Aggravated Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle
Aggravated dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, commonly called aggravated dangerous driving, is a serious criminal offence in Queensland and it carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment or a 400 Penalty Unit fine. If you are found guilty of aggravated dangerous driving your licence will be disqualified for a minimum of 6 months in addition to any other penalty that is imposed.
Subsection 328A(2) of the Queensland Criminal Code creates the offence and states:
“If the offender—
- at the time of committing the offence [being the offence of dangerous driving] is adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; or
- at the time of committing the offence is excessively speeding or taking part in an unlawful race or unlawful speed trial; or
- has been previously convicted either upon indictment or summarily of an offence against this section;
the person commits a crime.
Maximum penalty 400 penalty units or 5 years imprisonment.”
In order for you to be convicted of an offence of aggravated dangerous driving, the police must prove that:
- You were driving a motor vehicle, or you interfered with someone who was, and
- Your driving, or interference, was dangerous, and
- You were either intoxicated, speeding, participating in an unlawful street race, or were a repeat offender
What Might Constitute Aggravated Dangerous Driving?
Police can allege that you were driving dangerously because of something which they say is inherently dangerous, for example running a red light, or they can argue that your driving was dangerous because of something particular about the circumstances surrounding your driving, for example driving a seriously defective vehicle.
In determining whether or not you were driving dangerously, the court must take into account the condition of the road and amount of traffic that would be expected to be on that road at that time. The presence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance in your system might also give rise to an allegation that you were driving dangerously, simply by reason of your level of intoxication.
It is highly likely that, if the police allege your driving was dangerous because of the speed at which you were travelling or your level of intoxication, they will charge you with aggravated dangerous driving.
Which Court Will Hear My Matter?
Aggravated dangerous driving can be heard in either the Magistrates Court or the District Court at the election of the prosecution. The more serious the circumstances of the offending, the more likely it is to be heard in the District Court.
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.