The Maximum Penalty for Dangerous Driving in Melbourne – How Serious is this Offence?
A person convicted guilty of the charge of Dangerous Driving may be required to serve a maximum penalty of 2 years of imprisonment, or pay a fine of 240 penalty units. These penalties are not automatically given upon findings of guilt. Courts evaluate the circumstances of a given criminal offending and decide whether to impose the maximum. Dangerous Driving is a serious traffic offence which can possibly lead to a prison term on a finding of guilt. Jurisdiction for this criminal offence is given to the Magistrates’ Court.
The legislation on Dangerous Driving
Section 64 of the Road Safety Act 1986 is the exact legislation for the offence of Dangerous Driving. It states as follows:
(1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case.
(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than 240 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 2 years or both and on finding a person guilty of the offence the court must, if the offender holds a driver licence or permit, cancel that licence or permit and must, whether or not the offender holds a driver licence or permit, disqualify the offender from obtaining one for such time (not being less than 6 months or, if the vehicle was driven at a speed of 45 kilometres per hour or more in excess of that permitted, 12 months) as the court thinks fit.
(2A) A person must not drive a vehicle, other than a motor vehicle, at a speed or in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case. Penalty: 120 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or both.
(3) If on a prosecution for an offence under this section the court is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of that offence but is satisfied that the accused is guilty of an offence against section 65, the court may convict the accused of an offence against section 65 and punish the accused accordingly.
(4) In this section- vehicle does not include-
(a) a non-motorised wheel-chair; or
(b) a motorised wheel-chair that is not capable of a speed of more than 10km per hour
Pleading guilty or not guilty to Dangerous Driving in a Melbourne Court
The matter of whether you should plead guilty or not to a charge of Dangerous Driving is a serious legal consideration that must be discussed with a criminal defence solicitor. If the Court finds you guilty, the results could be highly unfavourable. Have a solicitor help you deal with the charge and get great results for your case.
Elements of the charge of Dangerous Driving in a Melbourne Court
To prove that a defendant is guilty, the Prosecution must show to the Court that the defendant was driving a vehicle and was doing it in a speed or manner that is dangerous to the public.
Defending the charge of Dangerous Driving in a Melbourne Court
Defences that are often run in relation to this charge are factual and identification disputes. Other defences may be used by a defence lawyer depending on the circumstances of the alleged charge.
For more information on Dangerous Driving, you may visit the Australian Defence Lawyers Association site (click here) and also the Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here). Further information can also be found at the Traffic Lawyers Melbourne site (here).
Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne can provide you more detail about this
Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne
Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)
This article was written on Oct. 1, 2012 and relates to the law that it stands at this time.