It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner. Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is a criminal offence, as opposed to a traffic offence. Therefore, a conviction may be recorded on your criminal history should you be convicted of this offence.
There are significant penalties for the offence of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. The maximum penalty is a fine of 200 penalty units (currently equating to $25,230.00) or a period of imprisonment of 3 years. You will also be subject to a mandatory minimum disqualification. The Court must disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland drivers licence for a period of at least 6 months.
There are certain factors that will aggravate the offence and increase the penalties available to the Court, including:-
- Dangerous operation while intoxicated;
- Dangerous operation while excessively speeding or participating in an unlawful race or speed trial; or
- Dangerous operation where you have previously been convicted of a similar offence.
In the above circumstances, the maximum penalty increases to 400 penalty units (currently equating to $50,460.00) or a period of imprisonment of 5 years. The penalties further increase in circumstances where dangerous operation has resulted in the injury or death of another person.
The offence of dangerous operation is a serious offence, with substantial consequences. We recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible if you have been charged with this offence.
It is a traffic offence to drive a motor vehicle without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users.
Careless driving is a less serious charge than dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and therefore carries less significant penalties. The maximum penalty for careless driving is a fine of 40 penalty units (currently equating to $5,046.00) or a period of imprisonment of 6 months.
The Court has the discretion as to whether your drivers licence should be disqualified if you are convicted of the offence of careless driving. There is no mandatory disqualification period, and the Court may therefore decide whether or not you should lose your licence as a result of the offence.
You should seek legal advice if you have been charged with careless driving. Although it is a less serious offence than dangerous operation, the penalties remain significant. Further, the Court may disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver’s licence. It is important that you properly understand the charge and the penalties available to the Court prior to your matter proceeding.
If you would like to discuss your matter, or have one of our local and experienced team represent you, please contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.