Downgrading a Culpable Driving Charge

Culpable DrivingThis is a case that involves downgrading a Culpable Driving charge as well as a charge of Dangerous Driving Causing Death.

Our client is a young person who was driving a motor vehicle involved in a collision. It was alleged that he had failed to give way and his passenger died in the collision. He was being interviewed for Culpable Driving and Dangerous Driving Causing Death.

We represented the client at the Kyneton Magistrates’ Court on the following charges:

We were able to manage the case in a holistic way from the very beginning because the client’s parents sought advice early. Initial advice was provided in advance of the record of interview and we liaised with the police prior to the charges being laid. We also referred the client for psychological assistance to cope with the aftermath of the collision.

The charges were downgraded to Careless Driving and Failing to Give Way despite the outcome of the incident. This was made possible due to the fact that we were able to limit the legal criminality of conduct. The summary was amended to delete passages referring to possible speed which had no bearing on the collision. During submissions, we came up with a package for court that includes character references, deceased family’s forgiveness, and a psychological report as to the impact of the collision as extra-curial punishment.

The matter resolved to a plea of guilty to a single charge of Failing to Give Way. The charge of Careless Driving was withdrawn as an alternative. Given all the circumstances, His Honour placed our client on an adjourned undertaking to be of good behaviour for 12 months with a special condition that he pay $500 to the court fund in the next 3 months. No conviction was recorded against him. There was also no order made against his licence.

This was an excellent result. We were successful in downgrading the Culpable Driving charge and the Dangerous Driving Causing Death charge to offences that were not at the top scale of criminal offending and this was key to obtaining an overall good outcome for this case.


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 07/03/2017