When charged with dangerous driving, it can be difficult to navigate the legal landscape and come out at the end with the very best outcome in the situation. That is why you need to turn to a quality traffic lawyer to defend you in your time of need.
At Harper Finch Lawyers, our experienced and reliable traffic lawyers provide superior legal advice and representation in all traffic cases, including dangerous driving.
You can trust our traffic and DUI Lawyers Brisbane wide to be courteous, considerate, open and honest at all times – we will always keep you informed about the case throughout the legal process. Let us lower your stress, assist with complex legal issues and persuade the court to provide you with the best outcome possible in your dangerous driving case.
What is dangerous driving?
Dangerous driving is an offence which arises when a person is charged with operating, or interfering with the operation of, a vehicle dangerously in any place.
Magistrates can be conservative when determining if something is dangerous; however, when other road users are put at risk from the offence you caused, dangerous driving could be a charge you receive. Dangerous driving differs from other traffic offences because it is treated as a criminal offence, and is one of the only traffic offences in the Queensland Criminal Code.
Some examples of what could be considered dangerous driving includes:
- Hooning – This can include doing donuts, burnouts or fishtails, drifting, revving engines, screeching brakes, and skidding.
- Street Racing – Street racing can also involve drag racing, rolling road blocks, time trials and speeding.
- Driving Recklessly – This involves deliberately endangering other road users by dangerously weaving in and out of traffic for example.
- Ignoring Road Rules – Blatant disregard of road rules and signs.
Even in these scenarios, there are many other factors to be taken into account for a person’s driving to be considered dangerous, some of which include the driver who operated the vehicle, their speed, the car itself, the place they were driving to and from and whether alcohol or drugs were involved.
The case can also be considered as more serious if one or more of the following factors were involved:
- Intoxication – If your driving ability is inhibited by excessive alcohol or drug use while behind the wheel.
- Speeding – Deliberately driving above the speed limit in a way that is dangerous to the public.
- Previous Convictions – If you have prior traffic-related convictions for the same offence, your case will be looked upon in a negative light.
- Death or Injury – If your accident results in death or injury the penalty will greatly increase with a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
Our traffic Lawyers at Harper Finch Lawyers have extensive court experience, and we can attend any Queensland court to defend you in your dangerous driving case.
Dangerous driving penalties
There is a wide range of penalties when it comes to dangerous driving. The penalty applied will depend on the actual offence committed.
If you are convicted of a ‘basic’ dangerous driving offence, the maximum penalty is a $20,000 fine or 3 years imprisonment.
However, if at the time of the offence you were also intoxicated, taking part in an unlawful race or speed trial or you have previously been convicted of a dangerous driving offence, the penalty increases to a $40,000 fine or 5 years imprisonment. These more serious offences are ‘aggravated’ offences.
If you have previously been convicted of an aggravated offence or you have been convicted on two earlier occasions for dangerous driving, then imprisonment of some degree is unavoidable.
Finally, if a person is killed or seriously injured due to the dangerous driving, the maximum penalty increases to 10 years or up to 14 years if there are aggravating factors.
Why you need a traffic lawyer for dangerous driving offences
A dangerous driving offence will be considered very serious with significant penalties that can apply.
With possible penalties including licence disqualifications and periods of imprisonment, many individuals who rely on a driver’s licence to get to work and maintain an income may end up losing their employment. They might also receive an exorbitant fine that will be difficult to pay.
It is important to have knowledgeable legal representation to help you maintain your licence and reduce your fine. Quality legal representation can even reduce or prevent imprisonment.
If you have been charged with dangerous driving, then you need to make an appointment to see one of our lawyers. For the best possible outcome in your case and to ensure we offer you the very best representation, we recommend that you bring the following information with you when you visit us:
- Traffic History Report – Bring along a copy of your traffic history report to show our lawyers. A traffic history report details prior traffic offences that apply to you. This can be retrieved from a Department of Transport and Main Roads Transport Customer Service Centre once paperwork is filled out and a fee is paid.
You can also retrieve a copy of your traffic history report by mail or online. Visit the Queensland Government Traffic History page for more information on applying for your traffic history.
- QP9 Court Brief – A QP9 is a form that police fill out when you are charged with an offence. It is recommended to have a QP9 on hand before seeing a lawyer, and it is important to read your QP9 prior to your court date to understand the offence you have been charged with.
To apply for a QP9 with the Queensland Police Service, contact your local police office or visit the Queensland Police Court Brief page for more information.
When facing a dangerous driving charge, there are a range of defence options, including:
Duress involves being unlawfully influenced into doing something that is against your will or better judgement, and can be applied to a dangerous driving charge if the defendant may have driven dangerously due to fear or threat.
Necessity is where an individual takes part in an unlawful act that could not be avoided and is justified by preventing more serious harm from occurring.
In a dangerous driving case, you may feel that you had no other choice but to drive in an unlawful manner. A powerful argument in court will be required by a professional lawyer in this case because permitting dangerous driving due to necessity is limited.
Any significant facts that you can prove are incorrect beyond a reasonable doubt can also be considered a valid defence option. Adequate proof and solid defence from a quality lawyer is needed to provide the best defence with regards to factual errors.
If you have been wrongly identified as the offender in a dangerous driving incident, you are likely to have a case to defend if reasonable proof can be provided. The evidence needs to be substantial and conclusive for a sold identity dispute defence.
How we can help you
Dangerous driving is considered to be one of the worst driving offences and even the ‘basic’ dangerous driving offence is treated very seriously by the courts. We can help you by ensuring that you have an experienced lawyer on your side to protect your rights and to make sure that your interests are looked after.
When defending yourself in court, it is important to have a trusted lawyer by your side from Harper Finch Lawyers to provide quality defence and credibility to your case.
Contact us for dangerous driving legal advice today!
If you are looking for traffic and DUI lawyers Brisbane who understand your situation and are willing to help, look no further than Harper Finch Lawyers. Our Brisbane based traffic lawyers have extensive experience defending dangerous driving cases in court.