s24 Negligently Causing Serious Injury

Have you been charged with Negligently Causing Serious Injury?

Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers can help you. We regularly defend clients charged with causing serious injury. We have offices located at Frankston, Moorabbin, Ringwood, Dandenong, Geelong and in the Melbourne CBD.

The offence

Section 24 of the Crimes Act states that if the prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person, by doing or omitting to do an act, negligently caused serious injury to another, then they are guilty of the charge of Negligently Causing Serious Injury. This charge is often laid in connection with a motor vehicle.

The maximum penalty

If found guilty the maximum penalty is 10 years with mandatory minimum licence disqualification for a period of 24 months (if in connection with a motor vehicle). Minimum licence disqualification is found in section 89 of the Sentencing Act 1991 viewed in conjunction with the definitions of “serious motor vehicle offences” found in section 87P of the same act.

Depending on the circumstances, first offenders who plead guilty might expect a sentence ranging from a Community Corrections Order with (no time to be served) to an immediate gaol sentence ranging from six months to five years. The judiciary treat this charge very seriously, particularly so when it is connected to a motor vehicle.

Where will my case be heard?

The charge can be heard in the Magistrates’ Court but will often be heard in the County Court. If you are listed in the Magistrates’ Court (summary jurisdiction) you can elect to have the matter uplifted to the County Court, to be heard before a jury.

Questions to consider

How will the prosecution say you are guilty of the charge?

  • Did you owe a duty of care to the victim?
  • Did you breach that duty by being criminally negligent?
  • Was the breach committed deliberately, voluntarily and consciously?
  • Did the breach cause the victim to suffer serious injury?

These questions must be answered in consultation with a lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases.

Preparation is important in these matters. What constitutes criminal negligence is not an easy question to answer in some circumstances and must be considered in the context of what is alleged by police and the relevant case authorities.

What is important when being represented in relation to the charge of negligently causing serious injury is that:

  • You attend a law firm accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria as specialising in criminal law;
  • You are advised by a lawyer who has handled these types of cases before; and
  • You feel comfortable and confident in your lawyer’s abilities.

Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers are specialist criminal lawyers who are committed to achieving outstanding outcomes. Attend our office for an appointment and we guarantee you will not want to go anywhere else. Call us today.