Careless Driving Failing to Stop After an Accident

The accused was a 67 year old man who had minimal priors for driving offences such as speeding, but these were quite dated. He had never been before a Court before. He was charged with careless driving after he nodded off at the wheel and ran into a traffic light. He was a sufferer of sleep apnoea, which he had been receiving treatment for much of his life. The treatment up until that time had been unsuccessful.

He was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident as he had left the scene in fear after he realised what had happened.

Since the offence the accused had consulted with his treating doctor and his sleep apnoea treatment had been changed – he was now able to sleep soundly and was no longer falling asleep throughout the day. In other areas of his life, he was an upstanding member of the community: he had been a Rotary Club member for many years and was actively involved in fundraising on a local level; he had always been in full-time employment and was, at the time of the plea hearing, the owner of a local business overseeing the management of some 400 trade customers.

We represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

The accused pleaded guilty to both charges. Following submissions, the Magistrate accepted that the accused would have been frightened and upset following the accident, and that he had done the right thing by consulting with his doctor and advising him of what had happened and then embarking upon a successful change in his treatment. The Magistrate was impressed by the accused’s otherwise good character and his standing in his local community.

For these reasons, the Magistrate placed the accused on an adjourned undertaking (good behaviour bond), without conviction, for a period of 6 months and did not interfere with his driver licence. He was ordered, as part of the undertaking, to pay for the damage to the traffic light.


DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 25/02/2013