Dangerous and careless driving solicitors
Dangerous driving and careless driving involve penalties of up to two years in prison and disqualification from driving respectively. If you’re facing charges after an incident on the road, you need help from an experienced driving offence solicitor right away. Use our online tool to get immediate legal advice.
Dangerous and careless driving charges
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What’s the difference between dangerous and careless driving?
The law defines dangerous driving as being when the standard of driving of a defendant falls far below the minimum standard of driving expected of a careful and competent driver. It defines careless driving as when the standard of driving is simply below the standard of a careful and competent driver.
While these may be slightly subjective differences in practice, both charges are extremely serious and can result in those found guilty losing their licences and in the case of dangerous driving, even their liberty.
If the Police have contacted you with regards to a driving offence, including speeding, you need to speak to a specialist driving offence solicitor right away, ideally before giving a statement to the Police.
What is dangerous driving?
Dangerous driving is the most serious non-fatal road traffic charge that a driver can face. In order to convict someone of dangerous driving, the prosecution must show that the standard of driving was far below the minimum standard of driving expected; and that it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that such driving was dangerous.
This might include excessive speeding, racing, aggressive driving, ignoring road signs or overtaking where it wasn’t safe to do so.
What is careless driving?
Careless driving - commonly known as driving without due care and attention - occurs when the standard of driving is simply below the standard of a competent and careful driver. This can involve almost any breach of the Highway Code, from tailgating to hogging the outside lane on a motorway, and from eating at the wheel to overtaking on the inside.
In some cases, a Police officer witnessing an incidence of careless driving may let you off with a warning; but you can also be given a Fixed Penalty Ticket or be summoned.
If convicted of careless driving in court, the penalties can go all the way up to an unlimited fine and . Even though a custodial sentence isn’t a possibility, it’s important to take legal advice as soon as you’re made aware that a charge of careless driving has been made against you.
Causing death by dangerous or careless driving
These are the most serious driving offences, when a death has occurred due to one of three different circumstances:
- Causing death by careless driving while unfit through alcohol or drugs
- Causing death by careless driving only
For the first two circumstances, the Court has the power to impose up to 14 years imprisonment, together with an unlimited fine, mandatory two-year disqualification and extended re-testing when applying for a driving licence.
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