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Dangerous Driving

You will be committing the offence of dangerous driving if the way that you drive is found to fall far below what would be expected of a careful and competent driver, and it would be obvious to a careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

Dangerous driving is one of the most serious road traffic offences.  Such a case can be heard in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.  If you are sentenced in the Magistrates Court you can be sent to prison for up to 6 months.  If you are sentenced in the Crown Court, you can be sentenced for up to 2 years in prison.  Irrespective of which court sentences you, you must be banned from driving for at least a year and you cannot drive again until you pass an extended driving test.  if you face such an allegation, it is essential that you have help from a leading motoring offence solicitor.

 

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Examples of Dangerous Driving

Some typical examples of allegations of dangerous driving that our specialist motoring law solicitor Philip Hatvany has dealt with are where the driver was;

  • racing another vehicle
  • overtaking on a corner
  • ignoring traffic lights and road signs
  • looking at a map while driving
  • reading a book while driving
  • driving on the pavement

There are many other examples of dangerous driving.

Defences in Relation to Dangerous Driving

Philip Hatvany is the leading road traffic law specialist solicitor.  He has an 85% success rate (average over the last 8 years) in relation to trials for motoring offences.  He is a very skilled solicitor at identifying defences in dangerous driving cases.  The most common defence is that the standard of driving did not fall far below that of a competent and careful driver.  The prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone drove dangerously.  To try and do this, they will probably call prosecution witnesses to give oral evidence at a trial in support of this allegation.  It is crucial that you have a skilled solicitor representing you who can cross-examine these witnesses and potentially undermine their accounts.  This can be done by your solicitor asking them a series of questions at the trial such as;

  • how far they were from the incident?
  • whether they themselves were responsible for any damage or injury?
  • if they wear glasses and whether they were wearing them at the time?
  • had they consumed alcohol before the incident took place?
  • whether there was anything obstructing their view?
  • what the weather conditions were like and how good was the visibility?
  • was it getting dark?
  • if they have previous convictions for not telling the truth?

This list just gives you a flavour of some of the questions that your solicitor may ask in cross-examining a prosecution witness.  At a real trial, Mr Hatvany, our specialist solicitor would ask many more questions, often cross-examining a single prosecution witness for over forty-five minutes.  At the end of the trial, Mr Hatvany very often in his closing speech will point out inconsistencies between what different prosecution witnesses have said during the hearing and thereby undermine the prosecution case.

Mr Hatvany will also attempt to call witnesses in support of your defence.  Also frequently in cases where there has been an accident Mr Hatvany will bring in an accident reconstruction expert to demonstrate to the court how, scientifically, the client could not have been responsible for the incident.

Someone doesn’t have to always be driving badly to be guilty of dangerous driving.  You could be pursued for dangerous driving if your vehicle was just in a dangerous condition, for example the brakes weren’t working properly.  However, if the problem with the vehicle was not obvious to a competent and careful driver, then this would constitute a defence.  For instance, the vehicle had recently been serviced and no problems had been identified and before that particular journey the brakes had appeared to be working properly.

Our philosophy at Speeding Law Solicitors is to prepare so well that there can never be any surprises at trial.  Obviously, such a degree of preparation takes time.  However, we offer our clients a fixed fee payment system (where payment can also be made by instalments).  This way you know in advance exactly how much you are going to pay and that there are no hidden extras.  By paying through a fixed fee it also means we can put in the extra hours work without your bill increasing.

Some of our clients have covered our legal fees with their legal expense insurance.  A lot of legal expense insurers will try to insist that one of their own panel of solicitors firms is used in order to reduce their costs.  However, your legal expense insurance policy will definitely allow you to use our firm if you insist upon this.  Many people are not even aware that they have legal expense insurance.  It may be included in your contents insurance, your car insurance, your home insurance or your car emergency breakdown policies etc.  Therefore if you face such an allegation, the first thing you should do is check through your policies to see whether you have this cover.

Arguing for the Dangerous Driving Allegation to be Replaced by Careless Driving

There is a huge difference in relation to the court’s sentencing powers for the offence of dangerous driving compared to the offence of careless driving.  Most importantly, careless driving is a non-imprisonable offence.  If we feel there is a danger of a conviction for dangerous driving if we go to trial we may offer the prosecution a guilty plea to careless driving instead.  Sometimes, the knowledge that at least the Crown Prosecution Service will get a definite conviction for something will encourage them to accept such an offer.  Often in persuading the prosecution to take such an offer, we will also use case law to show that careless driving was in fact the more suitable offence anyway and that the driver should not have been charged with dangerous driving in the first place.

Why you should use Speeding Law Solicitors for your Dangerous Driving Case

We are specialists at defending dangerous driving allegations.  Even where no defence can be found, our road traffic law solicitor Philip Hatvany is an expert at preparing mitigation (pleas for leniency) to be heard before the court.  Often, because of this careful preparation, prison sentences can be avoided as the court can be persuaded to sentence in some other way.  Philip Hatvany will frequently make sure that such arguments for leniency are backed with good letters from people who would be affected adversely if you lost your liberty.  Mr Hatvany works at a great number of Magistrates Courts including Reading, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bath, Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford, Cardiff and Bristol Magistrates' Courts.      He also frequently attends Magistrates Courts in London. If your hearing is in a Magistrates Court further afield, or if your case ends up taking place in the Crown Court, then we will instruct one of our experienced barristers, from our select pool, to represent you.  Mr Hatvany will still prepare your case and the barrister in question will act under his close supervision.

If you face an allegation of dangerous driving, call Philip Hatvany now for a FREE telephone consultation on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110.

Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving

This offence is even more serious. The prosecution would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were driving dangerously, and that it resulted in another person suffering serious physical injury.

The Penalty for Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving

This offence can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.  The maximum prison sentence in the Magistrates Court is 6 months.  In the Crown Court the maximum prison sentence is 5 years.  Whether you are sentenced in either court there has to be a driving disqualification of at least 2 years.  Also you can’t drive again till you pass an extended driving test.

Death by Dangerous Driving

This is the most serious road traffic offence of all. For you to be found guilty of death by dangerous driving the prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were driving dangerously and that the driving was at least partially responsible for a person’s death.  The driving does not have to be the only cause of death.

The Penalty for Death by Dangerous Driving

The maximum prison sentence is 14 years.  There has to be a minimum of a 2 year driving disqualification and an extended driving test has to be passed before you can drive again.

Why you should Contact us if you are Accused of Death by Dangerous Driving or Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving

These are far more serious offences than if you were convicted just for dangerous driving.  A conviction for one of these offences almost always results in a prison sentence.  Once more, at Speeding Law Solicitors we are very skilled at identifying defences. So if you face such an allegation call our road traffic specialist solicitor, Philip Hatvany, for a FREE telephone consultation on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110.