Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury

Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury

In Victoria, Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury is found in section 319 of the Crimes Act 1958. It is a criminal offence that is committed by a person who was found to have driven a motor vehicle at a speed or in a way that was dangerous and, as a result, caused the death of or serious injury to another person.

Have you been accused of Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury? This is a serious allegation with serious consequences. You must contact our firm to speak with one of our lawyers.

Police Interview
Do the Police want to interview you? Have you been asked to come into a Police Station? It is important that you receive legal advice before attending an interview to understand all of your rights. An interview is part of a Police investigation and an opportunity for them to try and gather more evidence against you. We can explain your rights and the process of an interview, and potentially being charged. In some cases, we can also attend an interview with you.

Pleading Not Guilty
If you want to plead not guilty, we have lawyers who are experienced at fighting this charge. The charge of Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury is often complex, and can involve expert evidence. We know how to carefully analyse the brief of evidence, and also how to conduct our own investigation. There may be additional evidence that should be collected, or it may be important to engage our own expert to examine the facts.

Pleading Guilty
If you decide to plead guilty, we will prepare thoroughly to achieve the best sentence possible. The summary of facts may be able to be negotiated or we may be able to have discussions about the charge itself and a possible alternative. There may be medical material or character references that can be obtained. It is important that we learn about your life and your personal circumstances so we can present your story to the Court.

Sentencing
Sentencing in the higher courts of AustraliaSentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Dangerous Driving Causing Death in the Higher Courts Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of AustraliaDangerous Driving Causing Serious Injury in the Magistrates' Courts
  • A man is under the influence of ice and loses control of his car while driving down the street, his car hits an oncoming vehicle and as a result, the driver of the other vehicle is partially paralysed.
  • A woman is speeding at night and hits a cyclist on the side of the road, the cyclist dies in hospital.
  • Two friends are drag racing their cars, they crash into each other leaving them both with permanent disabilities.

  • Having regard to the circumstances of the case, the manner or speed of driving was not dangerous.
  • The manner or speed of driving did not cause the death or serious injury of another person, rather the death or serious injury was caused by another factor.
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions that are asked in cases like this:
  • Was the speed or manner of driving dangerous?
  • What caused the death or serious injury of the other person?
  • Is the injury of the other person, a serious injury?

Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for the offence of Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury (s319 of the Crimes Act 1958) is level 5 imprisonment (10 years).

This type of charge is heard in the County Court.

What is the legal definition of Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury?
Driving a motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner that is dangerous. In the circumstances causing the death or serious injury of another person. Serious injury is defined as an injury that endangers life or is substantial and protracted.

“Did it cause serious injury?”

The Law
The section that covers this offence is section 319 of the Crimes Act 1958.