Criminal Offences

Reckless & Dangerous Driving

As per section 117 of the Road Transport Act, it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in manner dangerous to the public. The offence of driving in a manner dangerous, does not just include speeding, but also driving in a way which causes a real or potential danger to the public. This will apply even if you have not injured or killed anyone.

In considering whether the offence of driving in a manner dangerous under this section has been committed, the Court is to take into account several factors, include

  • The nature, condition and use of the road on which the offence is alleged to have been committed, and
  • The amount of traffic that actually is at the time, or which might reasonably be expected to be, on the road.

If the above factors can not be established, you will liable to the punishment of the offence. The punishment for driving in a manner dangerous are significant, and therefore it is imperative to seek legal representation from an experienced traffic lawyer.

PENALTIES

The offence of driving in a manner dangerous is seen as a serious traffic infringement in the state of NSW and incurs significant penalties as seen in section 117 of the Roads Transport Act. For first time offenders, the maximum penalty that could be enforced is imprisonment of up to 9 months and/or a maximum fine of $2,200. An offender will also incur an automatic disqualification of 3 years and a minimum disqualification of 1 year, enforceable by the Court. Alternatively, for subsequent offences the penalties are much more sufficient. A defendant will be liable to pay a fine of up to $3,300 and/or be sentenced to prison for a maximum of 12 months. An offender will also incur an automatic disqualification of 5 years and a minimum disqualification of 2 year, enforceable by the Court.

It is also important to remember that the Court has the discretion to reduce these penalties, where appropriate or deal with the matter by a means of a section 10 dismissal, whereby no criminal conviction is recorded.

For your best chance to receive a more favourable outcome, contact our traffic lawyers to schedule a FREE consultation.

GUILTY

To be found guilty of driving in a manner dangerous as per section 117 of the Road Transport Act 2013, the Police must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • That you were responsible for driving a motor vehicle;
  • And you drove this vehicle in a manner dangerous to the public

If you tend to agree with the charges made against you, you have the ability to plead guilty. In this circumstance, you will proceed to sentencing where you could be facing the aforementioned penalties.

However, pleading guilty may actually be more favourable in the Court as it typically showcases remorse for your actions. As a result, the Court may award individuals with a reduced sentence or a potentially less serious charge. With the help of an experience traffic lawyer, the matter may even be dealt with by the means of a section 10. If this occurs, the matter will not be recorded and therefore you will not receive a criminal conviction or incur any penalties. You may, however, be subject to conditions set by the Court which may require to you participate in behavioural programs, such as the Traffic Offenders Program. If you do not adhere to such conditions, you will find yourself reappearing before the Court, whereby the privilege could be revoked and you will be liable to punishment accordingly.

At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, we are some of the best traffic lawyers in Sydney who are proud to hold a 90% success rate on all traffic infringement cases that we have represented.

If you or someone you know is facing charges of driving in a manner dangerous, it is advised to seek legal representation immediately. Call our traffic lawyers now to schedule a FREE first consultation where we can provide tailored advice in relation to your specific matter.

NOT GUILTY

You also have the option to plead not guilty to the charge of driving in a manner dangerous. If this is the case, the prosecution team must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you did commit the offence as per section 117 of the Road Transport Act. If it can be proven, it is likely that you will be convicted as per the penalties listed above.

However, at Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, our Sydney traffic lawyers have achieved successful results for clients in such situations. In order to avoid conviction, our criminal defence lawyers will challenge the allegations set out against you, by arguing the following defences. If we are able to successfully do this, the Court may completely dismiss the charges in which you will be found not guilty and no longer be liable to punishment. It may also result in less serious penalties or be downgraded to a less significant charge which is more favourable than imprisonment.

For relevant advice in relation to whether you should plead guilty or not guilty to the charges of driving in a manner dangerous, please do not hesitate to contact our Sydney based criminal law firm for a FREE consultation.

THE DEFENCE

There are many possible defences that our traffic infringement lawyers may use on an individual’s behalf in relation to the offence of negligent driving. These defences include:

Duress: Encompasses the use of unlawful coercion to persuade a person to partake in an activity they would not usually participate in. This coercion can take form of harmful threats such as death or grievous bodily harm in which the accused believes that if they do not participate in the activity, they can be at risk.

Necessity: Involves circumstances in which the accused debates that their actions are acceptable and justifiable as they were in imminent danger by either human or natural forces. To prove that acts were a form of necessity, it must be established that the activity was only undertaken in order to avoid particular consequences that are deemed as “irreparable evil”, the individual must holistically believe that they were in a situation of “imminent peril” and that the individual believed they had no other alternatives to avoid the impending threat.

Self-Defence: Comprises of situations in which actions were taken to defend confrontations and harm by and unjust aggressor. Self defence occurs in circumstances in which the accused aims to protect property, themselves or another person from harm by the aggressor.

Other: Section 117.3 of the Roads Transport Act states that:

In considering whether an offence has been committed under this section, the Court is to have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the following:

  1. The nature, condition and use of the road on which the offence is alleged to have been committed,
  2. The amount of traffic that actually is at the time, or which might reasonably be expected to be, on the road,
  3. Any obstructions or hazards on the road (including, for example, broken down or crashed vehicles, fallen loads and accident or emergency scenes).

If any of the above circumstances can be established, the Court may determine that the driver is not actually criminally liable for the offence.

WHICH COURT?

The matter of driving in a manner dangerous will typically be finalised in the Local Court.

As leading criminal defence lawyers, Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders have extensive experience in representing clients at various Court locations throughout NSW and have even won cases in the NSW Supreme Court. Therefore, you can be confident that our Sydney traffic lawyers are dedicated to achieving the best outcome possible regardless of which Court the matter will be heard in.

Contact our leading criminal law firm now for a FREE first consultation.