The Crimes Act 1900 outlines a range of offences related to 'dangerous driving,' each carrying specific penalties that align with the severity of the offence. When confronted with charges related to dangerous driving, the experience can be emotionally distressing, potentially resulting in substantial ramifications, including imprisonment. Given the potential consequences in such situations, it becomes paramount to engage the services of a proficient traffic lawyer. Such a professional can skilfully advocate on your behalf. At KPT Defence Lawyers, our highly skilled legal team specialises in adeptly handling complex traffic and criminal cases.
Before deciding to plead guilty to any alleged offence, it’s important to consider the option of entering a ‘not guilty’ plea and challenging the charges in court, especially in cases of dangerous driving resulting in death.
The prosecution must prove two key elements beyond doubt:
1. Your involvement in a collision that led to the death of another individual.
2. During the collision, your driving was either dangerously reckless, influenced by substances like drugs or alcohol, or at a speed that endangered others.
If you believe the prosecution lacks strong evidence for either of these elements, a ‘not guilty’ plea can be a wise move.
Our dedicated legal team will carefully examine the prosecution’s evidence to uncover any potential weaknesses or inconsistencies. By addressing these issues proactively, there is a possibility that the charges could be dismissed prior to resorting to formal court proceedings.
If the charges persist, we will gather compelling evidence to support your version of events. This includes cases where the accident wasn’t your fault and evidence showing you were not influenced by drugs or alcohol. We can also prove that your driving speed was safe.
Additionally, we can help defend against the charges by showing situations where you were coerced to drive recklessly. Our expert guidance and strong arguments aim for the best possible outcome for your case.
If you are not planning to contest the charges, you may choose to enter a guilty plea.
An early guilty plea can sometimes work in your favor by showing that you take responsibility for your actions. This could lead to a less severe punishment compared to being found guilty after a hearing.
However, before making this decision, it’s crucial to consult an experienced traffic lawyer who has dealt with similar cases. They can help you understand if there are any grounds to challenge the charges and aim for a ‘not guilty’ verdict.
If you opt for a guilty plea, it’s important to know the maximum penalties that could apply to your situation.
Under Section 52A(1) of the Crimes Act, the highest penalty for dangerous driving resulting in death is 10 years in prison.
But keep in mind that this maximum penalty is for the most serious cases. The actual penalty you might receive depends on the specifics of your situation.
A previous case, R v Whyte , provides insight into potential penalties. It suggests that if you hold significant responsibility or “moral culpability” for the accident, a total sentence (including a non-parole period) less than three years wouldn’t be appropriate.
Despite the potential severity of the penalties, our highly experienced traffic lawyers can greatly improve your chances of getting a more lenient outcome.
Our lawyers will work hard to mitigate the charges, aiming for the most lenient possible outcome by creating strong sentencing submissions. This means that we will present your case’s facts and circumstances positively in court, influencing the judge to consider a less severe penalty.
The potential range of penalties that the court could impose includes:
1. Section 10 Dismissal
2. Conditional Release Order
4. Community Correction Order
5. Intensive Correction Order
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