Haitch Legal


Serious Driving Offences

There are a number of offences that can be considered serious driving offences under Victorian law:

  • Culpable Driving
  • Dangerous Driving Causing Death
  • Dangerous Driving Causing Serious Injury
  • Negligently Causing Serious Injury
  • Reckless Conduct Endangering Life
  • Reckless Conduct Endangering Serious Injury

Culpable driving

This is the most serious driving offence in Victoria. It involves causing the death of another person by deliberately ignoring risk, failing to take care to avoid their death, driving under the influence of alcohol (to the point they are unable to properly control the vehicle), and driving under the influence of drugs.

Your case will be heard at the County or Supreme Court, with the maximum penalty being 20 years in prison.

Dangerous driving causing death/serious injury

This is a separate, alternative verdict to culpable driving that is often given when the offence is not as serious or cannot be proven. Alternatively, if the offence meets all the criteria of culpable driving but the victim only received serious injury, you may be charged with dangerous driving causing serious injury.

Your case will typically be heard in the County Court, and the maximum penalty is half of that of culpable driving (10 years in prison).

Negligently causing serious injury

This offence is determined by four factors:

  • Whether or not you had a duty of care
  • Whether you breached your duty of care
  • Whether the breach was committed consciously, voluntarily and deliberately
  • Whether the breach caused the victim serious injury, whether or not it was intended

Your case will be heard in either the Magistrates or County Court. The maximum penalty is 10 years and a minimum license disqualification period of 24 months.

Reckless conduct endangering life/serious injury

This offence involves engaging in reckless conduct that has the potential to endanger life or cause serious injury. You must have performed the act, not just threatened to do so, and have performed it willingly.

Typically, such cases will be heard in the Magistrates Court, though they can be heard at the County Court if you choose to do so. The maximum penalty is 10 years for endangering life and 5 years for causing serious injury.

What next?

We offer a free initial consultation where we go over the details of your case and determine the best course of action. For some, it will be to avoid the expense of trial and plead guilty; others will have a defence that they can present in court. We will explore every option and tell you upfront what avenues are available to you, allowing you to make the best decision for you.

Call 03 8590 8370 now to get in touch with our expert traffic lawyers.

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