It is a crime, you are in serious trouble and you need someone in your corner. An accident where someone is badly injured or killed is a major traffic accident that requires police intervention. Accidents happen, sometimes they are terrible but there are things we need to do when they occur. A “hit & run” where you leave the scene without stopping to help the injured or talk to police can find you in gaol for a long time.

Panic is a natural fear response for many people. If you have run from a car accident, instead of waiting in fear for the police to hunt you down, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced lawyer who can explain the Law, what needs to happen next and who can guide you through the process. It helps the investigation and even regardless of whether you run a defended hearing, opt for a defence or even enter a plea, it may help you in the eyes of a Magistrate or Judge.


There has been a spate of tragic hit and run matters on the East Coast of Australia this year. The emotional toll on families and the community is huge. Penalties vary widely across the country and there is debate over whether upping penalties to bring them into line with WA would be effective. The nature of this crime often makes it just one of a range of charges you may face in the circumstances. Other charges might include Dangerous Driving Causing Death/Injury and Negligent Driving Causing Death/Injury.

Cyclists and joggers can be hard to see. Some vehicles such as trucks and four wheel drives have large blind spots. Accidents can and do happen. It is what you do in that critical time immediately after the impact that can save lives and potentially reduce the penalty.

In 2015, Talia van Rysewyk was sentenced to 18 months gaol with nine months non-parole period for negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and not stopping to assist the cyclist she knocked off his bike.

She was banned from driving for three years. The Court heard that following the accident, she went home and washed blood off the car with a household cleaning product called “Gumption.” She posted on Facebook that a teenager had cause the cracking to her windshield. A late plea on the eve of the hearing was not enough to stop her receiving close to the maximum sentence in the Local Court or having the conviction upheld on appeal to the District Court.

Earlier this year, a Sydney woman reversed over a cyclist before driving off. British national caught trying to flee Australia, has been extradited from Queensland to face Court in NSW after a motorcyclist was hit and left to die in Tweed Heads.


Failure to Stop and Render Assistance where there had been death or serious injury is a crime carrying up to 10 years gaol.  Found in section 52 AB of the Crimes Act 1900, a person is guilty of the offence if:

A vehicle you are driving is involved in an accident that kills or grievously injures someone; and

You know, or ought reasonably to know that the vehicle has been in an accident that could have caused death or grievous injury to another; and

You didn’t stop and give whatever assistance you could that was in your power to give.


The defences of duress and necessity are available.


Brendan’s Law saw the NSW penalty for leaving the scene of an accident upped from 18 months to 10 years.

The maximum penalty for this offence is two years imprisonment in the Local Court. If the matter is heard in the District Court, the maximum penalty for failing to stop and assist after impact causing death is 10 years imprisonment and the maximum penalty for failing to stop and assist after impact causing grievous bodily harm is 7 years.


At times like these, a lawyer can assist you before you are charged. If you have hit someone and there has been injury or death, you might not be at fault but have left the scene. It is one of those times when handing yourself in to police voluntarily can be the wisest thing to do. A good lawyer will give you the advice and support you need in doing that.

At National Criminal Lawyers we understand how frightening it can be after a serious accident. We can help you.

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