Dangerous Driving

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  Speeding
Do not assume that photographic or police evidence cannot be challenged. 
It can.  If you believe that any evidence is wrong, you should contact us immediately.  To secure a conviction, the court has to be sure as to the accuracy of any evidence, that you were speeding.  It is our job to closely examine any evidence that the prosecution intend to rely on to prove you were committing the offence.  If this evidence fails to meet the required standards, we will argue before the court that there should be no conviction.
 
  Drink Driving
In order to achieve a conviction for drink driving, the court has to be satisfied that all procedures have been followed correctly.  Never forget that evidence can be challenged by a defendant who does not accept that he is guilty of drink driving or that there has been a significant failure by the police when carrying out the investigation.  The courts have held that any failure by a police officer to adhere to strict procedures when obtaining samples can be fatal to a prosecution for drink driving
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Dangerous Driving
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.

 
 

Proving Who the Driver is
The Road Traffic Act imposes a strict duty upon defendants to disclose the identity of drivers in these situations.  If you face a prosecution for failure to disclose the identity of the driver, you should contact us immediately.  We recommend that you speak to us prior to signing any documents and you should do this as soon as you receive them.
Just because the law seems onerous and puts strict duties upon people, do not assume that there are no defences to failure to disclose the identity of the driver of a motor vehicle.  There are, and success may well depend upon the speed with which you act when you are prosecuted.  Contact us immediately.

 
     

Dangerous Driving

Remember, if any potential prosecution 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
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:

  1. the way he drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and
  2. 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.

The offence of dangerous driving has to be distinguished from the less serious offence of careless driving because to be guilty of dangerous driving the standard of driving has to fall FAR below  the standard of a competent driver.

On this point alone there is often strenuous legal argument by the defence team as to the level at which a person has been charged.  Obviously the prime aim of any defence is to secure an acquittal but if this is not possible, we would always use every effort to have the level of charge brought as low as possible.  This is where a skilled advocate can argue that, for example, the driving was not dangerous, merely careless which can obviously significantly reduce the penalties.

There are two aspects to the offence of dangerous driving that the prosecution have to prove.  Firstly that the standard of driving fell far below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver.  Secondly it also has to be shown that it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

As your defence team we would make no concessions to the prosecution and ensure that they comply precisely with the requirements of proving dangerous driving.

The standard of driving required is the same for all drivers irrespective of their experience.  Therefore the standard is the same for a learner driver as it would be for an experienced,  professional driver.

If there has been a road traffic accident the prosecution may call expert accident investigators to try to prove dangerous driving.  Do not believe that such evidence cannot be attacked or undermined.  It can.  we are experts at cross examining witnesses and sometimes expert cross examination of a witness can have devastating effects upon the value of their evidence.

Also in the preparation of your defence, we would consider if it is necessary to locate and instruct an expert accident investigator on your behalf to counter any prosecution evidence.  Just because you have had a car crash doesn’t mean you are absolutely guilty of dangerous driving.  You may have a perfectly reasonable explanation for what happened.  You need our expertise  in presenting this explanation to the court when you face an allegation of dangerous driving.

DEFENCES
There are several situations that may give rise to a defence to dangerous driving.  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 take.  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.

There are also situations where the defence of duress can apply to dangerous driving.  A person may have driven a car in a dangerous way due to fear or threat.  This is a technical legal area and to mount this defence you need our help.

It is also now accepted that ‘necessity’ can be a defence of dangerous driving.  You may feel you had no choice but to drive in the manner you did.  Again detailed knowledge of the case law is essential.  By instructing us you gain access to this knowledge to give you the best chance of avoiding a conviction of dangerous driving. There are situations where dangerous driving is permitted by the law but these are very limited and will require powerful argument by us, in court, on your behalf.

Dangerous driving is an offence that can be heard in either the Magistrates or Crown Court.  the case can be tried by the Magistrates Court if both the court and the defendant agree.  If not, the case will be tried before a jury in the Crown Court.

Dangerous driving allegations may be sent to the Crown Court for trial if any of the factors below are present

  1. alcohol or drugs contribute to the dangerous driving
  2. grossly excessive speed
  3. racing
  4. prolonged course of dangerous driving
  5. other related offences
  6. 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.

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 disqualification.

Click on the links below or in the side boxes to see full details and how we can help you
 
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Remember, if any potential prosecution 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, Contact us now!!

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  Careless Driving
This motoring offence actually has a very wide definition.  The driver does not have to be driving a motor vehicle but any mechanically propelled vehicle and the offence can take place not only on public roads but any other place to which the public has access.  As dedicated defence lawyers we will not shy away from questioning, exposing and exploiting any weakness in a prosecution case against any of our clients who face an allegation of careless driving.

 
  Driving Without Insurance
Allegations of no insurance often occur when an employee is driving a company car.  The employer may be prosecuted for no insurance if the vehicle driven by the employee is not insured.  The employer or employee should contact us immediately in this scenario because he is regarded as having control, management or operation of the vehicle and is regarded as ‘using’ it for the purpose of a no insurance prosecution.
 
 

Failure To Stop After an Accident
In a prosecution for failure to stop we advise that you contact us immediately.  There is a strict duty upon motorists to stop and provide information, to people who reasonably request it, after an accident involving damage to property or injury to a person.
It is important to note that you can be guilty of failure to stop even if the accident is no fault of yours.
As with lot of road traffic offences, failing to stop is widely defined.  It does not have to involve a motor vehicle as the Act refers to mechanically propelled vehicle.  The definition of ‘accident’ tends to be regarded in a common sense way.  Any ‘injury’ to a person does not have to be physical injury and can even include nervous shock.

 
  Avoid a Driving Ban

Therefore even if you are convicted of an offence or there is no viable defence to it, we believe as expert traffic lawyers that we can help you.

The law has very clearly stated what amounts to ‘special reasons’ and this often causes confusion in the mind of the lay person.  We advise that you contact us as soon as you are aware of a prosecution in order that the issue of ‘special reasons’ can be discussed.
In order to establish ‘special reasons’ for not endorsing a licence or not disqualifying it will usually be essential to call evidence to satisfy the court of this.

 
     
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