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    Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm

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      Best Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm Lawyers

      Our dedicated team have acted in many dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm cases and have years of experience in defending these charges and having our clients found not guilty.

      We are also well-versed in sentencing proceedings and have had numerous clients avoid gaol.

      Contact us now to speak to our accredited specialist criminal and traffic lawyer today.

      WHAT SHOULD I DO?

      • PLEADING NOT GUILTY

        What is Dangerous Driving occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm?

        The definition of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm under Section 52A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) is a person driving dangerously who is involved in an impact, and that impact causes really serious harm to another.

        This is one of the more serious driving offences in NSW.

        This is a Table 1 offence under the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW). As such, it is finalised in the Local Court unless you or the prosecution elect to deal with it in the District Court.

        How do you beat a Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm charge?

        You can fight a Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

        1. You drove a vehicle (this means that you were “in control of the steering, movement or propulsion of a vehicle”);
        2. That vehicle was involved in an impact;
        3. The impact caused grievous bodily harm(ie. really serious harm) to another person;
        4. At the time of the impact you were:
          1. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or
          2. driving the vehicle at a speedor in a manner that created a danger to other users of the road.

        If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

        Secondly, you can rely on one of the defences.

        What is Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm?

        In addition to the above elements, the prosecution must also prove that a circumstance of aggravation existed. This means that they must prove you either:

        1. had a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.150 (this must be measured within 2 hours of the impact); or
        2. were speeding over 45km per hour; or
        3. were driving to escape a police officer; or
        4. were under the influence of drugs to such an extent that your ability to drive was substantially impaired.

        If the prosecution cannot prove any of the above elements, you will be found ‘not guilty’ of the offence.

        We have a dedicated team of specialist dangerous driving causing gbh lawyers and experts who have years of experience in fighting these charges.

        Contact us now to see how we can best defend you.

        What are the defences for Dangerous Driving occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm?

        You can be found ‘not guilty’ to this offence in the following circumstances:

        1. The speed you were driving was not dangerous;
        2. The manner in which you were driving was not dangerous;
        3. You were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This can include if there were drugs or alcohol in your system but we can prove that they did not affect your driving;
        4. Causation:Your actions were not the cause of the grievous bodily harm
        5. Identification:Police cannot prove that you were driving the vehicle
        6. Honest and reasonable mistake:You genuinely believed your driving was safe and it was reasonable for you to hold this belief. For example where your vehicle had a defect.
        7. Duress:You were forced to drive while suspended.
        8. Necessity: You needed to drive in the circumstances (eg. you were escaping a serious assault)

         

        Our dangerous driving lawyers have helped countless clients defend these charges over the years.

      • PLEADING GUILTY

        Our traffic sentencing guide will provide some general assistance if you are pleading guilty to a traffic charge or infringement. You should consult one of our specialist traffic solicitors for specific advice for your case.

        Contact us now to speak to our friendly team.

        What is the penalty for Dangerous Driving occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm?

        The maximum penalty for Dangerous Driving occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm is 7 years imprisonment if your case is heard in the District Court.

        The maximum penalty for ‘Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm’ is 11 years imprisonment if your case is heard in the District Court.

         

        Guideline judgement

        When imposing a Dangerous Driving occasioning grievous bodily harm sentence, the Court must bear in mind the matters which were set out in the guideline judgement of R v Whyte [2002] NSWCCA.

        The guideline held that in an ordinary case, a court must impose a term of full-time imprisonment unless the offender has a low level of criminal responsibility for the accident such as momentary inattention or misjudgement.

        What is an ordinary case of Dangerous Driving occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm?

        The following characteristics make up the typical offender in an ordinary case:

        • young offender
        • of good character with no or limited prior convictions
        • death or permanent injury to a single person
        • the victim is a stranger
        • no or limited injury to the driver or the driver’s intimates
        • genuine remorse
        • plea of guilty of limited utilitarian value.

         

        Further, the Court should impose a penalty of at least 2 years imprisonment for this charge where the offender’s criminal responsibility is high.

        The circumstances which can increase your criminal responsibility include:

        • extent and nature of the injuries inflicted
        • number of people put at risk
        • degree of speed
        • degree of intoxication or of substance abuse
        • erratic or aggressive driving
        • competitive driving or showing off
        • length of the journey during which others were exposed to risk
        • ignoring of warnings
        • escaping police pursuit
        • degree of sleep deprivation
        • failing to stop.

        What are the possible sentences for Dangerous Driving occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm?

        Below are options available to a Judge in sentencing for dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm:

        1. Section 10 dismissal
        2. Conditional Release Order without Conviction (previously known as Section 10 good behaviour bond)
        3. Fine
        4. Conditional Release Order with Conviction (previously known as Section 9 good behaviour bond)
        5. Community Corrections Order (previously known as Community Service Order)
        6. Intensive Corrections Order
        7. Full Time Imprisonment

        See below for likely penalties.

        Will you go to jail for Dangerous Driving Causing Grievous bodily harm?

        The statistics since 2018 paint a bleak picture. 100% of offenders were sentenced to some form of imprisonment when their cases were heard in the District Court. 57% of offenders were sentenced to full-time jail.

        The statistics for this offence are not unusual, given the guideline judgement. That is why you need to engage Australia’s best dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm lawyers.

      FAQ

      What is grievous bodily harm (GBH)?

      The definition of grievous bodily harm is any permanent or serious disfiguring of a person. However, the injury does not need to be permanent or life threatening. Each case will always be a question of fact and degree.

      The decision of R v Swan [2016] NSWCCA clarified that what is required is not just serious bodily injury, but really serious bodily injury and that only the injury itself and its direct physical effects, not its personal, social and economic consequences, can be taken into account in deciding whether an injury amounts to really serious bodily injury.

      See our page on grievous bodily harm for more detail. 

      What does drive in speed or manner dangerous mean?

      The Court will consider your driving as a whole in order to determine whether your driving was dangerous. This includes your control of the vehicle, the road you were travelling on and the number of other persons put at risk.

      For example, travelling 30km/hr over the speed limit may not be regarded as dangerous on a wide straight road, where the weather was clear and there were no other persons put at risk. However, travelling 30km/hr over the speed limit may be seen as dangerous if the road was winding with sharp bends, you were driving at night with limited street lighting and there were many other persons put at risk.

      What is the difference between negligent driving and dangerous driving?

      To be found guilty for Dangerous Driving, the police must prove that you must ‘so seriously’ failed to properly control and manage the vehicle, that it created a ‘real danger’ of harm to other persons, ‘far exceeding’ that which would arise from the normal use of a motor vehicle.

      Negligent driving on the other hand requires the prosecution to prove that you failed to take proper care. This is obviously a much lower standard than that for dangerous driving.

       

       

      Ask a question now!