Culpable Driving Causing Death

By Doogue + George Criminal Defence Lawyers


The Maximum Penalty for Culpable Driving Causing Death in Melbourne – How Serious is This Charge?

Culpable Driving Causing Death has a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment upon conviction. This does not however mean that defendants will automatically face the top penalty if found guilty. The Court evaluates numerous factors before determining whether to impose the maximum. Culpable Driving Causing Death is a very serious offence that typically results in a prison term on a finding of guilt. As it is an indictable offence, charges are primarily heard before a Judge in the County Court.


The legislation on Culpable Driving Causing Death

Section 65 of the Road Safety Act 1986 is the relevant law for Culpable Driving Causing Death and is as follows:


Careless Driving


(1) A person who drives a motor vehicle on a highway carelessly is guilty of an offence and liable for a first offence to a penalty of not more than 12 penalty units and for a subsequent offence to a penalty of not more than 25 penalty units.


(2) A person must not drive a vehicle, other than a motor vehicle, on a highway carelessly.


Penalty: For a first offence, 6 penalty units; For a subsequent offence, 12 penalty units.


(3) 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.


(other details of section omitted / not included)


Pleading guilty or not guilty to Culpable Driving Causing Death in a Melbourne Court

Deciding on whether to plead guilty to Culpable Driving Causing Death or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, there could be severe consequences.


Elements of the charge of Culpable Driving Causing Death in a Melbourne Court

The Prosecution must show that the accused was the person driving the car in the circumstances involved. The driving must have been culpable in that it was done recklessly, negligently to a gross degree, done while under the influence of alcohol to the requisite extent, or done while under the influence of a drug to the requisite extent.


Defending the charge of Culpable Driving Causing Death in a Melbourne Court

Defences that are often run in relation to this charge are factual dispute, wrong identification, lack of recklessness, and lack of negligence. Other defences may further be considered depending on the circumstances of the case.


For more information on Culpable Driving Causing Death, 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 Sept. 28, 2012 and relates to the law that it stands at this time.


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