Have you been charged with dangerous driving? This is a serious offence that falls under the Queensland Criminal Code (s328A) and relates to driving causing potential harm or endangerment to the public.
The charge of dangerous driving is also known as a charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and is a criminal offence as well as a traffic offence. If you have been charged with dangerous driving, it’s likely that you will need legal representation.
What you need to know about dangerous driving charges
If charged with dangerous driving, there is a mandatory suspension period of a minimum of six months with no allowance for a special hardship or work licence.
In addition to this, if someone is killed or injured as a result of your driving, then there are additional charges which will likely be laid. Aggravating circumstances involved in your driving may see the maximum penalty increase to 14 years imprisonment if:
You were adversely affected by drugs or alcohol
You were speeding or taking part in an unlawful speed trial or race
You have a previous conviction for dangerous driving
Due to the seriousness of this charge, legal advice is critical. You will likely be facing a disqualification period, a large fine and there is the very real possibility of facing a period of imprisonment. This a complex legal matter where the evidence of other drivers and witnesses may play a large role in establishing your charge, so it’s vital that you have legal representation.
What is an example of dangerous driving?
You don’t need to have actually harmed property or injured someone to be charged with dangerous driving; it is enough for police to make an assessment of what might be expected by a competent and careful driver. This is where the assessments and observations of other drivers as to your speed or control of your vehicle are usually relevant. Examples of dangerous driving can include:
Making a split-second error when checking your blind spot which resulted in your hitting and killing a motorcyclist next to you
Being distracted driving and swerving into oncoming traffic
Falling asleep at the wheel after choosing to drive even though you were sleep deprived
Engaging in a drag race at speed with another driver, blowing a tyre and rolling your car causing grievous bodily harm to your passenger
What Hounsell Cunningham can do for you
When you are being charged with dangerous driving, there is the possibility that you did not in fact drive dangerously, and it was the conditions of the road that caused the accident or your manner of driving. We can help you in creating your defence and presenting a case on your behalf that presents the best and most favourable outcome for you.
Defences to a charge of dangerous driving can include:
Conditions of the road caused the accident
Necessity, that is you had to drive the way you did (for example, speeding because a passenger was gravely and critically ill)
Mistaken identity, that is you were not the person identified as driving at the time
It is possible that we can argue that your charge should be reduced to careless driving which may result in a lower disqualification period or fine.
It is not a defence to a dangerous driving charge if you did not mean to drive dangerously.
Even taking your eyes off the road for a moment that results in an accident can be a charge of dangerous driving ( in some situations).
Speed alone doesn’t necessarily result in a charge of dangerous driving, but speed will be considered in conjunction with other factors – for example, were you speeding during peak hour, or was it 4 am?
The lack of other cars on the road may serve to reduce your charge.
Potential for danger to the public is a key factor in the charge of dangerous driving.
Your dangerous driving charge will likely be heard in the Magistrates Court but would be finalised in the District Court if you have caused grievous bodily harm or death.
There is the very real possibility of jail time even if this if your first offence – but it will depend on the circumstances around your charge. If your charge is dangerous driving causing death or GBH then a sentence in jail will almost always be imposed. With Hounsell Cunningham on your side, we can work as your defence and put forth alternatives such a community service or suspended sentences.
The court may record a criminal conviction which can have an impact on future travel overseas and on your employment and living situations.
Contact Hounsell Cunningham today for Dangerous Driving Defence
We will help from the very start in compiling your defence and hearing all of the information to ensure your matter is presented in the very best possible way. We will work to minimise your penalty, and by engaging us, you will have the best chance at a low disqualification period.
We will help you through this difficult time and ensure everything is as stress-free as possible. When you engage the services of a criminal defence lawyer for your dangerous driving charge, it shows the court you are taking this charge seriously which can be a positive factor.