Careless & Dangerous Driving
If you are convicted of careless driving, you can be given anywhere between 3 and 9 penalty points, and in the worst cases, the court will consider disqualification. If you already have penalty points on your licence, this might mean that you are left with a total of 12 points, resulting in an immediate disqualification from driving – at best an inconvenience, but at worst, financial disaster for those whose livelihoods depend on being able to drive.
As barristers, we know how best to challenge the evidence against you in court and present your case to the magistrates in the very best light. We are your best chance of avoiding a criminal conviction, penalty points, and possible disqualification.
Dangerous driving is a more serious offence than careless driving, attracting even harsher sentences. Anyone convicted of dangerous driving is automatically disqualified for at least 12 months, and must pass an extended driving test before they are ever allowed to drive again. But punishments go even further than that: in the most serious cases, you might find yourself going to prison. With so much at stake, can you afford to have anything but the best representation?
Some dangerous driving cases are so serious that the rules do not allow us to take instructions directly from clients, although we are happy to recommend good criminal solicitors who will usually instruct a barrister on your behalf.
In less serious cases, we are happy to represent you on a direct access basis, without the need for a solicitor. We can help you go through and understand the police evidence in the case, and decide upon the best course of action. Sometimes it makes sense to take the case to trial, when we can use our skills to challenge and undermine the police evidence in court. In other cases, it is less risky to admit the offence and let us persuade the court to pass the most lenient sentence possible. Whichever course you decide to take, we will be supporting you throughout, giving you the best chance of avoiding a prison sentence.
Driverless cars were once the preserve of science-fiction films, but from January 2015 they will be a reality on the UK roads. But what about the law that currently governs road users? How will they apply to driverless cars being used on public roads?
Just because a car can be driven autonomously, this won’t mean that drivers are released from all of their obligations. The term ‘driverless vehicle’ covers all sorts of functions that already exist on many cars already – such as cruise control, automatic braking and self-parking functions.
However, the government recognises that driverless vehicles have implications for the laws and regulations governing public roads. That’s why they are currently reviewing the legal and insurance issues surrounding driverless cars. The results of this review and the regulatory changes required will be announced at the end of the year, so if you’re thinking of getting a driverless car for Christmas, make sure you also get the low down on what new laws will govern you.
There is no doubt that whilst the technological hurdles surrounding driverless cars have been overcome, the legal hurdles are yet to come! So watch this space for details.