This article will cover the process of laying charges for dangerous driving, the court process, penalties, and consequences.
In Queensland, dangerous driving is a serious criminal offence. It is defined under the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) as operating a vehicle at a speed or in a way that is dangerous to the public, taking into account all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the place and the amount of traffic.
Charges for Dangerous Driving
The police are responsible for laying charges for dangerous driving in Queensland. Charges can be laid based on the evidence collected by the police at the scene of the incident, including witness statements, CCTV footage, and any other available evidence. In some cases, the police may also rely on expert evidence, such as accident reconstruction experts, to establish that the driving was dangerous.
The court process for dangerous driving offences in Queensland involves several stages:
First Appearance: This is your first appearance in court where you will be formally charged. You can plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing. If you plead not guilty, the matter will be set down for a hearing or trial.
Bail Application: If you are held in custody, you can apply for bail. The court will consider various factors when deciding whether to grant bail, including the risk of you failing to appear in court, the risk of you committing further offences, and any other relevant factors.
Hearing or Trial: This is where the evidence is presented to the court. The prosecution will present their case first, followed by the defence. Witnesses may be called, and evidence may be presented.
Decision: After hearing all the evidence, the magistrate or judge will make a decision. If you are found guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing.
Penalties and Consequences for dangerous driving in Queensland
The penalties for dangerous driving in Queensland are severe. The maximum penalty for dangerous driving is a fine of up to 400 penalty units or imprisonment for up to 5 years. If the offence involved death or grievous bodily harm, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for up to 14 years.
The court may also disqualify your driver’s license for a period of time and impose other conditions, such as completing a safe driving course.
The consequences of a dangerous driving conviction can be far-reaching. It may affect your employment prospects, particularly if driving is a requirement of your job. It may also affect your ability to obtain car insurance or result in increased insurance premiums.
Dangerous driving is a serious offence in Queensland, and the penalties and consequences can be severe. If you are charged with dangerous driving, it is crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible to understand your rights and options. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the court process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.