Dangerous driving / Death by dangerous driving
Dangerous driving is a much more serious offence than careless driving and if you are charged with dangerous driving you should instruct an experienced solicitor to act for you immediately.
Dangerous driving is defined as when the standard of driving falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and that it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.
Cases for dangerous driving can be tried in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court; such is the seriousness of the offence.
The penalty if convicted can be between 3 and 11 penalty points and an automatic disqualification for a minimum of 12 months. In addition to this you may be sentenced to prison for up to 2 years in the crown court. Once convicted you also have to take an extended re-test before you are allowed to drive again.
Examples of dangerous driving
The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples which the courts may view as being dangerous:
- Driving at excessively high speed
- Street racing
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Very aggressive driving
- Undertaking and weaving between lanes
- Overtaking where it is illegal or dangerous
- Ignoring road signs, traffic markings or traffic laws
- Consistent lack of attention to the road
- Motorbike wheelies
- Driving a vehicle which is overloaded or not roadworthy
- Use of a mobile phone while driving
- Reading a map while driving
Other things which will be taken into account and treated by the courts as being aggravating factors include previous driving convictions, failure to stop for police and ‘showing off’.
It is essential to have legal representation from a solicitor experienced in both motoring and criminal law if you are charged with dangerous driving. We will help to build your defence and if no such defence exists ensure that any mitigating factors are taken into account. Contact us for more advice.
Death by dangerous driving
If you have been involved in an accident where someone has been killed you may be charged with death by dangerous driving. This is the most serious motoring offence you can be charged with and you will need legal representation as soon as possible. Our solicitors can represent you throughout the process including being present during formal police interviews.
The penalty if convicted is between 3 and 11 penalty points and disqualification for a minimum of 2 years. In addition you could be sentenced to up to 14 years imprisonment.
The courts may take into account such mitigating factors as a clean driving record, no previous convictions and evidence of remorse.
Contact us to speak to one of our solicitors about your case.