Dangerous Driving Sentences
Remember, if any Dangerous Driving Sentence is to be defended successfully, the sooner work begins on your defence the better. Do not be tempted to forget about it and hope it will go away, It Won't!!!
Dangerous Driving Definition
It is an offence for a person to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other such public place dangerously.
(Road Traffic Act 1988 s2)
The definition of the offence of Dangerous Driving is wide because it is not just relation to motor vehicles but any mechanically propelled vehicles; furthermore it can take place in any place to which the public has access, not just public roads.
Never forget, the burden of proving dangerous driving rests squarely on he shoulders of the prosecution, not the defendant. It is our job to expertly and carefully examine and exploit any failing or loophole in the prosecution case or law to secure an acquittal.
Dangerous Driving is defined in S2(A)(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988. A person is guilty of dangerous driving if:
- The way he drives 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
The prosecution may also say Dangerous Driving is due to the condition of a vehicle if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in it’s current state would be dangerous.
Dangerous Driving Defences
There are several situations that may give rise to a defence to Dangerous Driving Sentence. These are technical legal arguments and require a detailed knowledge of the law if they are to prevent a conviction for dangerous driving. The prosecution lawyer will usually use his skill and knowledge to argue against any defence and you will therefore require this to argue your defence. To try to do this yourself is not advisable as without the specific legal knowledge you will almost certainly fail.
You may have a perfectly acceptable reason for driving in the way you did or it may well be open to argument that the driving simply was not dangerous. There are even cases, for example, where people have been affected by medication they have taken. To mount such a defence to Dangerous Driving will require skilled legal argument by us as lawyers and persuasive medical experts to confirm the medical condition in question. It should be noted that a conviction for dangerous driving will not be avoided if the loss of consciousness is in any way the fault of the driver. For example a self induced capacity through drink or drugs will not prevent a conviction for dangerous driving.
As defence lawyers we accept little of the prosecution case on face value and we look at your side of the story in detail. You may face an allegation of Dangerous Driving having taken prescription drugs that caused you to have a crash. It may be that driving after taking these was not a reckless thing to do as a person would not normally fear adverse effects. We would locate and instruct medical experts on your behalf to establish your argument and try to avoid a conviction for dangerous driving.
Dangerous Driving – Crown Court Trial Factors
Dangerous Driving allegations may be sent to the Crown Court for trial if any of the factors below are present
- alcohol or drugs contribute to the dangerous driving
- grossly excessive speed
- prolonged course of dangerous driving
- other related offences
- significant injury or damage is sustained
If the defendant wishes to keep the case at the Magistrates Court, where the maximum penalties are lower and the proceedings more informal, we would use every endeavour to argue this.
The purpose of any defence to dangerous driving is to obtain an acquittal. If this is not possible it may be open to us to argue, on your behalf, that you should face a less serious charge of say, careless driving, which can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court and attracts lower maximum penalties.
Dangerous Driving Penalty
In the crown court, the maximum penalty for dangerous driving is 2 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a minimum obligatory driving ban of 1 year. Before a full driving licence can be re-instated, the defendant will have to take an extended driving test.
If the case is heard in the Magistrates Court, the maximum penalty for dangerous driving is 6 months imprisonment, a maximum fine of £5000 and a driving