If you have been charged with negligently causing serious injury, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.
Elements of the offence
A charge of Negligently Causing Serious Injury contains four elements to be proven to be successful. They can be found in s 24 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and are as follows:
- The accused owed the alleged victim a duty of care;
- The accused breached that duty by criminal negligence;
- The act which breached the duty of care was committed consciously, voluntarily and deliberately; and
- The accused’s breach of the duty caused the alleged victim to suffer serious injury.
Will I have to go to court?
Charges for negligently causing serious injury will usually be heard in the County Court.
However, depending on the circumstances of the offence, the case may be heard in the Supreme Court; expert legal advice is important in ensuring the most appropriate defence to a charge of negligently causing serious injury.
A charge for negligently causing serious injury may or may not go to a trial with a jury, depending on the circumstances surrounding the events that resulted in the charge.
Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove all four elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice in building a defence as the circumstances of the events that led to the charge can assist in a strong defence argument, and this offence carries a potentially lengthy sentence of imprisonment.
The maximum penalty this offence carries is 5 years imprisonment, known as a Level 6 imprisonment.
What sentences are usually given?
Between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016, 188 people were sentenced with negligently causing serious injury as a listed offence. From that number, 82.4% were given imprisonment sentences, with a maximum term of 14 years. The median length of an imprisonment sentence was 3.5 years.
Non-imprisonment sentences included Community Corrections Orders (4.3%) and wholly suspended sentences (3.7%).
What do I do now?
To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.