s319(1) Dangerous Driving Causing Death

Have you been charged with Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury? Then you need to engage criminal lawyers who have handled these type of cases in the past.

Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers have office locations in the Melbourne CBD, Moorabbin, Frankston, Geelong, Dandenong, Ballarat and Ringwood. Our legal team have considerable experience running dangerous driving jury trials and can assist you if you are facing Court.

The Offence

Section 319 of the Crimes Act Dangerous Driving Causing Death was introduced in 2004 to bridge the void between Culpable Driving Causing Death and Dangerous Driving. In 2008 the legislation was amended to include subsection 1A, Dangerous Driving Causing Serious Injury.

The maximum penalty

If found guilty of dangerous driving causing death the maximum penalty is ten years imprisonment – half that of culpable driving. If found guilty of dangerous driving causing serious injury then the maximum penalty is five years. Depending on which charge has proceeded, first offenders found guilty might expect anything from a suspended gaol sentence to two to four years in prison.

Where will my case be heard?

The charge is usually heard in the County Court but can also be heard in the Magistrates’ Court (summary jurisdiction).

Elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt

  • That you were driving a motor vehicle;
  • That you drove the motor vehicle dangerously; and
  • That the dangerous driving caused the death or serious injury to another.

If the prosecution establishes the above then you will be found guilty of the charge.

Questions to consider

  • Were you driving?
  • Was the vehicle you were driving considered a motor vehicle as per the Act?
  • Was your driving dangerous? This question can only be answered by carefully considering the materials and your instructions, looking at factors like the condition of the road, the speed the vehicle was travelling, and the physical condition of the driver.
  • Did the driving cause the death or serious injury or was there an intervening act?
  • It is irrelevant whether you intended to cause the death or not or even foresaw that it was a possibility (unlike culpable driving). The question is, did you voluntarily drive the motor vehicle in the manner alleged by the police and was that conduct dangerous?

Crucial to these cases and all jury trials is extensive preparation.

It is important that you come to a firm accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria as Criminal Law Specialists, who has handled similar cases in the past, and who cares about getting you the best outcome, not the most expensive one.

Make an appointment with Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers today.