Dangerous driving

Dangerous driving is a serious offence that can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment, hefty fines, and disqualification.

Less severe cases may lead to a fine and a community order. Convictions can arise from various circumstances such as speeding, driving without due care, or causing damage and injury.

Drivers with a history of offences face harsher penalties, and cases involving death by dangerous or dangerous driving allegations alone may go to Crown Court. Speeding or racing on public roads could lead to a 12-week prison sentence if not a longer sentence depending upon how it is charged. Disqualification can range from the minimum 12 months upwards, depending on prior disqualifications and the particular circumstances of the case.

How our dangerous driving solicitors can help

Given the complexity of dangerous driving charges, it’s crucial to seek legal advice from an expert motoring law solicitor promptly. At Gepps, our specialist solicitors have extensive experience on successfully defending drivers and advising on appeals for licence reinstatement. In certain instances it can be difficult for the prosecution to establish that the standard of driving was so poor that it amounts to dangerous driving rather than careless driving. It can occasionally be argued that a charge of careless driving is more appropriate.

What is dangerous driving?

Dangerous driving is when the driving falls far below the minimum standard expected of a careful and competent driver and can include behaviour that can cause danger to both members of the public and yourself. If the dangerous driving is said to cause either serious injury or death then they are separate criminal offences with more severe potential penalties than those set out below.

Examples of dangerous driving:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Speeding or racing
  • Ignoring traffic lights or road signs
  • Overtaking or cutting in too close to others
  • Driving under the influence or drugs, including prescription drugs and alcohol
  • Driving whilst sleep
  • Driving a vehicle which you are aware is unsafe

This is a triable either way offence meaning the case can be heard at the Magistrates or Crown Court. If you are convicted and/or plead guilty there is an obligatory 1 year driving ban with a compulsory extended retest as well as a potential prison sentence of up to 2 years in prison.

Dangerous driving FAQs

What is considered dangerous driving?

Dangerous driving is defined as operating a vehicle in a manner that poses a significant risk to others’ safety on the road. This can include excessive speeding, reckless overtaking, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or ignoring traffic signals and signs.

What are the consequences of dangerous driving?

The consequences of dangerous driving can be severe. They may include hefty fines, a lengthy driving ban, imprisonment, and a criminal record. Additionally, dangerous driving convictions often result in increased insurance premiums and difficulty obtaining future employment.

How is dangerous driving different from careless driving?

Dangerous driving involves a deliberate disregard for safety, while careless driving refers to a lack of attention or consideration for others on the road. Dangerous driving is considered a more serious offence and carries harsher penalties.

Can I defend myself against charges of dangerous driving?

Yes, you have the right to defend yourself against charges of dangerous driving. A skilled solicitor can help build a defence strategy, which may involve challenging the evidence, proving mitigating circumstances, or arguing for a lesser charge.

What factors determine if driving is dangerous?

Several factors can contribute to determining if driving is dangerous, including speed, road conditions, weather conditions, the driver’s behaviour, and the impact on other road users. The court will assess these factors to determine the severity of the offense.

Can dangerous driving lead to a driving ban?

Yes, dangerous driving convictions often result in a driving ban. The length of the ban depends on the severity of the offence and may range from a temporary suspension to a lengthy disqualification.

What should I do if charged with dangerous driving?

If charged with dangerous driving, it’s crucial to seek legal advice from a qualified solicitor as soon as possible. They can assess your case, explain your legal rights, and guide you through the legal process.

Is dangerous driving a criminal offence?

Yes, dangerous driving is a criminal offence. It is taken very seriously by the authorities due to the significant risk it poses to public safety. Convictions for dangerous driving can have long-lasting consequences on your personal and professional life.

Careless driving solicitors

Careless driving is driving without due care and attention, without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road and falling below the standard of a reasonably competent driver.

How our careless driving solicitors can help

Our specialist motoring offence solicitors focus on defending clients accused of careless driving. If you believe you have grounds to contest the accusation or have mitigating circumstances, consulting a solicitor is crucial. Many assume they must accept the punishment, including fines, points on their license, or disqualification, but this isn’t always true. With our extensive experience and deep understanding of motoring law, we provide high level representation and have a track record of achieving positive results for our clients.

Many accusations of careless driving or driving without due care and attention can be effectively defended. Our expert motoring offence solicitors meticulously analyse prosecution evidence to pinpoint weaknesses and present a robust factual defence, demonstrating that the alleged driving behaviour did not occur as claimed.

What is careless driving?

Examples of dangerous driving:

  • Overtaking on the inside
  • Driving too close to another vehicle
  • Driving through a red light by mistake
  • Driving in the path of another vehicle
  • Unnecessary slow driving or braking
  • Dazzling other drivers with headlights

Should you be found guilty of careless driving you could receive a fine of £100 and 3 penalty points. However, in more serious cases the court could impose a more serious penalty including a disqualification which is always discretionary in cases dealing with this charge.

Careless driving FAQs

What is considered careless driving?

Careless driving, also known as driving without due care and attention, refers to operating a vehicle without proper consideration for others on the road. This can include actions such as tailgating, distracted driving (e.g. using a mobile phone), or failing to yield right of way.

What are the consequences of careless driving?

The consequences of careless driving can vary depending on the severity of the offence. Penalties may include fines, points on the driving license, driving education courses, or even a driving ban in serious cases.

How is careless driving different from dangerous driving?

While both careless and dangerous driving involve actions that compromise road safety, the key difference lies in the level of risk posed. Careless driving involves a lack of proper attention or consideration, while dangerous driving involves a deliberate disregard for safety, posing a significant risk to others.

Can I defend myself against charges of careless driving?

Yes, you have the right to defend yourself against charges of careless driving. A qualified solicitor can help build a defence strategy, which may involve challenging the evidence, proving mitigating circumstances, or arguing for a lesser charge.

What factors determine if driving is careless?

Several factors can contribute to determining if driving is careless, including the driver’s behaviour, road conditions, weather conditions, and the impact on other road users. The court will consider these factors to assess the severity of the offence.

Can careless driving lead to a driving ban?

In some cases, particularly if the offence is serious or results in a collision causing injury or death, careless driving can lead to a driving ban. However, penalties typically depend on the circumstances of the individual case.

What should I do if charged with careless driving?

If charged with careless driving, it’s essential to seek legal advice from a qualified solicitor as soon as possible. They can assess your case, explain your legal rights, and guide you through the legal process.

Is careless driving a criminal offence?

Careless driving whilst by some may be considered a traffic offence it is a criminal offence. It is taken seriously by authorities due to its potential impact on road safety. Convictions for careless driving can result in penalties and affect insurance premiums.

Get in touch

Speak to one of our expert motoring law solicitors now – call 01245 343971 or email drivingenq@gepp.co.uk.

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Driving Whilst Disqualified

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