Man appeals aggravated dangerous driving sentence

Date:Aug 24, 2018

On 21 March 2015, an applicant in a recent appeal case caused a motor vehicle accident, injuring all parties involved. He was driving himself and three friends home from a party around 3:00 am.

When making a left-hand turn near his home, he took the corner too fast, well over the 40 km/h limit posted. Video footage also showed that he drove through a red arrow traffic signal. Because of his speed, he lost control of the vehicle and skidded into the front of an apartment building. 

All of the people in the car were taken to the hospital and suffered very serious injuries, leading to surgery and extended hospital stays in each case. 

After the video footage was analysed, it was estimated that the applicant had been driving at 110 km/h when the accident occurred. It was also released that his blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.135g/100ml at the time of the crash. The reporting doctor stated that anyone with a BAC of over 0.100 would be impaired while driving.

The initial sentencing

The judge found that the applicant was of good character and showed remorse after the accident. He readily pled guilty. And the others who were injured in the crash wrote letters on his behalf requesting that the judge be lenient.

It was also noted that the applicant had been diagnosed with depression about a year before the accident took place, and had taken a dose of Zoloft that night.

The applicant pled guilty to three counts of aggravated dangerous driving that caused grievous bodily harm. He was also charged with driving after having consumed alcohol. He was sentenced to six years of imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for two years following his release.

The appeal

The applicant filed an appeal claiming that the initial judge had erred by:

  • Failing to consider the applicant's depression disorder.
  • Finding that the applicant had showed abandonment of responsibility despite high moral culpability.
  • Failing to consider the degree of the victim's permanent injuries, since they all completely recovered.
  • Failing to take proper account of the applicant's extra-curial punishment to mitigate the sentence.
  • Failing to consider the applicant's clean criminal and driving records.

Thus, the applicant claimed that the sentence he received was manifestly excessive and unreasonable.

After full consideration of the grounds, the judge rejected most of them but did agree that, due to the applicant's good record before the accident, the sentence should be re-evaluated. The judge ordered that the appeal be allowed, and minimised the applicant's sentence to an aggregate of five years of imprisonment.

If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation. At Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers, our team of lawyers are happy to provide a free consultation and discuss your options. Contact us today for more information.

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