Dangerous Driving is a statutory offence in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is also a term of art used in the definition of the offence of causing death by Dangerous Driving. It replaces the former offence of reckless driving. Dangerous Driving is one of the most serious Motoring offences and because of this, anybody who is being prosecuted for this offence faces the possibility of a prison sentence. With so much at stake, it is crucial that you have an experienced firm, who has expertise in this area to advise and represent you.
Caines Law have years of experience in defending Dangerous Driving allegations and as a result have a very strong track record in successfully defending clients. You will find below some case studies of clients we have defended in both the Magistrates’ and the Crown Courts.
The Law on Dangerous Driving
An individual drives dangerously if the manner of their driving falls far below the standard of a careful and competent driver and it is obvious to a careful and competent driver that driving in such circumstances would be dangerous. By definition, an individual can therefore also be considered as driving dangerously if they drive a vehicle that is in a dangerous state or condition. Dangerous driving is an offence under section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
If you do not accept that the standard of your driving fell so far below the standard expected of a careful and competent driver, serious consideration must be given to defending your case. Such cases require thorough preparation and detailed examination of all evidence. It is also imperative that you instruct a specialist law firm that has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in dealing with dangerous driving allegations. Such knowledge plays a vital role in identifying and investigating key issues and successfully defending such allegations.
Where your manner of driving is lacking in evidence, we have on numerous occasions been able to persuade the Police and Crown Prosecution Service to substitute Dangerous Driving Charges to that of Careless Driving. This requires a structured approach, legal knowledge and experience of handling these cases. Early representations made, in writing and in Court can often allow Dangerous Driving allegations to be withdrawn for Careless driving where the sentence is considerably more lenient.
Dangerous Driving is an either way offence which means that it can either be dealt with in either the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court. Before you make a decision on where your case should be heard, it is very important that you seek independent advice from an experienced motoring solicitor.
With Caines Law acting for you, you give yourself every chance of avoiding a Dangerous Driving conviction.
A conviction for dangerous driving has serious consequences – Mandatory disqualification for a minimum of 12 months with a requirement to complete an extended re-test, Financial Penalties, the possibility of a Community Punishment and in the most serious cases, a prison sentence.
The following factors have been held to aggravate the offence:
- Evidence of consumption of alcohol or drugs;
- Excessive speed;
- Offence committed whilst driver was disqualified / Had No Licence and / or Insurance;
- Police chase took place and person was avoiding arrest or detection;
- Competitive driving, racing or showing off;
- Previous convictions, Poor driving record and disregard for earlier sentences imposed;
- Disregard for other pedestrians or road users in the vicinity; and
- Prolonged episode of bad driving.
On the other hand, proof of strong and thorough representation can allow for any sentence to be reduced considerably. It is important that with serious Dangerous Driving allegations the Court takes into account factors such as previous driving record, the effect of a ban, good character etc.
Our specialist solicitors have a lot of experience in respect of identifying and tailoring hardship and mitigation arguments with a view to securing the most lenient sentence. It is imperative that the mitigating arguments that are put forward to the Court are those that are likely to be considered as mitigation.
If you have been accused of Dangerous Driving, we recommend that you make contact with us on 0800 6441544 for a free consultation. We will then be able to assess your case and advise you on the evidence, the law and your options. Alternatively, complete the Contact us form and we will call you at a time convenient for you.
Case Study 1
Our client was facing prosecution for dangerous driving on the basis that his driving was dangerous and fell far below the standard expected of a careful and competent driver.
The offence was caused when our client was driving the vehicle over a humped bridge at a speed of 60 mph which was within the speed limit and considered a normal speed for the bridge concerned. Whilst on the bridge, he heard a loud bang from the passenger side of his vehicle. The wheel locked the back end of the car spun and the car then flipped over. The police immediately arrived at the scene. Our client explained that the collision was not due to his manner of driving but rather there was something wrong with the vehicle that was not overtly apparent.
The Crown Prosecution service was afforded the opportunity of investigating the vehicle to establish from their perspective what had caused the collision. Our client was then charged of the offence of dangerous driving. We entered a not guilty plea on behalf of our client and defended his case on the basis of an abuse of process argument. Whilst the prosecution had been given the opportunity to investigate the collision to ascertain whether the vehicle was at fault or the driver, the defence were denied this opportunity as the vehicle had immediately been disposed, even before our client had been charged of the offence. This was an abuse of process as there is an obligation on the prosecution to retain all relevant material and evidence. Failure to do so would lead to an unfair trial.
With our thorough preparation and aggressive approach, we got the case thrown out and our client recovered his full legal fees.
Case Study 2
Our client was initially charged with Dangerous Driving by the Police. The incident in question involved a lengthy pursuit by an unmarked and off duty police officer after our client had inadvertently clipped the wing mirror of another vehicle. Our client was unaware of the fact that the vehicle following him was an off duty officer. He was worried about what would happen if he stopped his car.
At Court, he was represented by one of our specialist motoring barristers and prior to proceedings entering the Crown Court, our team after applying considerable pressure, persuaded the Crown Prosecution Service to substitute the Dangerous Driving Charge to one of Careless Driving and our client pleaded guilty to this as a result of the first incident.
Result: Our client received five penalty points on his driving licence for careless driving only.
Case Study 3
Our client who was a 23 year old professional had been charged with Dangerous Driving as it was alleged that on the M6 Motorway, he undertook two vehicles and reached speeds of up to 125 miles per hour on his Motorbike.
Our client pleaded Not Guilty and with the representation of a firm local to him, had his trial in the Magistrates’ Court. He was convicted and he then instructed us to represent him for an appeal against the conviction as he was not satisfied in the way his case had been handled.
After we had worked tirelessly to prepare his case, we instructed a specialist motoring barrister to represent him for his proceedings in the Chester Crown Court. After a two day appeal, his appeal was successful as the Court accepted that the Prosecution evidence had far too many discrepancies and the allegations made against our client were not substantiated with evidence.
Our client was found Not Guilty. He was very relieved with the outcome and grateful for all of our help. He was able to continue with his professional career and has subsequently referred three other clients to our firm as a consequence of the service he received.
Result: Not Guilty – Court made order for our client’s legal fees to be paid back to him.Contact us