Dangerous driving is taken very seriously by the Court. The Court views its responsibility to protect the community as paramount, and if you are charged with driving that is alleged to have put other road users at risk, then you need to seek immediate legal advice.
The offence of dangerous driving is found in section 64(1) of the Road Safety Act 1964 (Vic), and stages that 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 surrounding circumstances of the particular case.
Elements of the offence
For the prosecution to prove the offence of driving in a manner dangerous, they must establish the following:
- The driving occurred at the place and time alleged; and
- The Accused drove a motor vehicle; and
- The driving was at a speed that was dangerous to the public or
- The driving was in a manner that was dangerous to the public.
Proof of this charge ordinarily centres around whether the driving or speed was dangerous in all of the circumstances. In making this assessment, the Court will have regard to factors such as the nature of the driving, the condition of the road, the time of day, whether there were other vehicles on the road, whether those vehicles had to take evasive action or did a collision occur due to the nature of the driving. This list is extensive and a specialist defence lawyer can ordinarily immediately identify if you have a defence to this charge.
Will I have to go to court?
Charges for driving in a manner or speed dangerous will be tried summarily in the Magistrates’ Court.
If found guilty of Driving in a Manner or Speed Dangerous – you are liable to pay a fine of up to 240 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of up to two years, or both.
A magistrate must also disqualify your licence for a period of not less than six months or, if the vehicle was driven at a speed of 45 kilometres per hour or more than is permitted, not less than 12 months.
There is no maximum period of disqualification and the Court will have regard to the circumstances of the case and your personal circumstances when determining whether to impose a longer disqualification order against your licence. A Magistrate also has the power to impound or forfeit your motor vehicle on police application.
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