Predatory driving refers to situations where you are travelling near another vehicle and you intentionally try to cause an accident to bring about harm to another person.
It can be upsetting and stressful being charged with predatory driving, especially when you know that you are innocent.
However, you can count on the expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers® to support you every step of the way and fight to protect your rights.
As Sydney’s leading traffic law firm, we have the knowledge and expertise necessary to get you the best results in your predatory driving case.
Our outstanding traffic lawyers have a proven track record of fighting and winning serious predatory driving cases – so you can rest assured that your future is in safe hands.
Your Options in Court
If you believe that you are innocent, you should speak to your lawyer about entering a plea of ‘not guilty’ and fighting the charges in court.
One way in which you can fight the charges is to show that the prosecution has not been able to prove the ‘essential elements’ of the offence.
Before you can be found guilty of predatory driving, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You drove a vehicle on a public road
- You pursued another vehicle, or drove close to another vehicle
- You engaged in some kind of conduct which causes a collision, or threatens a collision with the other vehicle
- Your conduct was intended to cause another person in the other vehicle actual bodily harm
‘Actual bodily harm’ means harm that is ‘more than merely transient or trifling’ – for example, bruises and scratches, or some kind of serious psychological injury.
Unless the prosecution can prove each and every one of these elements, you will be found ‘not guilty’ of the offence.
Our lawyers can help you fight the charges by carefully examining all the evidence and raising any issues with the prosecution case at an early stage.
By identifying these types of issues, we can push to have the charges dropped without going to court, saving you time and money.
However, if the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, our outstanding advocates will fight to protect your innocence in court by presenting all relevant evidence persuasively.
For example, you could present evidence in court to show that your conduct was merely accidental and you did not intend to cause the other person actual bodily harm – for example, where the alleged conduct is caused by some other factor such as road or weather conditions.
Our knowledgeable traffic law experts can also advise you on any defences to the charges, for example:
- Where you were coerced or threatened into driving in a predatory manner (duress)
- Where you drove in a predatory manner to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
If you’re considering pleading ‘not guilty,’ it’s important to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options when it comes to fighting the charges in court.
If you want to accept the charges against you, you might want to consider pleading guilty as soon as possible.
Pleading guilty early in the proceedings can be advantageous, as it shows the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions. This can help persuade the magistrate to give you a more lenient sentence – also known as a ‘discount’ on your sentence.
Although pleading guilty has its benefits, it’s always important to speak to an experienced traffic lawyer before entering a plea, as there may be some way to fight the charges and secure a verdict of ‘not guilty.’
If you’re thinking about pleading guilty, you might also be wondering what kinds of penalties you could face.
The maximum penalty for predatory driving is five years imprisonment.
However, this is a maximum penalty, which means that it will only apply in the most serious predatory driving cases.
The magistrate will determine the appropriate penalty in your case after considering all the facts and circumstances. They can take into account things like the extent of the collision and any injuries caused, as well as other factors such as your prior criminal record and your character.
Even if you are simply pleading guilty, it’s important to get the best lawyers on your side, as they will know how to put forth your case in the most positive way and persuade the magistrate to give you a lenient sentence.
Our lawyers are well-versed in presenting effective sentencing submissions, and can help present the facts and circumstances of your case in a positive light, focusing on any mitigating factors which support your case, such as your good character and limited chances of reoffending.
In many cases, we’ve been able to obtain non conviction orders for our clients, which is where you are found guilty of the offence but you do not get a conviction on your criminal record, and you get to keep your licence.
Other penalties that the court can impose include:
Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with.
Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:
- Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results
Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases. Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial. Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.
We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.
We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.
Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.
- Highest Level of Client Satisfaction
We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia. Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities. We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.
We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.
- Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm
We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running. The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.
- Fixed Fees
We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004. We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.
Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.
Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.
- Free First Appointment
For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers. We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.
- Specialist Lawyer Guarantee
We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court. This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.
- All NSW Courts
From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases. And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.
- Accredited Specialists
Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists. All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005. An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field. Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.
Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.
- Results-Focused Law Firm
Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet. The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’. Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.
No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.
The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.
- Team of Lawyers Behind You
Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide. Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes. A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.
In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.
- Familiar with Magistrates and Judges
Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state. Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.
We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:
- the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
- Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
- Parramatta, near the justice precinct.
We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.
For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.
If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at email@example.com.