 dismissals for Driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous. For these offences, we offer fixed fees with no hidden extras. To read more about AC Law Group, click here, and call us or make a website inquiry today.

Case study

Mr Correy was lawyer at Mount Druitt Local Court for an 18 year old charged with Driving in a dangerous manner and Drive whilst disqualified. It was his fourth Drive whilst disqualified offence and the driving involved nearly running over a group of friends in a drag race. Mr Correy tendered a psychological report and made a section 32 application. He argued the 18 year old had a history of depression that had been treated following his prior incident of offending. Mr Correy further argued that there had been a relapse in his mental condition following a tragic accident involving a family member. The Magistrate agreed there was a causal link between the offending and the depression. He dismissed the charge pursuant to section 32 and the 18 year old was able to keep his licence.

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