Conduct Endangering Life
It is an offence to recklessly engage in conduct that places or may place another person in danger of death, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.
Penalties the Court can impose for Conduct Endangering Life
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Community Corrections Orders
- Adjourned undertaking
The Offence of Conduct Endangering Life
The offence of conduct endangering human life is contained in Section 22 of the Crimes Act 1958, which states: “A person who, without lawful excuse, recklessly engages in conduct that places or may place another person in danger of death is guilty of an indictable offence”.
What Actions Might Constitute Conduct Endangering Life
- Pointing a loaded firearm at another person;
- Driving at very high speeds with passengers in the vehicle;
- Holding open the train doors whilst the train is moving.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict you of conduct endangering life, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You engaged in conduct;
- That conduct placed a person in danger (ie conduct that carried with it an appreciable risk) of death;
- You engaged in that conduct voluntarily;
- A reasonable person in your position, engaging in the same conduct in which you engaged in and in the same circumstances, would have realised that they had placed another in danger of death; and,
- You engaged in that conduct recklessly in so far as you could have foreseen that placing another person in danger of death was a probable consequence of your actions in all the circumstances.
Threats are not Enough
A threat is not enough to prove a charge of conduct endangering life. Even if you have taken steps to prepare for committing dangerous conduct, you cannot be found guilty of this offence if you haven’t engaged in the conduct yet.
Possible Defences to Conduct Endangering Life
- Police cannot prove the offence
- Lack of intent
- Non-self induced intoxication
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
So long as the accused consents, the charge will generally be heard in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. If there are other more serious charges or if the accused does not consent to the Magistrates’ Court hearing the matter, the matter can be committed to the County Court of Victoria.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.