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Driving Without Due Care And Attention

A driver commits the offence of driving without due care and attention, also known as careless driving, or driving without reasonable consideration for other persons (inconsiderate driving), if the way they drive falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

The magistrates can impose an unusually wide range of penalty points for this offence, ranging from 3 to 9.  If the imposition of these points brings someone’s total up to 12 penalty points or more then the court has to disqualify that person from driving for 6 months, unless “exceptional hardship” can be shown.  Our specialist road traffic solicitor, Philip Hatvany, has an unusually high success rate of over 94% (average over the last 8 years) for saving people’s licences who find themselves in this position.

If the magistrates don’t impose penalty points for a careless driving offence then they have to disqualify, and they can disqualify for as long as they see fit. They can also impose a fine of up to £2500. Therefore, if you face such an allegation, contact us immediately.

 

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Examples of Careless Driving

Driving without due care and attention and inconsiderate driving are both aspects of careless driving . However, driving without due care and attention tends to be in relation to lapses in concentration, or loss of control of the vehicle, while inconsiderate driving tends to be more aggressive driving.

Some common examples of driving without due care and attention are as follows;

  • overtaking on the inside
  • driving too close to a vehicle
  • short distractions such as tuning a car radio
  • eating or drinking while driving
  • pulling out from a side road into the path of another vehicle
  • looking at a map while driving
  • lightly colliding with another vehicle

Some common examples of inconsiderate driving are as follows;

  • using un-dipped headlights to dazzle other drivers
  • forcing other drivers to give way by flashing lights
  • aggressively braking to intimidate the car behind

There are an unlimited number of other possible scenarios.

Defences In Relation To Careless Driving

Philip Hatvany, our motoring law specialist solicitor, has won 85% (average over the last 8 years) of his trials involving motoring offences.  In relation to careless driving allegations, he has identified numerous defences for clients.  However, the most common defence is that the standard of driving was, in fact, reasonable in the circumstances.  It is down to the Crown Prosecution Service to prove the offence of careless driving beyond reasonable doubt.  In order to try and do this they may, at a Magistrates Court trial, call prosecution witnesses to strengthen the allegation against you.  It is important that you have an experienced motoring defence solicitor who can cross-examine these prosecution witnesses and, where possible, undermine the accounts they have given.  This may involve your solicitor questioning police officers, road users and bystanders about what they think they saw and whether they could have been mistaken.  In order to do this, your solicitor may have to ask the prosecution witnesses such questions as;

  • how far away from the incident they were?
  • whether they were travelling at the time and, if so, how fast?
  • whether they were distracted at the time by anything?
  • whether they wear glasses and if they were wearing these at the time?
  • if they had drunk any alcohol before witnessing the incident?
  • whether it was getting dark and how good was the visibility?
  • whether anything was obstructing their view?

These are just a few examples and there will always be many more questions to put forward in relation to a specific case.

At the end of your trial, your solicitor will have a chance to make a closing speech.  It is important that he uses this opportunity to point out any inconsistencies between what the different prosecution witnesses have said and thereby weaken the prosecution case against you.

Also, a good motoring law solicitor should consider, at a trial for careless driving, the possibility of calling witnesses on your behalf to support your account that you were driving in a reasonable fashion.  Speeding Law Solicitors also sometimes call expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction experts, to point out that the account given by the prosecution simply could not have been the case.  Philip Hatvany, our specialist solicitor, recently had a case where the client was accused of crashing his vehicle into a motorbike.  The accident reconstruction expert that Mr Hatvany used demonstrated how, taking into account where the damage was on the vehicles, it must have in fact been the motorbike that crashed into the client’s car and not vice versa.  Accordingly the client was found not guilty.

Our philosophy at Speeding Law Solicitors is to prepare very carefully for trials of this type so that the prosecution can never surprise us in the Magistrates Court.  This preparation takes time but as we offer fixed fees as a method of payment for clients we can spend as long as it takes without your bill increasing.

It may also transpire that your legal expense insurance will cover our fees.  A lot of our clients don’t even realise that they have legal expense insurance.  It may be a part of your contents insurance, car insurance, or your emergency car breakdown cover etc.  Therefore, if you face an allegation of careless driving, you should first check through all your policies.  If you do find that you have this cover, then your legal expense insurers will probably try to insist that you use one of their solicitors from their panel.  They want you to do this because it is cheaper for them.  However, we can guarantee that your legal expense insurance policy will say that you can use a solicitors’ firm of your choice and therefore you should insist upon this.

Why You Should Use Speeding Law Solicitors If You Are Facing An Allegation Of Careless Driving

We are the leading experts at defending careless driving allegations.  Philip Hatvany, our specialist solicitor, will, however, tell you at an early stage if no defence is available to you.  If this is the case, then Mr Hatvany will be able to prepare a well structured argument in mitigation ( a plea for leniency) as to why the magistrates should not disqualify you.  He will usually make sure that such an argument is backed up by documentation in support of this, for example letters from your employer, partner, or doctor, showing the devastating impact the disqualification would have on you and your family.  It is with this careful preparation that Mr Hatvany almost always saves clients driving licences.

Mr Hatvany often attends Reading, Oxford, Portsmouth, Bath, Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton, Birmingham and Coventry Magistrates' Courts.  If your hearing is further away, then we have a select pool of barristers and solicitors, located across England and Wales, who can assist under Mr Hatvany’s supervision. In these cases Mr Hatvany would carry out all the preparation.  If you face an allegation of careless driving, call Mr Hatvany now for a FREE telephone conversation on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110.

Causing Death by Careless or Inconsiderate Driving

This is a far more serious offence. In order to prove this offence the prosecution would have to show;

  1. that your driving fell below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver
    AND
  2. that your driving was a cause of the death of another

If the prosecution fail to prove beyond reasonable doubt that either of the above elements were true then you will be found not guilty.

The Penalty for Causing Death by Careless or Inconsiderate Driving

This is an offence which can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.  If you are found guilty of this offence in the Crown Court the maximum prison sentence is 5 years.  In the Magistrates Court it is 6 months.  Irrespective of which court you are sentenced in there is also a mandatory driving disqualification of a minimum of twelve months.  It is also in the court’s discretion to order an extended driving test to be passed as well before the convicted person can drive again.

Why you should Contact Speeding Law Solicitors if you are Accused of Causing Death by Careless or Inconsiderate Driving

The court treats this offence very seriously and often imposes prison sentences.  There are, however, numerous defences which may be available, therefore, if you face such an allegation ring Philip Hatvany, our leading specialist motoring solicitor, now for a FREE telephone consultation on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110.