s22-23 Reckless Conduct Endangering Life

Have you been charged with reckless conduct endangering life or serious injury?

Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers can help. We have handled numerous cases involving these charges. We have offices at Moorabbin, Melbourne CBD, Dandenong, Geelong, Ringwood and Frankston. All our offices are in close proximity to the local Magistrates’ Courts, and we routinely appear at these Courts representing clients charged with these offences.

The Offence

Section 22 & section 23 of the Crimes Act states that you can be convicted of Reckless Conduct Endanger Life or Reckless Conduct Endanger Serious Injury if the prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  • You engaged in a particular conduct;
  • The conduct was voluntary;
  • The conduct had the potential to endanger life (s22) or cause serious injury (s23);
  • You acted recklessly; and
  • The conduct was not authorised by law.

The maximum penalty

If found guilty the maximum penalty is ten years for s22 Endanger Life and five years for s23 Endanger Serious Injury. Depending on the circumstances, first offenders might expect anything from a good behaviour bond to an immediate gaol sentence.

Where will my case be heard?

The charge will usually be heard in the summary jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court, but you can elect to have the matter heard by a jury consisting of 12 members of the public in the County Court.

Questions to consider

  • Did you engage in the conduct alleged?
  • Did the conduct present an “appreciable risk” of death or serious injury to another?
  • Would a reasonable person in your position foresee that engaging in the conduct would result in an appreciable risk of death or serious injury?

You can only answer the above questions after consulting with a lawyer who understands these types of cases. Ultimately, if the answer to any of the above questions is ‘no’ then you may have a defence.

These charges are routinely laid in relation to driving matters. Sometimes the police will accept a lesser charge such as dangerous driving or careless driving. It is important for a lawyer to consider whether a lesser charge is a possibility, because the difference it could make to your criminal record is significant.

Although police often lay the above charges in relation to driving matters, the charges do not attract demerit points. Further, there is no minimum time off the road, unlike for example a dangerous driving charge that will mean a minimum of 6 months off the road.

As you can see there are many factors to consider when faced with the above charges in relation to driving.

Do you want a full acquittal or would you be happy with a reduction in the charge? Is your driver’s licence the critical factor? Or is your criminal record of more concern?

How you approach these charges is something to consider after consultation with an experienced lawyer who routinely handles these types of matters.

The outcome could impact the rest of your life, by preventing you from working in certain areas or travelling overseas. Don’t gamble with your future by trying to handle the matter yourself.

Contact our office today to make an appointment with a lawyer from Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers so we can help you to accurately assess your position.