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Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm

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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

Andrew Fraser

The maximum penalty for the offence of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm is 7 years imprisonment. If the offence is aggravated, the maximum penalty is 11 years goal.

What court is likely to hear the matter

This matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Definition - grievous bodily harm

The Courts have defined grievous bodily harm to mean a really serious injury.


What the police must prove - dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm

In order for the police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. Grievous bodily harm was occasioned to any person.

2. Through any of the following:

  • The vehicle overturning or leaving a road while the person is being conveyed in or on that vehicle;
  • An impact between any object and the vehicle while the person is being conveyed in or on that vehicle;
  • An impact between the person and the vehicle;
  • The impact of the vehicle with another vehicle or an object in, on or near which a person is at the time of the impact;
  • An impact with anything on or attached to the vehicle;
  • An impact with anything that is in motion through falling from the vehicle; and
  • At the time the vehicle was driven by the accused either under the influence or intoxicating liquor, under the influence of a drug, at a speed dangerous to another person, or in a manner dangerous to another person.

It will be necessary for the police to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.

Possible defences - dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm

The Crimes Act provides a defence to the offence. Section 52A(iii) Crimes Act states:

1. It is a defence to any charge under this section if grievous bodily harm occasioned by the impact was not in any way attributable:

  • to the fact that the person charged was under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug or a combination of drugs, or
  • to the speed at which the vehicle was driven, or
  • to the manner in which the vehicle was driven.

Other possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

1. Duress

2. Necessity

The law - dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm

Section 52A(iii) of Crimes Act states:

A person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning grievous bodily harm to another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle:

  • under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or�
  • at a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or�
  • in a manner dangerous to another person or persons.

A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm

A person is guilty of the offence of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the person commits the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm in circumstances of aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 11 years.


where to next?

In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

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