The penalty will depend on whether it is an aggravated offence and whether the harm caused was serious.
Serious harm is harm which:
- endangers a person’s life;
- results in serious and protracted physical or mental impairment; or
- results in serious disfigurement.
An aggravated offence is where one of the following applies:
- you were attempting to escape pursuit by a police officer;
- you were racing;
- you were disqualified from driving;
- there was prolonged bad driving;
- you were drink driving and had a blood alcohol reading of more than 0.08 grams;
- you were drug driving;
- you were driving at more than 45km/hr over the speed limit; or
- you had an illicit drug in your system.
For an offence that causes serious harm, but where there is no aggravating factor, the maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment.
If the offence is aggravated or it is a second offence, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. You may also be disqualified from driving for 10 years or more.
For an offence which causes harm, rather than serious harm, but which is not aggravated, the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment and a driver’s licence disqualification for 1 year.
For an aggravated offence, or a second offence, the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonmentand a driver’s licence disqualification for 3 years.
This is a very serious offence and we highly recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible after the accident, even before being charged by the police if possible. Many cases are won or lost on the preparation of the case.