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Level 6, 140 Ann St
(07) 3221 4999

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44 Davenport St, Southport
(07) 5532 3133


Dangerous Driving FAQs

What is “dangerous driving”?

The offence of “dangerous driving” is considered to be one of the most serious driving-related offences in our Queensland law.

“Dangerous driving” encompasses a wide range of conduct from excessive speeding to drag racing.

I’ve been charged with “dangerous driving”. What does this mean?

Section 328 of the Criminal Code (Qld) makes it a criminal offence to operate, or in any way interfere with the operation of a vehicle dangerously.

Unlike most driving-related offences in Queensland, dangerous driving is classified as a criminal rather than traffic offence.

Visit Dangerous Driving Offences for more information on the types of charges and what they mean.

What kind of penalty will I be given for this offence?

The maximum penalty for dangerous driving is 200 penalty units ($23,560) or 3 years imprisonment.

The legislation sets out circumstances in which a dangerous driving offence can become more serious. If this is the case then the maximum penalties increase to reflect this.

In the following circumstances the maximum penalty increases to 400 penalty units ($47,120) or 5 years imprisonment:

  • at the time of committing the offence you are adversely affected by alcohol or another intoxicating substance; or
  • at the time of committing the offence you were speeding or participating in a speed race (drag race); or
  • been previously convicted of a dangerous driving offence.

While the legislation sets out the maximum penalties for offences, when deciding what penalty should be imposed in each individual case the court is required to take in to account your unique personal circumstances and criminal history. For more information on the things the court will consider when deciding a sentence see our sentencing page.

Where the dangerous driving results in another person sustaining grievous bodily harm or being killed the offence becomes far more serious and higher penalties will apply. 

Where you are charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle you will be disqualified from having or obtaining a driver license for a minimum period of 6 months.

If you have been charged with “careless driving” the court has the option to disqualify you from driving if they consider it necessary.

Regardless of the circumstances of the offence the court has the option to disqualify or suspend you from driving if they consider it necessary.

In some circumstances, where you have been convicted of a dangerous drive offence in the past the courts may impose a sentence of actual imprisonment.

If you are charged with dangerous driving and have been convicted of the same offence in the past we recommend that you get in contact with one of our criminal law specialists for specific advice about your penalty. 

I’ve been charged with “careless driving”. What does this mean?

“Careless driving” is a less serious charge than dangerous driving under the Criminal Code (Qld). Unlike dangerous driving, the offence of careless driving is a traffic offence.

Section 83 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 deals with this offence. It prohibits driving, on a road or elsewhere, without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 200 penalty units ($23,560) or 6 months imprisonment. As mentioned above this maximum penalty is reserved for the most serious example of the offence and is rarely given.

What are the advantages of having a lawyer represent me on my “dangerous driving” or “careless driving” charge?

Both dangerous and careless driving are serious offences that can result in serious fines or lengthy imprisonment.

Our criminal lawyers are highly experienced in dealing with these offences and can ensure your matter is reviewed and presented to the court comprehensively and professionally at every stage.

Some of the other benefits of engaging Potts Lawyers to represent you in your dangerous driving matter include:

  • Practical, timely advice at every stage of your matter about all of the options available to you.
  • Professional analysis of all evidence relied on by the prosecution in order to identify strengths and weaknesses in the case against you.
  • Extensive experience in negotiating with prosecution to minimise or downgrade charges when possible.
  • The time, money and stress saved in not having to attend court for every procedural mention of your matter (if we represent you we can have your attendance excused from these court dates).
  • Professionally drafted court documents that effectively highlight the strengths of your case.
  • Experienced advocates who will make persuasive, relevant submissions to the court on your behalf to get you the best outcome possible. 

This is an offence that carries serious penalties including imprisonment. If you're still unsure about whether you should engage a solicitor to help with these charges you can contact our office for a confidential discussion about your matter with one of our traffic law experts today on (07) 3221 4999.


Dangerous Driving Lawyers

Potts Lawyers have a number of lawyers who practice in the area of drug charges. To read more about them, click on their names in the table below.

Bill Potts - Criminal Lawyer & Director

Bill Potts

Criminal Lawyer - Director

Our founding director brings to Potts Lawyers a breadth of criminal law ...

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Cameron Browne - Criminal Lawyer & Director

Cameron Browne

Criminal Lawyer - Director

Director Cameron Browne has practised exclusively in criminal defence ...

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Michael Purcell - QLD Criminal Lawyer

Michael Purcell

Criminal Lawyer

Michael was admitted as a barrister in 2003. He also has over two decades...

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Karen Short - Criminal Lawyer & Office Manager

Karen Short

Criminal Lawyer - Brisbane Office Manager

Karen has worked as part of Bill Potts’ legal team for 17 years and as ...

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Paul Hamilton - QLD Criminal Lawyer

Paul Hamilton

Criminal Lawyer

Paul completed his secondary education in Mackay and graduated...

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Rebecca Fogerty - QLD Criminal Lawyer

Rebecca Fogerty

Criminal Lawyer

Following completion of degrees in Law and Arts(Psychology)at the University of Queensland...

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Mark Williams - QLD Criminal Lawyer & Director

Mark Williams

Criminal Lawyer - Director

Director Mark Williams has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management...

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