Traffic and Driving Offences

Traffic and Driving Offence Lawyers in Sydney NSW

Traffic offences/infringements are quit common. Whether its drink driving, speeding, traffic accidents, street racing, charged with negligent, reckless or dangerous driving, or an appeal of a licence suspension, our lawyers will help you navigate traffic law and find your best legal strategy.

Dangerous Driving Occasioning death

In cases where death or grievous bodily harm is caused as a result, there are serious penalties and it is vital that you get traffic lawyers with the experience to effectively defend your legal case.

Types of Dangerous Driving

Dangerous driving occasioning death

If you are charged with this offence, 2 elements must be proved:

  1. You were involved in a collision that caused death
  2. Your driving manner at the time of the collision was negligent or you were under the influence

The prosecution may drop the case if there are problems or inconsistencies with evidence. Otherwise, it will be proved in court.

Penalties

The maximum penalty in Sydney NSW is 10 years imprisonment.

Aggravate Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death

This offence requires the same proof as negligent driving causing death but also requires at least one aggravating circumstance.

Examples of Aggravating circumstances are:

  1. 15 g or more alcohol in your system
  2. Exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h
  3. Ability to drive was affected by drugs

Penalties

The maximum sentence is 14 years imprisonment.

Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm

For cases involving serious bodily harm there are 2 elements that need to be proved:

  1. You were involved in collision to cause serious bodily harm
  2. Dangerous at the time or intoxicated

Penalties

The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment for offences of this nature.

Aggravated Dangerous Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm

This class of offences requires the same elements of proof as grievous bodily harm. It also requires an at least on aggravating circumstance. Some examples have been mentioned above.

Penalties

The maximum penalty is 11 years imprisonment.

Drink Driving in NSW

Drink driving charges in Sydney NSW are very common. Police roadblocks are everywhere and people frequently misjudge the alcohol content in their system, causing them to face charges for this offence.

Please refer to the link above for important information regarding the penalties for these offences, as well as what to say to the police if you are pulled over.

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Getting a Section 10: The Law

A section 10 under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) in NSW allows the court to find you guilty of an offence and discharge you without recording a conviction. This means that there will be no criminal record.

If you plead guilty the magistrate may choose not to disqualify you from driving or give you any legal criminal correction.

Generally the magistrate make this decision if you are:

  1. Of good character
  2. Remorseful
  3. Unlikely to reoffend
  4. Very strong need for license (justified circumstances in the case)

You will also need to provide 3 character references as defence of your good character.

Habitual Traffic Offender Law

If you are convicted of three or more major traffic offences within five years you are considered a habitual traffic offender. These offences could include reckless driving and speeding at 45km/h over the limit. This is much more serious than demerit points, if this is you seek our advice. Our experienced Sydney Traffic Lawyers will be able to advise you on the best approach.

Guideline Judgement

The Court of Criminal Appeal in NSW handed- down a “Guideline Judgement” on High Range impaired Driving on the 8 September 2004.

The guideline acts as a set of rules that the courts generally follow when sentencing a person charged with this offence.

1.In the ordinary situation of high range PCA

  • A section 10 is rarely appropriate
  • A conviction cannot be avoided only because the offender attended or will attend a driver education or awareness course
  • Automatic disqualification is appropriate unless there is a good reason to reduce the period of the disqualification

A good reason may include:

  • Nature of offenders employment
  • Absence of any viable alternative transport
  • Sickness of the infirmity of the offender or another person

2.Ordinary case for second or subsequent high range PCA

  • A good behavior bond section 9 (with conviction) will rarely be enough
  • Section 10 (no conviction) very rare will be appropriate
  • If this is the same offence as the prior offence then any sentence less severe than community service order will generally be enough

3.Moral culpability of high range PCA

  • This refers to a degree of intoxication above .15
  • The courts will factor whether the driving was erratic or aggressive, whether there was a collision, if competitive driving was involved, the length of the journey and the number of persons put at risk

4.Moral culpability is increased if:

  • If more than one aggravating factor to a significant degree, sentence less than prison of some kind, including suspended
  • Sentence would generally be inappropriate
  • In these situations, an order of section 9-10 are rarely appropriate

5.Moral culpability for 2nd and subsequent

  • Any penalty less than imprisonment of some kind would be inappropriate
  • Where there was more than one aggravating factor a sentence less severe than full time imprisonment would be inappropriate

Conclusion

If you are facing a traffic or driving offence you need a Sydney criminal attorney that can help you get a reduction in fines as well as the period that you are disqualified. In some instances our lawyers will be able to ensure your license is not disqualified by showing that you have a strong need for it.

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