Death by Dangerous Driving


Dangerous Driving Prosecutions
Attending a Trial
Media Interest
Counselling & Supports

Dangerous Driving Prosecutions


Losing a family member, friend or loved-one through a serious road accident can be distressing and traumatic.

The added stress of navigating the criminal justice system can complicate the grieving process; as can the length of time it may take to resolve the legal matter before the criminal courts.

The ODPP prosecutes a number of major indictable driving offences (this means the most serious driving offences as outlined in the criminal law).

There are three driving charges that are Major Indictable

  • Cause Death by Dangerous Driving (Aggravated or Basic Offence)
  • Cause Serious Harm by Dangerous Driving (Aggravated or Basic Offence)
  • Aggravated Cause Harm by Dangerous Driving

However there are also a number of other driving offences which are commonly associated with Dangerous

Driving offences. These can include :

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or other illicit substances
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving without Due Care
  • Aggravated Driving without Due Care

Each of these offences carries different standards of proof and penalties and can be best explained by the Police or Prosecution involved in such matter.

Return to top.

Attending a Trial


It is common for offences involving serious driving accidents to proceed to a Trial before Judge and Jury, or Judge alone. During a criminal Trail the prosecution will need to present all evidence in an effort to prove the charges Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. As such, Trials involving Dangerous Driving Offences can cover graphic evidence. At times the evidence can be forensic and scientific in its nature whilst trying to determine if and how the driver was at fault, or not. The Trial can also take a number of days or weeks to complete. For family and friends who are grieving, or a victim living with injuries, seeing the person accused of the offence can also be extremely difficult and confronting. Many victims and families feel that the Trial process is unfairly focused on the accused; and not the victim or deceased; however it is important to remember that a criminal Trail is about determining the guilt or innocence of the person accused of the crime.

Return to top.

Media Interest


Media interest in criminal court cases involving Death by Dangerous Driving criminal cases can be quite intense. Dealing with the ‘intrusion’ of media can sometimes be a challenging; particularly for family and friends who are grieving and wanting a level of privacy.

If you have specific questions for dealing with the interest by the media, please refer to our fact sheet on Dealing with the Media

Return to top.

Counselling & Supports


If you or your family are affected by a serious driving offence, it is helpful to have Counselling and Support in place throughout the legal process, and in particular if you are required to give evidence during a criminal Trial.

Good support assists victims and / or their families to increase their wellbeing and cope better with the emotional impact of the legal process.

If you require counselling or support, please refer to the phone numbers provided below.

Road Trauma Support Team: Supporting people affected by vehicle trauma
1800 069 528
http://www.roadtraumasupportsa.com.au/

Anglicare: Loss and Grief Service
8131 3400
http://anglicaresa.com.au/support-disability/loss-grief/loss-grief-counselling/

For more phone numbers for counselling services please refer to our page on Referral and Support Services

Return to top.