In the state of NSW, a person will be committing an offence if he or she drives in a manner or at a speed/pace which causes danger to another person or causes a danger to other road users. What are some examples of furious driving? Well, they include (but they are certainly not limited to the following) speeding more than 45km/h of the road’s speed limit, swerving/ speeding or even breaking sharply prior to accelerating to name a few.
What is the difference between the Crimes Act 1900 offence and the Road Transport Act 2013 Offence?
The offence of furious driving is contained in section 53 of the Crimes Act 1900 and it is noted in the legislation: ‘’Whosoever, being at the time on horseback, or in charge of any carriage or other vehicle, by wanton or furious riding, or driving, or racing, or other misconduct, or by wilful neglect, does or causes to be done to any person any bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.’’
The offence of furious driving pursuant to the Crimes Act 1900 is a Table 1 Offence and this means that the prosecution has the option of electing to have the matter finalised in the District Court if the prosecution decides but if the prosecution does not decide to elect (to have the matter finalised in the District Court) then the matter will be finalised in the Local Court jurisdiction.
The offence of Furious driving is also contained in section 117(2) of the Road Transport act 2013 and it states: ‘’A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a road furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public.’’
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units or imprisonment for 9 months or both (in the case of a first offence) or 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence).
The offence of furious driving pursuant to the Road Transport Act 2013 will be finalised in the Local Court as it is a Summary Offence.
What must be proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?
The prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
1. That a person was driving a car; and
2. The person was driving the car in a manner which was reckless, or at a speed more than the speed limit, reckless or in a manner which is dangerous to the public; and
3. If the person is charged under the Crimes Act 1900, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that bodily harm was caused to a person because of the offender’s actions.
It is very important that you speak with a lawyer so that you can get the appropriate legal advice which you require prior to going to court.
Our team of experienced solicitors are there for you and can help you answer all your questions, so be sure to contact Nicopoulos Sabbagh Lawyers.
*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 8th February 2023.
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