Failing To Stop And Assist After Impact – s 146 Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) and s 52AB Crimes Act (NSW)
Charged with failing to stop and assist after impact causing injury is daunting to face where you can stand to lose your demerit points with a licence disqualification.
Our leading traffic lawyers regularly appear in court with a proven track record of proving their clients innocence in court, getting charges dropped early and getting s10’s to avoid the loss of demerit points and disqualification periods. Speak to a senior traffic lawyer (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/about-us/lawyers/) now on how to best prepare and present your case.
Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
You can only be guilty of this offence if police can prove, beyond reasonable doubt, each of the following elements of the charge:
- You drove a vehicle on a road; and
- Your vehicle was involved in an “impact”; and
- The “impact” caused death or really serious injury to another person; and
- You knew or should’v known that your vehicle was involved in an impact causing death or really serious injury; and
- You failed to stop and provide any necessary assistance within your power to give
You will not guilty, and this charge dismissed if police are unable to prove each of the above 5 elements of the offence.
Defences to this charge
You will be Not Guilty if:
- There was no impact by your vehicle causing death or really serious injury. This is where there is no connection with your vehicle and the accident or impact.
- Intervening act: where the cause of the death or really serious injury to the other person was actually caused by an intervening factor such as another vehicle coming in the way.
- You did stop, approached the victim and waited at the scene until ambulance or police arrived. You attempted to assist as much as you could in the circumstances.
- You were unaware, or in the circumstances, it was not reasonable for you to have been aware your vehicle was involved in an impact causing death or really serious injury.
- You also suffered injury that prevented you to be able to provide assistance to anyone else.
- You were not the driver of the vehicle.
- Duress or Necessity: you were threatened to do it, or did it to avoid serious injury to yourself or another.
Your charge will be dismissed if any one of the above defences to this offence apply to you.
Speak to one of our senior traffic lawyers to quickly identity and strengthen your best defence. Our team hold a successful record of getting charges dropped early by their specialised knowledge, and tactful approach in negotiating with police, and use of accident reconstructions experts.
If you decide to plead guilty to an offence of failing to stop and assist after impact under the Road Transport Act, or Crimes Act, see the below helpful tips and information on how to best prepare your case to maximise your chances at getting the best possible outcome.
Its important to know that this offence under the Crimes Act of s52AB is much more serious than the offence under the Road Transport Act of s146.
25% Discount on punishment
Pleading guilty at the earliest time in court for this offence will result in a discount of up to 25% discount on your punishment. This results in a more lenient result, and better chances at a s10 to avoid the loss of demerit points or imprisonment.
The later the plea of guilty is entered in court, the less discount you will get. For this reason, you should get early advice from an experienced traffic law expert.
Traffic Offenders Program
Enrolling and completing a recognised and accredited traffic offenders program course (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/traffic-law/traffic-offenders-program/) will certainly assist in getting a much lighter outcome in court. Our traffic law specialists have lectured in these courses all over Sydney and will guide you to enrolling in the best one.
Good character references
Being guided the right way in gathering letters from family, friends, employer, charity and a letter of apology from you, can help in convincing the Judge to give you leniency to avoid losing demerit points.
For best chances at this, the letters should express your need for a licence, effect of losing your licence on your personal or family commitments, your remorse, insight, and shame. Our traffic experts will guide you at every step.
Negotiate to drop charges
Sometimes, by carefully studying the evidence, you can point out all the holes in the police evidence when tactfully negotiating with police to drop the charge early. Our traffic lawyers have successfully achieved this countless times for over 20 years.
On countless times over the years, our lawyers have successfully negotiated their way to getting the more serious offence of s52AB Crimes Act downgraded to the much less serious offence of s146 Road Transport Act.
The police set of facts is the police version of your wrongdoing in detail for the Judge to read right before giving you an appropriate penalty. Its often first drafted by police and can be one sided, putting you in the worst possible light, resulting in a heavier penalty.
By thoroughly negotiating with police, you can convince them to change the set of facts to something more accurate and favourable to you. This can significantly increase your chances of avoiding the loss of demerit points.
Arranging to get a powerful court report from a very well respected and experienced psychologist or psychiatrist can increase your chances of getting a much better result in court.
For the best chances at a s10 result, or avoiding prison, the report should express an explanation for your offending behaviour, your remorse, insight and shame. It may also include whether or not you were suffering a mental illness which can drastically improve your chances. Our traffic lawyers can guide you to the best suited psychologist to your case.
s146 Road Transport Act offence
The maximum punishment for failing to stop and assist here is a term of imprisonment of 18 months and/or a fine of $3,300. If this is your second offence within the last 5 years, the maximum is imprisonment of 2 years and/or fine of $5,500.
s52AB Crimes Act NSW offence
The maximum punishment under this section is a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years if the impact causes death. However the maximum is up to 7 years if the impact causes grievous bodily harm (really serious injury).
The automatic licence disqualification period is 3 years with the possibility of it being reduced to a minimum of 1 year if you have no other major offence like this in the last 5 years.
The automatic licence disqualification period become 5 years with an option of it becoming reduced to a minimum of 2 years if you have another major offence like this in the last 5 years.
The maximum punishments are generally only given to the most serious offenders.
Types of penalties
The Judge will give you any one of the following kinds of punishment, depending on the way you prepare and present your case in court:
- Section 10 Dismissal (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/section-10-dismissal/)
- Conditional Release Order (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/penalties/nsw/conditional-release-order/)
- Fine (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/penalties/nsw/fine/)
- Community Correction Order (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/penalties/nsw/community-correction-order/)
- Intensive Correction Order (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/penalties/nsw/intensive-correction-order/)
- Full Time Imprisonment (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/penalties/nsw/full-time-imprisonment/)
Getting a s10 for failing to stop and assist after impact (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/section-10-dismissal/) means you don’t loose demerit points, and you receive no fine. Speak to one of our highly experienced and leading traffic lawyers now for realistic and practical advice.
With over 20 years in court experience and leaders in traffic law, our team hold a proven success record in getting outstanding results, with knowledge of how to best prepare and present your case in court.