Recklessly Causing Serious Injury

If you have been charged with recklessly causing serious injury, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.

Elements of the offence

For the prosecution to prove the offence of recklessly causing serious injury, they must satisfy four elements of the offence. They can be found in s 17 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and are as follows:

  1. The alleged victim suffered a serious injury; and
  2. The accused caused that injury; and
  3. The accused was aware that their acts would probably cause injury; and
  4. The accused acted without lawful justification or defence.

Will I have to go to court?

Charges for recklessly causing serious injury can be tried in the Magistrates’, County or Supreme Court.

Depending on the circumstances of the offence, the case will likely be heard in the Magistrates’ Court or County Court; expert legal advice is important in ensuring the most appropriate defence to a charge of recklessly causing serious injury.

It is unlikely that a charge for recklessly causing serious injury will go to a trial with a jury; it will usually be heard by a Magistrate or Judge.

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 surrounding the events that led to the charge can assist in a strong defence argument.

Maximum penalty:

The maximum penalty this offence carries is 15 years imprisonment, known as a Level 4 imprisonment.

What sentences are usually given?

Between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016, 422 people were sentenced with recklessly causing serious injury as the principal offence. From that number, 67% were given imprisonment sentences, with a maximum term of 9.5 years. The median length of an imprisonment sentence was 2.5 years.

Non-imprisonment sentences included Community Corrections Orders (14.45%).

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.