Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

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Under the Road Traffic Act of WA dangerous driving occurs in either of two situations:

  • Where the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle; or
  • Where the driver of the vehicle drives in a manner (which includes speed) that is, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, dangerous to the public or any person.

What does Grievous Bodily Harm mean?

The term “grievous bodily harm” means any bodily injury of such a nature as to endanger or be likely to endanger life, or to case, or be likely to cause, permanent injury to health. It is immaterial that the grievous bodily harm suffered might have been or was avoided because of medical treatment.

If a person suffers grievous bodily harm as a result of a motor vehicle incident involving dangerous driving and death ultimately results while the person is being medically treated  the dangerous driving is deemed to have caused the death of that person.

What are the penalties I could face?

Dangerous Driving Causing Death or Grievous Bodily Harm carry tough penalties under WA’s Road Traffic Act. Section 59 of the Road Traffic Act sets out the penalties.

A person convicted on indictment of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm faces a maximum penalty of 14 years if the offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation and in any other case to a period of 7 years imprisonment.

A person convicted on indictment of dangerous driving occasioning death faces a maximum penalty of 20 years if the offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation and in any other case to a period of 10 years imprisonment.

What Do I Do Next?

If you are facing a criminal charges for dangerous driving causing death or GBH you need the help of an experienced criminal lawyer. Get in touch with us on 08 9278 2575 for representation and advice.