Do you have a question about criminal law offences?


Causing Serious Injury Recklessly

What the Law Says - Recklessly causing serious injury Section 17 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

A person who, without lawful excuse, recklessly causes serious injury to another person is guilty of an indictable offence.

The maximum penalty for recklessly causing serious injury is Level 4 imprisonment (15 years).

This offence differs from intentionally causing serious injury only in the mental element required to be proved.

The element of ‘recklessness’ will be satisfied for this offence if the prosecution proves that the defendant foresaw that his or her actions would probably cause serious injury but was indifferent as to whether or not serious injury would actually result.10 Again, as this relates to the defendant’s state of mind, it is necessary that the only inference that can be drawn from the defendant’s actions is that he or she had this state of mind.

Both intentionally causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury are indictable offences, meaning that they may be tried in the higher courts before a jury.

While intentionally causing serious injury is not triable summarily (in the Magistrates’ Court), recklessly causing serious injury is triable summarily, but only if:

  • the magistrate considers the charge appropriate to be dealt with summarily; and
  • the defendant consents.

The seriousness of the particular charge of recklessly causing serious injury is the key factor that will determine whether the court views the charge as appropriate to be heard in the Magistrates’ Court. In this context, the seriousness of the offence is usually related to the extent of the injury caused to the alleged victim.

If the charge is sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court, the longest term of imprisonment that may be imposed is two years. If the case involves multiple charges, the longest total effective sentence that may be imposed is five years.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

Ask a Question - It Is Free