facing a very difficult situation of a lengthy ban Dominic managed to fight my corner which resulted in a more manageable short term ban. What I liked about Dominic was that he was very straight talking and was very honest. … Continued
Dangerous Driving Offences: Bans & Penalties
Section 2 Road Traffic Act 1988
Dangerous Driving Offences are one of the most serious road traffic offences, attracting punishments of mandatory disqualification for a minimum period of 12 months, a fine and the requirement to re-sit the extended driving test. A person, therefore, remains disqualified until they re-sit the appropriate driving test. Longer periods of disqualification will apply depending on the gravity of the driving and if the driver has previously been disqualified. In the most serious cases of dangerous driving, a prison sentence of 2 years can be imposed.
Most cases of dangerous driving in Scotland are prosecuted at Sheriff Court Level. In Glasgow, however, most cases of this type will call before a Stipendiary Magistrate within the Justice of the Peace Court. Some cases will proceed before the High Court where much higher penalties can be imposed.
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"I firmly believe every motorist is entitled to expert road traffic advice"
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I was facing multiple charges and Dominic sorted Everything out. I’m absolutely delighted by the outcome. And would recommend him to anyone needing a road traffic lawyer.
Recently hired Dominic for a speeding charge I recieved. My experience was first class from start to finish upfront cost no hidden charges and communication from Dominic at all times was amazing only a phonecall away.
Many thanks for all your efforts in getting the speeding charge against me dropped. I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of you and your firm. From the outset you were very clear about the process and procedures … Continued
I would like to express my gratitude to Mr Sellar for the way in which he represented me when faced with a dangerous driving charge or alternatively speeding charge. He came across as knowledgeable and professional with his advice that … Continued
My brother recently used the services of Dominic Sellar & Co for a road traffic offence, and we’re very glad he did! The charges against him were dropped, in no small measure down to the expertise of Dominic. Wouldn’t hesitate … Continued
I would like to thank Dominic and his team for a great outcome in court. I would highly recommend him to anyone facing traffic charges. His fee was also very reasonable.
From the start to the end Mr Sellar came Cross as a highly intelligent man and it wasn’t until in the courtroom the real level of his intelligence and knowledge for road traffic law shone through. The end result is, … Continued
Thank You so much for representing me in my court cases. I am more than happy to provide a recommendation…
I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for the care and attention you showed to my mum when you recently represented her in court. This was an extremely anxious time for my mum and your professional yet … Continued
Thank you for getting the very best result for me today. I truly appreciate the expertise and knowledge that you have and how this has enabled me to retain my very precious driving license. I will have no hesitation in … Continued
Thank you so much for all your help and representation with my case at Lanark Sheriff Court. My license is essential, your expect advice and representation at trial saved my licence and my job. Thanks again, I would highly recommend … Continued
What is Dangerous Driving?
A person commits the offence of dangerous driving if:
- the way they drive falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and
- it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.
A person can also be convicted of dangerous driving if they knowingly drive a vehicle which is in a dangerous condition. If, for example, a person drives a vehicle which has an obvious defect with the brakes that, in itself, would be enough to constitute the offence of dangerous driving.
Dangerous, in this context, refers to the danger of injury to any person and/or serious damage to property. Even if there is no actual injury or damage to property the offence can still arise if the standard of driving has the potential to cause injury or damage.
Examples of Dangerous Driving
Dangerous driving can arise in almost any circumstance and includes aggressive driving, overtaking in the face of on-coming traffic or other dangers, excessive speed for the road or conditions, racing, disregarding traffic signals or attempting to carry out other tasks while driving, such as, reading a map or using a mobile phone. Each case will depend on its own circumstances. A combination of manoeuvres which, in themselves, would not amount to dangerous driving might when taken together amount to dangerous driving, such as undertaking at excessive speed.
Defences to Dangerous Driving
In deciding whether the driving complained of amounts to dangerous driving consideration must be given to “any explanation offered by the accused driver which shows that his driving in the particular circumstances did not possess the quality of recklessness at the material time”. The accused may simply deny the incident took place or indeed that he was the driver. He may claim that the incident has been exaggerated or that there was a reason for why he drove as he did. An unknown mechanical defect may also provide a defence as will cases that involve an emergency, necessity or duress. These types of defence may also operate as Special Reasons for not disqualifying the driver.
Careless, Not Dangerous!
In a large number of cases, a driver will accept that his driving fell below an acceptable standard, but does not accept that it amounts to Dangerous Driving. In this situation, it may be possible to persuade the Court to accept that the driving amounts to Careless Driving and not Dangerous Driving. The prosecution may also be persuaded to remove some of the more aggravating features of the charge. This will significantly reduce the penalties and, if a charge is reduced to Careless Driving, disqualification may be avoided altogether by the imposition of penalty points.
Difference between Dangerous & Careless Driving
There is often a grey area between Dangerous Driving and Careless Driving. The test and legal definition are quite similar and for this reason, Careless Driving is described as an alternative charge to Dangerous Driving. What this means is that even if there is not enough evidence to establish Dangerous Driving the court can still convict a person of Careless Driving if the circumstances and evidence show that the required standard has not been met. However, the consequences that apply are very different, which is why anyone facing a Dangerous Driving or Careless Driving charge should obtain specialist legal advice.
Causing Death by Dangerous Driving
Where dangerous driving results in a death, the sentence is one of a minimum period of 2 years disqualification and a prison sentence of up to 14 years. There must be a causal link between the dangerous driving and the fatality. Even where death has occurred from a driving incident a charge of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving may be reduced to the lesser charge of Careless and Inconsiderate Driving.
How we can help
The law relating to dangerous driving is technical and complex. Our experience with dangerous driving charges is that a large number of these prosecutions can be successfully defended. Our expertise in this area will quickly determine the best option for you. If prospects for success are low we will concentrate on damage limitation. As specialist road traffic lawyers we are best placed to offer the right advice. We pride ourselves in offering a service that is friendly, reliable and honest. For free advice that is without pressure or obligation simply contact us:
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