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.
Failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident are offences which can attract a wide range of penalties. The scope of the Court to impose a prison sentence, fine, penalty points and driving ban on those who are guilty is broad because of the varying circumstances surrounding such an offence.
This week has seen two extreme examples of circumstances where this offence applies.
The first is the case of Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, who is in hot-water for failing to stop after he accidentally crashed into a parked car whilst undertaking a seven-point turn in his Ford Mondeo Estate.
The collision was caught on CCTV and the police traced the vehicle registration back to Mr Balls who said that he, “was aware the two bumpers touched. But had no idea damage had been done.”
In this case, Mr Balls has admitted his mistake, apologised and offered to pay for the cost of repairs to the other vehicle. As yet, it is not clear if the police intend to prosecute him.
However, in the ‘hit and run’ case involving Sheffield teenager, Jasmyn Chan, there is no doubt that a prosecution will take place. Jasmyn was killed after she was knocked down by a car on Normanton Hill in Sheffield on 9th May. The driver failed to stop at the scene of the accident and also faces the charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
The offence of failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident can attract the following penalties:
- Imprisonment up to 6 months
- Fine up to £5,000
- Discretionary ban
- 5-10 penalty points
We specialise in advising and representing drivers who have been charged with this offence, so get in touch via the website or free phone number for a free initial consultation.