Dangerous Driving is defined in law as:
- Driving that falls far below the standard of a competent and careful driver;
- Driving that would obviously seem dangerous to a competent and careful driver.
Some typical examples of Dangerous Driving are:
- Racing, going too fast or driving aggressively;
- Ignoring traffic lights, road signals or warning from passengers;
- Overtaking dangerously and undertaking;
- Driving under the influence of drink or drugs;
- Driving when unfit including having and injury, being unable to see clearly, having taken prescribed drugs or being sleepy;
- Being distracted whilst driving e.g. reading a map, smoking, eating, drinking, driving using a mobile phone, driving a vehicle knowing it has a dangerous fault or an unsafe load.
The Court Process
If you are considered for prosecution for Dangerous Driving then you should be provided with a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days unless, through police involvement, you have already been charged to attend Court.
The offence of Dangerous Driving is known as an ‘either way offence’ which means that it can be heard either in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.
The Magistrates have a number of guidelines that they will consider when deciding whether the case is suitable to be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.
The maximum penalty that can be imposed in the Magistrates’ Court is a fine and up to 6 months imprisonment and a minimum period of 1 year mandatory disqualification followed by a compulsory extended driving re-test before you can legally drive again.
In the Crown Court there are wider powers and the Court can impose sentences up to a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, a minimum 12 month driving ban with the same compulsory extended driving re-test as in the Magistrates’ Court.
What is the Extended Driving Test?
Whilst similar to the conventional test, it involves more driving manoeuvres over a greater variety of roads and it can last longer than the conventional test.
Defences to a charge of Dangerous Driving
Possible defences include the following:
- You dispute that your driving fell below that expected of a competent and careful motorist;
- Necessity / duress, where you feel that you had no alternative but to drive in the chosen manner in order, for example, to flee from the threat of violence;
- Mechanical defect, which may have led to the manner of the driving or loss of control of driving;
- Medical condition. There could be a variety of medical conditions that led you to drive your vehicle dangerously or lead you to lose control of your vehicle.
It may be necessary to obtain expert evidence to support your defence.
Kangs Solicitors have worked closely over many years with some of the best experts involved in motoring situations who can, for example, reconstruct the circumstances of the alleged offence or highlight any evidential failings in the prosecution case.
How Kangs Solicitors Can Help
Kangs Solicitors have a dedicated team experienced in representing defendants in motoring matters.
If you are arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, you can contact us from the police station by asking the custody sergeant to phone our emergency number which is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Kangs Solicitors will scrutinize the prosecution evidence, explain it to you, and discuss with you any potential avenues of defence.
Should you decide to plead guilty to the offence, Kangs Solicitors will present your mitigation with a view to limiting the sentence passed by the Court as far as is possible in the circumstances.