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Legal > Traffic Law & Traffic Offences

Negligent Driving:

Overview FAQs Articles Locations

Broadly speaking, the offence of negligent driving can be established where the Prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person drove a motor vehicle in a way that is below the ‘standard of care’ towards other road users that would normally be expected of the average driver in normal circumstances. Sometimes, the Police may charge you with the offence of negligent driving if you are the driver who is at fault in an accident.  Generally speaking, the penalties for this type of negligent driving offence will involve a fine and a loss of demerit points.

The mere fact that you are involved in a car accident does not translate into you being ‘negligent’ for the purposes of the law.  It will of course depend on all of the circumstances of the matter.

Often, people do not chose to contest a charge of negligent driving where the charge is the result of a minor accident, as usually the fine can be small (up to $1,100) and the loss of Demerit Points may not be important to some people. However, if you have accrued enough Demerit Points, you may lose your licence as a result of the accident and negligent driving charge. In addition, a negligent driving charge, sitting on your driving record, can be a charge that will become relevant in determining any future penalty or sentence imposed by a Court in relation to future traffic offence matters.  Similarly, a negligent driving charge, sitting on your driving record, can be a charge that will may be considered by your insurer or even in some cases other third parties, when taking into account your driving history and/or record, for the purposes of determining potential liability that you may have in a current or future matter where your motor vehicle or the motor vehicle you were driving has allegedly caused damage to another person or vehicle and compensation is being sought against you.

If you are facing a negligent driving charge of any type, we recommend that you speak with one of our traffic lawyers to assist you, as you may be able to have you matter heard in court and seek the leniency of the Magistrate so that you do not need to lose your licence.

Negligent Driving Occasioning Death

If you are involved in an accident and the accident causes the death of another driver, passenger or other person, you may be charged with the offence of negligent driving occasioning death. Generally, where you are charged with this offence, the maximum penalties for this offence involve a fine of up to $3,300 and/or a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 18 months. It is also highly likely that you will lose your licence for a significant period of time.

Negligent Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)

Where you are the driver of a motor vehicle that is involved in an accident, and the accident causes grievous bodily harm to another driver, passenger or other person, you can be charged with negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. For the purposes of this offence, grievous bodily harm can include any permanent or serious disfigurement to the injured person. As with the offence of negligent driving occasioning death, penalties for negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm can be quite severe. For a first offence, the maximum penalties are a fine of up to $2,200 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 9 months. You will also lose your driver’s licence for a period of time.

If you are charged with any of the negligent driving related offences, it is important that you immediately seek legal advice, so that you are fully aware of the nature of the offence and whether you have any defences available to you. You should also organise Court representation.  Navado Lawyers and Solicitors have a number of traffic lawyers who can assist you in your preparations for attending Court and give you easy to understand legal advice on how your matter is likely to proceed. Negligent driving is a serious offence and if you have been charged with negligent driving, you should contact our office to meet with a traffic lawyer. You can meet with us in our Sydney CBD office, or at one of our branch offices located including, Bondi Junction, Hurstville, Liverpool and Parramatta.

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

If you require assistance with a Traffic matter, you should make an appointment to see one of our Lawyers in one of the following locations:

  • Sydney
  • Parramatta
  • Chatswood
  • Hurstville

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