Section 51B Crimes Act 1900 | Police Pursuits (‘Skye’s Law’)


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Section 51B is a relatively new amendment to the Crimes Act 1900, which created the offence of ‘police pursuits.’

This offence is often referred to as ‘Skye’s Law,’ named after 19 month old Skye Sassine, who was tragically killed on New Years’ Eve 2009 when two alleged robbers crashed into the car that she was travelling in during a police chase.

Section 51B now says that you can be charged with evading a ‘police pursuit’ if the prosecution proves that:

  • You were driving a vehicle;
  • You knew, or should have known that you were being followed by police, and you knew or should have known that you were required to stop;
  • You did not stop as requested;
  • You then proceeded to drive recklessly or at a dangerous speed.

If you’re found guilty of evading a police pursuit, you could face a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment, however this is the absolute maximum and will only apply in the most serious cases.

For more information about ‘Skye’s Law, see our website page: ‘Police Pursuits – Skye’s Law’and our blog: ‘Police Pursuit and Skye’s Law’.

The Legislation

Section 51B of the Crimes Act is the offence of “Police Pursuits (‘Skye’s Law’)” and reads as follows:

51B Police pursuits

(1) The driver of a vehicle:

(a) who knows, ought reasonably to know or has reasonable grounds to suspect that police officers are in pursuit of the vehicle and that the driver is required to stop the vehicle, and

(b) who does not stop the vehicle, and

(c) who then drives the vehicle recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to others,
is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) in the case of a first offence–imprisonment for 3 years, or

(b) in the case of an offence on a second or subsequent occasion–imprisonment for 5 years.

(2) In this section, “vehicle” has the same meaning as it has in section 52A.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

If you’ve been charged with evading a police pursuit, the expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers can help you understand the charges and advise you of your options when it comes to fighting the matter.

Our in-depth knowledge of traffic law, combined with our experience defending these types of matters has earned us the reputation of ‘Sydney’s best criminal and traffic lawyers.’

We can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case by carefully examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case, and asking to have the charges dropped on this basis.

If you end up in court, we can provide effective representation to help you get the outcome you want. Our highly-respected advocates will fight hard to dispute the allegations and secure a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

Even if you are willing to accept the charges and plead guilty, we will fight to ensure that you avoid unduly harsh penalties and get the best possible result in your police pursuit case.

So, if you want the best outcome in your police pursuit matter, call us today on
(02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first appointment
to find out how we can help you win your case.