Road traffic offences for driving hazardously
In law there are two definitions of dangerous driving; the first is defined as driving that would be considered to fall far below the standard of a competent and safe driver. This is qualified by the assertion that the driving would be recognised as dangerous by a competent and safe driver. The second definition is that it is obvious that the state of the car is dangerous, regardless of the competency of the driving. Dangerous is defined by causing danger of injury to any person, or serious damage to property.
If you are to be prosecuted for dangerous driving you will need to be issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution. Possible defences for a dangerous driving charge include:
- Duress: if there was unlawful pressure upon the defendant that forced them to drive dangerously.
- Necessity: arguing that it was necessary for dangerous driving to be undertaken because of someone else’s indiscretion.
The defence of a dangerous driving charge will rest upon the facts of each individual case so it is strongly urged that you Find a Solicitor to aid your defence should you be charged.
If taken to court the punishments could be as follows:
- Crown Court – Maximum 2 years prison sentence, unlimited fine, mandatory disqualification and an extended driving test to regain your licence
- Magistrates Court – Maximum 6 months prison sentence, £5000 fine and disqualification from driving
Causing serious injury by dangerous driving
From December 3, 2012 there has been a separate offence carrying a steeper punishment, namely causing injury by dangerous driving. The maximum sentence for this offence is five years in prison. The newly created offence created something of a middle ground between normal dangerous driving offences and causing death by dangerous driving or careless driving.
For the purposes of this new offence, serious injury is defined as physical harm which amounts of grievous bodily harm (GBH).
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