Dangerous Driving / Causing Death By Dangerous Driving
These are some of the most serious offences with which you are likely to be charged when behind the wheel of a car. They are easily the most distressing and the consequences are, inevitably, life changing whatever the outcome of the criminal proceedings. It is, however, imperative to take expert advice at a very early stage and act upon it when accused of an offence of this nature.
What is Dangerous Driving?
Dangerous driving is when:
- Your standard of driving falls far below that which 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.
This is a more serious offence than careless driving, and the penalties are more severe. It is a matter of fact and degree as to whether your driving is dangerous, however examples of what might be considered dangerous driving may include:
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Going the wrong way around a roundabout
- Driving at speed through a pedestrianized area
How We Can Help
In some cases it will be difficult to argue that your driving was not dangerous, for example where you are sending or receiving texts behind the wheel or racing another car. In those cases where a conviction is all but inevitable an early guilty plea couples with carefully advanced mitigation can shave years off the inevitable prison sentence.
Other cases there may well be a defence to the allegation in which case the matter should be contested at trial. If this is the case then our specialist barristers have years of experience of this type of case and access to the best regarded experts in the field.
What should you do if Charged with Dangerous Driving?
You should get advice from a motoring lawyer straight away. They will be able to:
- Advise on whether you have any defences
- Liaise with the prosecution regarding the appropriateness of the charge
- Represent you at trial
- Instruct expert witnesses on your behalf if required (eg: collision investigators, technical engineers, etc)
- Advise on whether your driving was dangerous or careless
What are the Penalties?
- The offence of dangerous driving is treated very seriously and can carry a fine, disqualification and up to two years in prison.
- The offence of causing death by dangerous driving is more serious still, and can carry up to 14 years imprisonment.