Dangerous and careless driving

"Bad" Driving Cases

Road traffic cases in England and Wales involving "bad" driving are generally prosecuted either as Driving Without Due Care and Attention or else as Dangerous Driving.

Due Care cases involve lesser forms of bed driving, such as when an accident occurs due to momentary inattention on the part of the driver. Drivers convicted of this offence may be disqualified from driving but if not the court must impose up to nine penalty points on the driver's licence.

Dangerous Driving cases are an altogether different proposition. These involve the worst sorts of bad driving and are treated very seriously. A driver convicted of this offence must be disqualified from driving for at least twelve months. At the end of the ban, the driver must take and pass an extended driving test before his full licence can be returned to him. Those convicted of Dangerous Driving face the possibility of imprisonment.

A frequent problem with bad driving cases is that that it is not always easy to say whether a particular piece of driving ought to be regarded  as without due care or dangerous.  When dealing with a motorist charged with Dangerous Driving we often try to persuade the Crown Prosecution Service or the court itself that the driving ought more properly be viewed as merely careless.

Fatal Road Traffic Accidents

Where the defendant's bad driving has caused someone's death then special charges will be brought to reflect this. The penalty that the court will impose will be higher than for a straightforward case not involving death.

A defendant convicted of causing death by dangerous driving will almost always receive a prison sentence.  On the other hand, a defendant convicted of causing death by careless driving may not.

Such cases are obviously very sensitive. Addressing the court requires both care and great experience.  All of our advocates have dealt with such cases during the course of their careers.

Legal Aid

It is usually possible to apply for Legal Aid in bad driving cases. Subject to the defendant passing a means test, the defendant may be granted Legal Aid in a Due Care case and it will almost always be granted in a Dangerous Driving case.  If the case has to go to the Crown Court then Legal Aid is available to all defendants.