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Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm or Death Offence

Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death is an extremely serious offence for which penalties of full-time imprisonment are often imposed if a person is found or pleads guilty.

Our criminal lawyers have been successful in defending this offence by arguing that the driving was not dangerous and that the injury did not amount to grievous bodily harm. We have been able to have the charge reduced to negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death in some cases. We have also been able to convince courts to not to send our clients to prison after they have pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death.

How do I beat a charge of Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death?

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

  1. Death or grievous bodily harm (really serious harm) was occasioned to any person;
  2. The vehicle you were driving was involved in an impact (collision) including where it is proven that your vehicle caused an impact involving another vehicle/s;
  3. At the time you drove the vehicle you:
    1. Were under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or
    2. Under the influence of a drug; or
    3. Driving at a speed dangerous to another person or persons; or
    4. Driving in a manner dangerous to another person or persons.

The offence of Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm or death will be aggravated if:

  1. A prescribed concentration of alcohol greater than 0.15 was present in your blood;
  2. You were driving the vehicle concerned on a road at a speed that exceeded, by more than 45 kilometres per hour, the speed limit;
  3. You drove the vehicle to escape pursuit by a police officer; or
  4. You drove under the influence of a drug (other than intoxicating liquor) or a combination of drugs which thereby very substantially impaired his/her ability to drive.

It is a defence to this charge if the death or grievous bodily harm occasioned by the impact was not in any way attributable:

  1. To the fact that the person charged was under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug or a combination of drugs, or
  2. To the speed at which the vehicle was driven, or
  3. To the manner in which the vehicle was driven.

Pleading guilty to the offence of dangerous driving causing harm and/or death

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 your 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 Dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm is two years imprisonment in the Local Court. In the District Court the maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment and if the offence is aggravated, the maximum penalty is 11 years jail.

The maximum penalty for the offence of Dangerous driving causing death is 10 years imprisonment. If the offence is aggravated the maximum penalty is 14 years jail.

You can read about all the sentencing options that a court has, including having no conviction recorded.

Do I need references for my dangerous driving case in court?

We believe references are an extremely important part of a plea of guilty in court.  Read more about how to write a good reference here

Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group?

Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Dangerous driving occasioning death or grievous bodily harm offences, including no convictions. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record, losing your licence or keeping it, and freedom or jail. Read more about Australian Criminal Law Group here.

To discuss your Dangerous driving occasioning death or grievous bodily harm charge, call Australian Criminal Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, and Blacktown offices or make a website inquiry today.

Case study

Mr Correy represented a man charged with Dangerous driving occasioning death. He had been driving a car, under the influence of alcohol, when a passenger and his best friend began to car surf on the roof of the car. Tragically, his friend fell to his death. In front of a judge the tragic circumstances of the case were put forward and the mother of his deceased friend gave evidence of her forgiveness and love of our client. At the end of the emotional sentencing proceedings, the judge did not send our client to jail and instead gave him an Intensive Correction Order instead.


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