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  • Writer's pictureSam Kuhn


When death is a result of unlawful, dangerous, negligent or careless driving, the driver responsible can be faced with various penalties and charges depending on the circumstance at hand.

Manslaughter, although a seemingly ‘appropriate’ charge from an uninformed view, is not frequently issued in these cases. In actuality, a vehicle-related Manslaughter charge reserved only for the most serious of motor vehicle causing death instances.

A more frequently issued charge is dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm (GBH). Not to be considered a lesser-than charge, dangerous driving causing death or GBH is still a very serious criminal offence in Queensland.

If you are faced with a dangerous driving charge and are looking for guidance; we strongly encourage you to seek professional assistance from our team of legal experts as soon as possible.

Manslaughter vs Dangerous Operation of a Vehicle


Outlined in the Criminal Code 1899 – Section 303 “Manslaughter” defined as (1) A person who unlawfully kills another under such circumstances as not to constitute murder is guilty of "manslaughter".

In any case; it’s not to say manslaughter being charged is an impossibility within vehicle-related deaths. When a person driving a motor vehicle causes the death of another person due to dangerous and criminally negligent driving – they could face a manslaughter charge.

It is more than the failure to take the correct amount of care. Manslaughter charges will be indicative of very high degree of carelessness and/or recklessness, where zero thought, care or respect is shown towards the life and safety of others. Dangerous Operation of a Vehicle

Outlined in the Criminal Code 1899 – Section 328A states: (4) A person who operates, or in any way interferes with the operation of, a vehicle dangerously in any place and causes the death of or grievous bodily harm to another person commits a crime and is liable on conviction on indictment—

(a) to imprisonment for 10 years, if neither paragraph (b) nor (c) applies; or

(b) to imprisonment for 14 years if, at the time of committing the offence, the offender is—

(i) adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; or

(ii) excessively speeding; or

(iii) taking part in an unlawful race or unlawful speed trial; or

(c) to imprisonment for 14 years, if the offender knows, or ought reasonably know, the other person has been killed or injured, and the offender leaves the scene of the incident, other than to obtain medical or other help for the other person, before a police officer arrives.

For dangerous operation of a vehicle to be charged, the prosecution must prove that:

• You were the driver of a motor vehicle; • You were involved in an impact causing the death of another person, and • You were under the influence, were driving at a dangerous speed, or were driving in a dangerous manner.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Put Things in Reverse

If you are seeking assistance for a dangerous driving incident, don’t wait any longer. Seeking prompt, thorough and professional guidance from our team at Creevey Russell Lawyers will greatly serve you throughout your proceeding.

Please contact us today to speak to our team of lawyers, on 07 3009 655­­ or alternatively email us at

For round-the-clock assistance, reach out to our 24/7 Crime Hotline on 1800-2746-3529 and receive the superior legal service you deserve. “I found Jakob Mignone from Creevey Russell Lawyers to be very professional and helpful with our Matter. Jakob was fantastic to work with from day one he was hands on, thoroughly guiding us with his knowledge, efficient service while making us feel informed at all times throughout the process. I highly recommend Jakob and his firm to anyone needing legal assistance in the future. Thanks Jakob!!” - Claudia Got me the outcome I need.” Storm B.

About Creevey Russell

At Creevey Russell Lawyers, the cornerstone of our firm’s approach is effective communication: we listen to our clients and formulate legal approaches based on their specific needs. Our highly skilled team members in Brisbane, Toowoomba, and Roma have a drive to deliver the highest quality professional services that our clients require and expect.


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