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Dangerous & Careless Driving Solicitors
Careless driving and dangerous driving are both serious motoring offences that can lead to a fine, penalty points on your licence and even a ban from driving. Having the right legal representation at the earliest opportunity can help to ensure you have the best possible defence and that the penalties are minimised where an offence has been committed.
There is a significant difference between careless driving and dangerous driving, as well as the more serious offences of causing death by careless driving and causing death by dangerous driving. These differences are reflected in the sentences commonly handed down for each, so if an offence has been committed, it is important to make sure you have the right representation to achieve a fair outcome.
Our highly experienced motoring offences solicitors offer expert advice and skilled advocacy to successfully defend you or, where an offence has been committed, ensure all mitigating factors are considered to achieve a significant reduction in the severity of the punishment wherever possible.
If you have been charged with a careless driving or dangerous driving offence in Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Yorkshire or the wider North of England, our highly skilled motoring offences lawyers can help. To find out more, please contact us.
How our solicitors can help you with dangerous driving & careless driving offences
When you contact our motoring offences solicitors for help, we will:
- Listen to you and get a clear picture of the events leading to the alleged offence.
- Give you a realistic assessment of your situation and the possible outcomes, including potential penalties.
- Clearly lay out your legal options, explaining the likely costs and timescales involved.
- Support, guide and represent you through the entire legal process of dealing with the charges you face, including representing you in court where required.
- Keep you informed every step of the way, so you are never left wondering what is happening or what the next step will be.
Understanding the difference between careless driving & dangerous driving
There can often be a fine line between what is considered careless driving or dangerous driving and with the penalties for dangerous driving being much more severe, this is an important distinction to make. Our motoring offences solicitors are highly experienced in these matters, with the expertise to successfully defend you or help you achieve the best possible outcome where an offence has been committed.
Also known as ‘driving without due care and attention’, this means that the standard of your driving fell below that of a reasonable, prudent and competent driver. Behaviour that can be considered careless driving includes:
- Driving too close to another vehicle
- Doing something in the vehicle, such as changing a CD or reading a map, which distracts your attention from the road
Careless driving cases are dealt with in the magistrates’ court. The seriousness of this offence varies, and penalties can include:
- 3-9 penalty points on your licence
- An unlimited fine
As the accumulation of 12 penalty points over any 3-year period will lead to you being disqualified from driving, a conviction for careless driving can easily result in you losing you licence. It is therefore vital that you seek specialist legal advice and representation.
Death by careless driving
Causing death by careless driving is a relatively new offence. It is much more serious than a careless driving offence, but less serious than a conviction for death by dangerous driving. The distinction between death by careless driving and death by dangerous driving is therefore of key importance when facing such charges.
The penalties for death by careless include:
- A maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment
- Disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months
If you find yourself facing such a charge then you should seek legal representation immediately, as drivers in such cases are likely to be interviewed under caution.
Dangerous driving and causing death by dangerous driving are the two most serious road traffic offences and can often result in imprisonment and disqualification from driving.
To be classed as dangerous, your driving must have fallen far below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver and be clearly dangerous to a competent and careful driver.
Dangerous driving means there is a danger of physical injury or serious damage to property as a result of your actions. The offence can be committed by simply driving dangerously or driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition, even if you are driving carefully.
Dangerous driving can be dealt with in either the magistrates’ or Crown Court. The maximum sentence for dangerous driving is:
- 2 years’ imprisonment
- An unlimited fine
- Disqualification from driving
- Being required to retake your driving test to regain your licence
Death by dangerous driving
Being involved in any road traffic collision can be a very distressing time, even if your actions are not to blame. This intensifies when there is a fatality as a direct result of the collision. With your mind elsewhere, your last focus will be on a police interview but this is when you need to have your rights protected. What you say in the interview could make the difference between being prosecuted or being released without proceedings being instigated.
It is crucial that you obtain relevant advice from experienced, specialist solicitors from the outset. How the matter proceeds will be largely dependant on what is said in the initial stages of the investigation.
The penalties for the offence of death by dangerous driving are:
- 14 years imprisonment (increased from 10 years in 2003)
- An unlimited fine
- A mandatory 2-year disqualification from driving
- Requirement to take an extended driving test to regain your licence
If charged with death by dangerous driving, this is a matter that can only be dealt with at the Crown Court and our specialist team can assist you from the investigation stages at the Police Station right the way through to trial at the Crown Court. Such assistance could be in the form of securing a lesser charge of death by careless driving, which can significantly reduce the risk of a prison sentence being imposed.
There is often a fine line between death by dangerous driving and the lesser offence of death by careless driving. At Minton Morrill, our road traffic offences solicitors can negotiate with the prosecution for the lesser charge, where appropriate. In such cases, a well-handled guilty plea can result in a non-custodial sentence.
Highly skilled Experts are invaluable in cases of this nature and their evidence can be pivotal in determining whether you are acquitted (found not guilty) or convicted. We can assist in selecting the right Expert for you and your case and assist in obtaining funding to instruct them.
Our expertise in careless driving and dangerous driving offences
Our Leeds-based motoring offences solicitors have over 30 years’ experience defending motorists against a wide range of charges, including for careless driving and dangerous driving offences. We have a strong track record of successfully defending clients and achieving the minimal possible penalties where an offence has been committed.
Minton Morrill is highly recommended by the Legal 500 and Chambers’ Guide to the Legal Profession – a status that is entirely based on feedback from our clients and other professionals. We are members of the Police Action Lawyers Group and have several Accredited Police Station Representatives and qualified Legal Aid Supervisors within our team.
We have achieved the Law Society’s Lexcel Legal Practice Quality mark, reflecting the high standards we adhere to in our legal practice and client care. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), providing reassurance that we will continue to meet the very highest legal and professional standards.
Recognition for individual solicitors in our team includes the Law Society Excellence Award for Lawyer of the Year: Private Client, a Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year Litigation Award and Leeds Advocate of the Year (decided by the District Judges of the region). Several of our solicitors have also been shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards.
Get in touch with our careless driving and dangerous driving solicitors
If you are facing prosecution for careless driving, dangerous driving, death by careless driving or death by dangerous driving in Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Yorkshire or anywhere in the wider North of England, our highly experienced motoring offences solicitors can help you.
Contact our careless driving and dangerous driving offences team now by calling 0113 245 8549 or using the enquiry form below to request a call back.
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