For a free consultation or legal representation for a Dangerous / Careless Driving or Driving without Due Care & Attention, call our Driving Offence Solicitors on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us.
We can advise you 24 hours 7 days a week and provide legal representation for a driving offence anywhere in England & Wales.
Dangerous Driving is the most serious (non-fatal) road traffic offence that a motorist can face. This is reflected in the sentencing powers of the Courts as if convicted, the Court can impose a custodial sentence of up to two years, as well as lengthy disqualification periods and extended re-tests when the driver eventually reapplies for their driving licence.
In order to convict someone of a Dangerous Driving offence, the Prosecution must show that the standard of driving displayed by the defendant was far below the minimum standard of driving expected of the competent and careful driver; and that that it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that manner would be dangerous.
Examples of dangerous driving include racing, aggressive driving, ignoring road signs or any form of dangerous overtaking. In certain circumstances, speed alone can amount to a dangerous driving offence if the speed is high enough.
Careless Driving Offences
A person is guilty of a Careless Driving offence if the standard of their driving was below the standard of driving expected of the competent and careful driver. When deciding what is to be expected from a competent and careful driver, the Prosecution must take into account not only the circumstances that the driver could be expected to be aware of, but also any circumstances shown to have been within the driver's knowledge. This is an objective test.
The sentencing implications for a conviction of careless driving are much less than those of Dangerous Driving. The maximum sentence is a fine of up to £5,000 coupled with three to nine penalty points or a disqualification. The Court must impose such a sentence unless special reasons can be found.
Death by Dangerous / Careless Driving
There are three possible 'Death by…' offences that a motorist could face in the event that the standard of their driving causes someone's death. These are:
- Causing Death by Dangerous Driving.
- Causing Death by Careless Driving (whilst unfit through alcohol or drugs).
- Causing Death by Careless Driving (only).
For 1 and 2 above, the Court have the power to impose a custodial sentence of up to 14 years imprisonment together with an unlimited fine, mandatory two year disqualification and extended re-testing when the defendant applies for a driving licence.
The Courts sentencing powers upon conviction of causing Death by Careless Driving (only), is significantly lower. The maximum custodial sentence that can be imposed is five years. Again this is to be coupled with a mandatory one year driving disqualification or three to 11 penalty points.
For each of these Driving Offences the Prosecution must prove the dangerous or careless driving as explained above, but must also prove that the driving of the defendant was a cause of the death of the deceased. Not necessarily the cause, just 'more than a slight or trifling link'.
For the traffic offence of causing Death by Careless Driving (whilst unfit through alcohol or drugs), the Prosecution must also prove that the defendant either was unfit to drive or refused to provide an evidential specimen for analysis.
Our Driving Offences Solicitors
All the above Driving Offences must be taken extremely seriously and specialist legal advice must be sought quickly. In preparing a defence for driving offences it is necessary to examine every aspect of the case including the locus (the accident scene), the route taken, the accident report if relevant and the expert evidence.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have road traffic offence experts on hand who are experienced in examining and challenging the evidence. Only through thorough and diligent work can you win your case and (in some cases) avoid a prison sentence.
To speak with one of our Driving Offence Solicitors about your case, contact us for a free initial telephone consultation.
Call our Dangerous Driving Offence Solicitors on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers is one of the UK's largest and well known law firms with offices in London, Manchester, Watford, Liverpool, Chester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Preston, Wakefield and Wrexham.