Have you been charged with dangerous or careless driving? While you may not lose your licence for careless driving, penalties for dangerous driving can be severe, particularly if you’ve caused grievous bodily harm to another person. In circumstances as serious as this, it’s critical you engage with a specialist dangerous driving lawyer to manage your case.

Dangerous driving legislation can be complicated, and you may need expert help to get the best possible outcome for your case.  By allowing GC Traffic Lawyers to represent you in court, you can give yourself a much better chance of avoiding jail time, a licence suspension or an expensive fine. Don’t take the risk of being represented by a non-specialised lawyer or representing yourself – it’s just not worth it.

What is considered dangerous or careless driving?

In Queensland, dangerous driving is defined as an offence that arises when a person operates a vehicle in a manner that puts other road users at risk. The magistrate assigned to your case will determine whether the offence you’ve committed falls under the jurisdiction of dangerous driving.

These are some common examples of dangerous driving:

  • Driving recklessly – From speeding to weaving in and out of traffic, driving recklessly covers a wide range of risky behaviour.
  • Hooning – This category of dangerous driving includes burnouts, intentional engine revving, fishtailing, drifting and screeching brakes.
  • Street racing – Also known as drag racing, this offence involves any form of unauthorised vehicle racing.
  • Disregarding the road rules – Blatantly ignoring the road rules (or even failing to follow them accidently) can result in a dangerous driving charge.

No matter what type of careless or dangerous driving offence you’ve committed, GC Traffic Lawyers can help you make the best of a bad situation by ensuring your case gets the most favourable outcome available. We have the expertise of many years’ experience in dealing with careless and dangerous driving offences. Our team of traffic lawyers can give you an upfront assessment of the likely outcome of your case if we represent you.

Penalties for Dangerous Driving in QLD

A wide range of penalties apply to dangerous driving. The magistrate will decide an appropriate penalty based on the circumstances of the offence you’ve committed. If any of the following factors apply to your case, there’s a chance you could face a significantly harsher penalty:

  • Intoxication – On top of dealing with an additional drink driving charge, you may also have to contend with more serious penalties if you were found to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offence.
  • Speeding – Deliberately breaking the speed limit can have serious consequences in dangerous driving cases.
  • Traffic history – Motorists with previous convictions often face harsher penalties than first-time offenders.
  • Death or injury – Harsher penalties almost always apply to cases where another road user has been injured or killed.

To avoid having your life completely derailed by an unfairly harsh dangerous driving penalty, GC Traffic Lawyers can negotiate a better outcome for you.

Can I go to jail for dangerous driving?

Yes, you can go to jail for dangerous driving. However, jail sentences are usually only handed down to repeat offenders, or in cases involving serious misconduct such as drink driving or speeding (this type of misconduct is referred to as an “aggravated offence”).

If convicted of a ‘basic’ dangerous driving offence, you could face up to 3 years in jail or a $20,000 fine. For more serious dangerous driving offences, a maximum 5-year jail term or a $40,000 fine applies. The maximum penalty increases to 10 years in jail in cases where a person has been killed or grievously injured (this can be further increased to 14 years if aggravated offences apply).

Motorists who have previously been convicted of an aggravated dangerous driving offence, or any type of dangerous driving offence twice before, may be unable to avoid jail time. If you’re worried you may be at risk of being sent to jail, GC Traffic Lawyers can determine your rights and the type of the penalties that apply to your case.

Defence Options for Dangerous Driving

There are several defence options available in dangerous driving cases. You may be able to avoid a jail sentence or a large fine by using one of the following defences:

  • Duress – This defence applies in cases where the motorist was coerced into driving dangerously against their better judgement. For example, duress may apply if you were motivated by fear or threat at the time of the accident.
  • Factual errors – If the facts of your case have been misrepresented, you may be able to challenge the official version of events. You’ll need to provide sufficient proof for this defence to work.
  • Identity dispute – As strange as it may sound, it’s not unheard of for people to be accused of a traffic offence they didn’t commit. You may only use the identity dispute defence if you can prove you have been wrongly identified as the offender.
  • Necessity – The necessity defence may be applicable if you were unable to avoid driving dangerously due to circumstances beyond your control.

GC Traffic Lawyers can help you choose an appropriate defence based on the unique circumstances of your case.

Dangerous or Careless Driving Lawyers on the Gold Coast

If your job and lifestyle are at threat due to a dangerous driving or careless driving charge, give GC Traffic Lawyers a call on 07 5528 6665. Our fee is a small price to pay if it means you get to avoid going to jail, losing your licence, or a heavy fine. For complete peace of mind we offer a Money Back Guarantee. We can also discuss your case at the start and agree on an optimal outcome during that first consultation. If we don’t meet that outcome, you get your money back. It’s as simple as that, no questions asked.

No other Gold Coast lawyers offer such a comprehensive range of services relating to traffic law. We service the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the areas in between. Get in touch with our team today.