Dangerous Driving & Careless Driving Lawyers
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Solicitors for Dangerous Driving and Careless Driving Offences
Our Dangerous Driving Solicitors are leading experts in the defence of careless and dangerous driving offences. Our team at Clifford Johnston & Co has the expertise and skill to help you.
For the best chance of a successful outcome, contact us today and speak to one of our solicitors.
If you are facing such allegations, engaging the services of Clifford Johnston and Co. offers you the optimum chance of securing a positive outcome. Our credentials speak for themselves, having seen us shortlisted as finalists for Crime Team of the Year at the Manchester Legal Awards in both 2019 and 2020.
What are Dangerous Driving Offences?
The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if the way they drive falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.
A person is also to be regarded as driving dangerously if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.
An allegation of dangerous driving is the most serious non-fatal road traffic offence.
Examples of Dangerous Driving includes:
- Driving aggressively, too fast, overtaking in a dangerous place, and racing other vehicles.
- Ignoring road signs and signals including traffic lights.
- Driving whilst unfit, which can include impaired eyesight, injury and drowsiness.
- Driving a vehicle in the knowledge that it has a fault or is unsafe including hazardous loads
- In certain circumstances, speed alone can amount to a dangerous driving offence if the speed is high enough.
- Driving under the influence of drink or drugs, including prescription drugs
The Court can impose a sentence of up to 2 years imprisonment for this offence, as well as a lengthy disqualification. A driver convicted of dangerous driving will also have to sit an extended re-test before they can drive again. Cases involving prolonged bad driving involving deliberate disregard for the safety of others and/or incidents involving excessive speed or showing off, especially on busy roads or in built-up areas, will usually be sent to the Crown Court to be dealt with.
What is a Careless Driving Offence?
A person commits an offence of careless or inconsiderate driving if they drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users.
A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way they drive falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.
Examples of careless or inconsiderate driving offences include:
- Excessive speed or aggressive driving
- Failing to look properly
- Sudden braking
- Having your attention diverted by a distraction inside the car, for example, using a mobile phone
- Carrying out other tasks while driving
- Tiredness or driving whilst unwell
- Driving contrary to medical advice (including written advice from the drug manufacturer not to drive when taking any medicine)
- Driving too close to another vehicle
- Failing to stop at a red light
- Driving into another vehicle or object
Careless and inconsiderate driving offences incur less severe penalties than that of dangerous driving. The maximum sentence for this offence is an unlimited fine. The Court must, if they do not impose a disqualification, impose between 3 – 9 penalty points.
Sentences towards the top of the range will be imposed if the offence involves injury to others, damage to other vehicles or property and/or where there is a high level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity.
Our Careless Driving Solicitors can help you build a strong defence against accusations of careless driving, and support you with expert legal advice. Contact Clifford Johnston & Co. today to assess your case with a specialist.
What are the penalties for Fatal Driving Offences?
Driving offences that result in a fatality are the most serious and dealt with by the Crown Court.
Anyone causing a fatality on the road can be charged with one of the following:
- Causing death by dangerous driving
- Causing death by careless driving
- Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Causing death while driving insured, unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured
The main factor that varies between these offences is how much the offender is to blame.
For dangerous driving, the standard of the offender’s driving must be so bad as to have created an obvious risk of danger.
In cases of careless driving, the level of blame can vary significantly from being on the borderline of dangerous driving to as little as misjudging the speed of another vehicle or momentary inattention while tuning a car radio.
Where the driver is also committing a drug or drink driving offence, this further increases the level of blame.
Causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are the most serious driving offences which can attract up to 14 years’ imprisonment. A minimum disqualification of 2 years, with a compulsory extended re-test, will also be imposed upon conviction for these offences.
The maximum prison sentence that a court can impose for causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving is five years imprisonment with a minimum disqualification of 12 months.
The maximum sentence for causing death by driving whilst unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured is 2 years imprisonment with a minimum disqualification of 12 months. The maximum sentence is reserved for rare cases where blame is exceptionally high.
For more detailed information about the penalty you can expect to receive, speak to one of driving offence solicitors today.
How can a dangerous driving offence be defended?
Allegations of dangerous or careless driving can have very serious consequences, so it’s crucial to build a strong defence. Our Dangerous Driving Solicitors have years of first-hand experience defending these cases in both the Magistrates Court and Crown Court. Some of the defences we have successfully argued in court include:
The defendant was not driving at the time of the incident
Although you may be the registered owner of the vehicle that has committed the offence, you may not have been driving it at the time, which would make the allegations irrelevant.
This can be corroborated with evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, or other means that can pinpoint the actual driver. Showing discrepancies in the accuser’s identification can support this defence.
The incident did not happen as alleged
There may be instances where the accused may prove that the alleged incident did not take place. In such scenarios, evidence like dashcam footage, independent witnesses, or even location tracking can play a pivotal role. Proving the absence of the alleged incident, or a different version of the events, can nullify the charges completely.
The standard of driving was reasonable
We may be able to argue that your driving behaviour, when assessed objectively, was in line with what any other competent and careful driver would have done under the same circumstances. Expert testimonies, video evidence, or even reconstructions of the incident can be pivotal in illustrating that the driving standard was not, in fact, dangerous.
The driver was unaware of the dangerous conditions of the vehicle
A driver might be unaware that their vehicle had a fault, making it dangerous. In cases like these, the defence asserts that the driver could not have known about the fault and that the fault would not have been obvious to another competent driver. Maintenance records, expert mechanical examinations, or evidence showing a sudden vehicle malfunction can be used to strengthen this defence.
Duress of circumstance
This defence asserts that the driver was forced to drive in a potentially dangerous manner due to threats of death or serious injury. For instance, if someone was chasing the driver or if there were immediate threats inside the vehicle, the driver might have had no option but to drive the way they did. Evidence that shows the driver was under genuine threat or feared for their life can back this defence. Witness testimonies, CCTV footage, or even records of previous threats can be instrumental here.
Best Driving Offence Solicitors Manchester and Stockport
Technical knowledge and understanding is fundamental in this specialist area of law. Our highly skilled solicitors for dangerous driving and careless driving offices are accomplished professionals who can effectively defend allegations of this nature.
Our motoring offence lawyers can assist you through the entire process, from your arrest through to Court proceedings.
We regularly help clients avoid disqualification and/or prosecution. We are known for providing exceptional defence and mitigation services across all areas of motoring law.
From the moment of your arrest, we can offer you legal advice, support, guidance as well as representation in interviews conducted by the police. We will look at the specific circumstances and complexities surrounding your case, we will thoroughly examine all the evidence against you and then prepare a robust and comprehensive defence with the aim of securing a successful outcome.
How can I fund my defence for Dangerous Driving?
At Clifford Johnston & Co., we’re dedicated to ensuring that your financial status doesn’t hinder your access to quality legal advice. Our commitment covers both publicly and privately funded criminal legal defence.
You could be eligible for legal aid, and we’re here to assist. Our team will assess your eligibility and provide clear guidance on the legal aid application, allowing you to concentrate on your defence.
Contact our Dangerous Driving Solicitors
By working with Clifford Johnston & Co you are guaranteed a team of skilled driving and motoring offence solicitors who are recognised as experts in their field.
We have offices across Stockport and Manchester, and our dangerous driving lawyers regularly support individuals in cases across the UK.
For affordable and cost-effective legal advice in Stockport, Manchester and across the United Kingdom, contact our motoring law experts today.
Need some professional advice?
Do you have any issues that you are worried about? Contact our professional team for a free, no-obligation informal discussion, where we can discuss your particular requirements in greater detail.