Careless driving is a common charge laid following an accident. Just because you have had an accident does not mean you are guilty of this charge.
Whether your driving was careless according to the law is an objective test as to whether you have failed to exercise the requisite degree of care and attention to your driving that a reasonable person would have. This is a test for the Magistrate to assess and for the prosecution to prove.
Elements of the offence
For the prosecution to prove the offence of driving in a careless driving, they must establish that you did not drive with the care and attention expected of a reasonable person in your position.
The Court will look at all of the circumstances of your case and it is important that you have a lawyer who can help you to navigate the evidence and understand what is and is not going to help your case.
Will I have to go to court?
Charges for careless driving will be tried summarily in the Magistrates’ Court.
Careless driving is a “fine only” offence, meaning you have no risk of receiving a term of imprisonment.
For a first offence, the maximum penalty is 12 penalty units.
For a second or subsequent offence, the maximum penalty is 25 penalty units.
There is no mandatory licence loss attached to this charge, however a Magistrate has the power to suspend or cancel your licence for any period they see fit. It is therefore important that you are prepared well for Court to have your lawyer make submissions on the importance of retaining your licence.
Whatever the Court outcome, VicRoads will issue 3 demerit points against your licence for careless driving if found proven.
What do I do now?
To ensure the best chance of a successful outcome, 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 navigating the Court process.
Contact our office today to speak to an accredited criminal law specialist, on (03) 9077 4834 or at firstname.lastname@example.org