Dangerous driving occasioning death is where a person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning death if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning the death of another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle-

  • under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or
  • at a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or
  • in a manner dangerous to another person or persons.

Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death is where a person is guilty of the offence of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death if the person commits the offence of dangerous driving occasioning death in circumstances of aggravation.

Circumstances of aggravation involves:

  • the prescribed concentration of alcohol was present in your breath or blood, or
  • You were driving the vehicle concerned on a road at a speed that exceeded, by more than 45 kilometres per hour, the speed limit (if any) applicable to that length of road, or
  • You were driving the vehicle to escape pursuit by a police officer, or
  • Your ability to drive was very substantially impaired by the fact that you were under the influence of a drug (other than intoxicating liquor) or a combination of drugs (whether or not intoxicating liquor was part of that combination).

Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm is where a person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning grievous bodily harm to another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle-

  • you were under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or
  • at a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or
  • in a manner dangerous to another person or person.

Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm where a person is guilty of the offence of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the person commits the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm in circumstances of aggravation.

Circumstances of aggravation involves:

  • the prescribed concentration of alcohol was present in your breath or blood, or
  • You were driving the vehicle concerned on a road at a speed that exceeded, by more than 45 kilometres per hour, the speed limit (if any) applicable to that length of road, or
  • You were driving the vehicle to escape pursuit by a police officer, or
  • Your ability to drive was very substantially impaired by the fact that you were under the influence of a drug (other than intoxicating liquor) or a combination of drugs (whether or not intoxicating liquor was part of that combination).

Maximum Penalties

Crimes Act 1900OffenceMaximum Penalty
Section 52A (1)Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death10 years imprisonment
Section 52A (2)Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death14 years imprisonment 
Section 52A (3)Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm7 years imprisonment 
Section 52A (4)Aggravated Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm11 years imprisonment 

Your Options in Court

Pleading Not Guilty

Defences to this charge

It is a defence to any charge under this section if the death or grievous bodily harm occasioned by the impact was not in any way attributable (as relevant)–

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

Pleading Guilty

It is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defence lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options.

If you decide or have been advised to plead guilty to dangerous driving after receiving legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer, it is crucial that your case is sufficiently prepared to maximise your chances at obtaining a lenient sentence. 

Utilitarian Value or 25% discount on punishment

The discount for the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty will be determined largely by the timing of your plea entered. That means, the earlier you enter a plea of guilty, the greater discount you receive on your punishment and also the type of sentence you receive.

The utilitarian value of a delayed plea is less and consequently the discount is reduced.

Types of Penalties

Types of penalties the Judge can impose on you include any one of the following:

  • Conditional Release Order
  • Fine

Our expert defence team at Criminal Lawyers Sydney may be able to negotiate the police ‘facts’ to reduce the seriousness of the offence.

Our team will guide you on obtaining materials which can be handed-up to the court during your sentencing – including a letter of apology, character references, and any documents from counsellors or health care professionals you have consulted.

These materials, together with persuasive verbal submissions by your lawyer in the courtroom, can help to ensure you receive the most lenient penalty that is possible in the circumstances.

If you have been charged with dangerous driving, call Criminal Lawyers Sydney anytime on (02) 91528619 to arrange a free first conference with one of our experienced dangerous driving lawyers who will review the allegations and advise you of your options and the best way forward.