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If a person is charged with the offence of negligent driving, there are three levels in which he will be charged:

  1. Negligent Driving; or
  2. Negligent driving causing serious bodily harm; or
  3. Negligent driving causing death.

All three cases have different kinds of penalties and charges, and an individual will face differing charges or penalties based on what level of negligence surrounds the offence.

When convicting a person of this offence, the Court takes into account various factors such as the extent to which any injuries are made, or how many people have been harmed as the result of the negligent driving.


Understanding the three levels

 Negligent Driving: Amongst the three levels, this is the least serious negligent driving offence. A scenario for this situation may be that a collision or accident has occurred, and the police allege that it was a person’s negligent driving that caused the collision took place. If negligent driving is found in any case before a Court, upon a finding of guilty, an offender can be subject to a fine of up to $1,100 and may have their licence disqualified for any period of time the Court determines appropriate.


Negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm (GBH): The main elements of this offence are that a driver had been negligent in his or her driving, and because of his or her negligence, some serious bodily harm has been caused to another person. This offence is more serious than a charge of negligent driving as someone else has been injured, and naturally, the penalties in this instance are higher. A finding of negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm for a first time offender attracts a fine of up to $2,200, a maximum gaol term of 9 months, and a minimum licence disqualification period of 12 months. For repeat offenders, the maximum fine that may be given is $3,300, up to 12 months imprisonment and a licence disqualification period of up to 2 years.


It can sometimes be argued as to whether the grievous bodily harm suffered by the victim arose as a result of the offender’s negligent driving, as a matter of fact. It is important to get yourself qualified legal assistance to determine whether the allegations that are laid upon a driver can be successfully defended.


Negligent driving causing death: This is the most serious offence amongst the three levels of negligent driving. The elements of this offence are clear in the sense that a driver has driven a vehicle with negligence, and as a result of this negligence, death of another person has been caused. When a person is convicted of an offence of negligent driving causing death, a first-time offender may face a fine of up to $3,00, a maximum gaol term of up to 18 months, and a minimum disqualification period of 12 months. For repeat offenders, the maximum fine that can be given is $5,500, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a minimum disqualification period of 2 years. In many cases, the charge of negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm would be pressed as a backup charge, which means that the penalties for this offence would also be imposed on an offender. Amongst other things, the degree of negligence will also be taken into consideration.


It may not be easy to defend yourself in cases of negligent driving causing death, therefore it is essential that the advice of an experienced lawyer is sought so that your defence can be argued in court in an attempt to bring your penalties down as low as possible.


Even with legal representation, you are not always guaranteed to be given a ‘get out of gaol free’ card from the court. With this said, it is essential that motorists drive in a manner that is safe not only to themselves, but to other road users. A simple mistake on the road through the ignorance of a street sign, traffic light, or failure to properly read traffic and road conditions could have a negative impact not only on your life, but the lives of others.



If you are facing negligent driving charges and need help, give us a call at Sydney Traffic Lawyers. We will connect you with a negligent driving lawyer in Sydney who can walk you through the basics of your charges and learn more about your case. From there, we will identify and build the best defence possible for your situation. To schedule a consultation today, give us a call on (02) 8059 7121.


Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers is a law firm that specialises in Criminal and Traffic Law. Our passionate and dedicated team of expert lawyers represent clients daily in the Local, District, and Supreme Courts of NSW.


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