Posted by trafficlawyersblog on November 16, 2021

Like other states and territory governments in Australia, the Western Australian Government is also highly strict regarding reckless driving. The government had introduced various changes to the law in 2016, according to which harsher penalties will be imposed on someone caught driving reckless, even if it is their first offence. Anyone charged with a dangerous or reckless driving offence will put their vehicle, driving licence and freedom to drive at stake.

If you ever face this charge, it will be better to consult an experienced reckless driving lawyer. But, first, you should know what reckless driving is and what penalties are associated with it. For that, you have to go through this blog.

Reckless Driving Circumstances In Perth?

When a person intentionally drives at high speed or in a highly threatening way to other people on the road, it will be called reckless driving. Circumstances in which drivers drive their cars recklessly may include street racing, road rage or intimidation, and burnouts.

Road laws state that all drivers should maintain the specified speed limit while driving. In Perth, you will be charged with a reckless driving offence if you are found to drive a vehicle at speed more than the speed limit of 45 km/h. Based on the extent to which the speed limit was crossed, demerit and fines will be applied to you.

What Are The Different Penalties Imposed Against Reckless Driving And Dangerous Driving Offences?

The Road Traffic Act of 1974 introduced by the Western Australian Government imposes harsh penalties on reckless driving offenders. These penalties may include suspension of your driving licence for a prolonged period and imprisonment on several occasions. You may also face a lifetime disqualification of your licence.

Penalties Imposed On Reckless Driving Offenders

First offence

  • You will receive a maximum fine of 120 Penalty Units, which equals a total of $6000. Alternatively, you may receive a 9-month imprisonment term.
  • In addition, your driving licence will remain suspended for at least 6 months.

Second Offence

  • A maximum fine of 180 penalty units will be imposed, which equals $9000. There can be an alternative imprisonment term of 9 months.
  • Your licence may face disqualification for at least 12 months.

Third Offence

  • You will receive a maximum fine of 240 penalty units, which equals $12000. A 12-month prison sentence may also be applied.
  • Your driving licence will be disqualified permanently.

Penalties Imposed On Dangerous Driving Offenders

First Offence

A maximum fine of 60 penalty units will be imposed, equivalent to $3000.

Subsequent Offences

  • You will receive a maximum fine of 120 penalty units, which equals $6000. Alternatively, you can also receive a 9-month imprisonment term.
  • The authority may disqualify your licence for at least one year.

You can understand how severe the charges can be, and it may cost you huge if you cannot deal with the matter properly. That is why we always recommend consulting several reckless driving lawyers in Perth before you proceed.

Penalties Imposed When Someone Is Caught In A Specific Situation

Depending on the different situations you get caught by the traffic police, penalties will differ.

Circumstances Of Aggravation And Failing To Stop

During a police pursuit, if the driver commits reckless driving in circumstances of aggravation and fails to stop their car, mandatory imprisonment is imposed according to the legislation.

  • If the case is dealt with in the District Court, the offender will receive a maximum of 5-year imprisonment.
  • On the other hand, if the Magistrates Court deals with it summarily, a maximum of 2-year imprisonment is given.

To get help in the legal proceedings, it is always better to talk to several traffic offence lawyers and choose one.

If the court finds that the offender was driving the car intending to escape pursuit by a police officer, the offence will be treated as a crime. Mandatory statutory imprisonment of a minimum of 6 months is the primary penalty for the offender. A 2-year ban will be imposed on the licence of first and second-time offenders. But for third or subsequent offenders, the penalty will be more severe, where they will receive a lifetime suspension on their driving licences.

There are penalties also for people who committed a dangerous driving offence while escaping a police pursuit. They need to pay a hefty fine of 720 penalty units ($36000) or face a 3-year imprisonment term. Their licences also get suspended for at least 2 years.

Vehicle Impoundment

The government has introduced new laws that allow the police to impound a vehicle if they believe the driver to drive recklessly. The impounding is usually done immediately or within 28 days. Police can also send a surrender notice to the car owner ordering them to surrender the car within one week.

While the vehicle is impounded for at least 28 days for first offenders, a minimum of 3-month impoundment is issued for subsequent offenders. The driver is also responsible for bearing various impounding fees, including storage and towing.

Dangerous Driving Causing Serious Physical Harm Or Death

If dangerous driving causes severe physical harm, the maximum penalty that offenders receive is as follows:

  • A 7-year imprisonment term if the District Court handles the case
  • A 14-year imprisonment term if the crime is committed under aggravating circumstances

Final Words

Charges associated with dangerous driving are highly complex, and the prosecutor will need to prove several elements to attain a conviction on various charges. We always recommend seeking professional help from experienced traffic lawyers in Perth who can give you comprehensive guidance through the judicial procedure, thereby helping you achieve a positive outcome in the end. Experienced defence lawyers have specialist knowledge of the law and thus will show you the correct method to take. Their guidance can reduce the extent of your punishment. There are many law firms in Perth where you can get their contacts, but remember that it is mandatory to check if they have the proper licensing and registration before hiring.