Streeton Lawyers recently acted for a client charged with Negligent Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm. The charge followed a collision on a busy road in Western Sydney. The driver of the other vehicle sustained a fractured finger.
This offence is a serious traffic offence, carrying a maximum penalty of 9 months imprisonment and an automatic disqualification from driving of 3 years.
Our client was 47, had never been in trouble, and had a perfect traffic record. The prospect of a criminal record and loss of licence was extremely concerning.
Our client admitted that she was at fault and had been negligent in failing to give way to the other vehicle, but on her behalf it was disputed the injuries amounted to grievous bodily harm.
What is Grievous Bodily Harm?
In NSW, for an injury to constitute grievous bodily harm, it must involve some permanent or serious disfiguration of the person, or “really serious bodily injury”. See section 4 Crimes Act 1900 and Swan v R  NSWCCA 79 at .
In this case, Justin Wong wrote to the NSW police and asked them to withdraw the charge because the injuries did not amount to grievous bodily harm.
After some consideration the police agreed and withdrew the most serious charge of Negligent Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm.
Our client then entered a plea of guilty to a lesser charge of Negligent Driving (Not Causing Grievous Bodily Harm). Justin Wong represented her in the Local Court and because it was a less serious charge, in combination with her traffic record, remorse and the completion of the Traffic Offenders Program, the magistrate dealt with her without conviction and penalty.
Given the penalties she was originally facing, our client was extremely relieved.
Image credit: Moneymag