Death by careless or inconsiderate driving is also a serious motoring offence, albeit slightly less serious than death by dangerous driving. It is a criminal offence under the provisions of the Road Traffic Offences Act 1988 nonetheless and carries with it some equally significant penalties such as a substantial custodial sentence. Careless driving sentences vary depending on where the trial takes place and the surrounding circumstances which may either intensify or lessen the seriousness of the offence. The maximum penalty for death by careless or inconsiderate driving on when tried on indictment in the Crown Court is 5 years imprisonment.
If you are charged with the criminal offence of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving and the case is tried in the Magistrate’s Court, the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving is 6 months imprisonment. Other careless driving penalties include mandatory disqualification for 12 months and endorsement of points (between 3 and 11). The provisions of section 36(4) of the Road Traffic Offences Act stipulate a discretionary re-test at the end of the disqualification period. A careless driving charge is brought where the prosecution believes that in contravention of the provisions of section 3 of the Road Traffic Offences Act 1988, the offender was driving without due care for other road users and the general public. The test of what constitutes ‘due care’ in this regard is whether or not the person’s driving fell below the care and standard that any reasonable and competent driver would have applied to their driving.
Whereas most straightforward and non fatal motoring accidents are covered and settled by insurance companies, where a driver is found to have been careless and as a result causing an accident which could otherwise have been avoided, the situation becomes significantly different and more serious. Drivers charged with careless, reckless and or driving without due care and attention are almost always subsequently prosecuted by the Police. If you have already been notified therefore of the Polices’ intention to charge you with careless driving, please do not leave matters to chance in the hope that these charges will be dropped. Equity aids the vigilant and not the indolent.
Causing Death by Careless Driving
Cases of causing death by careless driving will definitely warrant a charge and trial. You will need the legal assistance and guidance of specialised careless driving solicitors. Our strong advice to you is that you act fast and call us! By doing so, you provide us with adequate time and opportunity to commence work on your case well in advance of any hearing. Our detailed case preparation in defence of careless or reckless driving charge you may be facing will include thorough scrutinising of the evidence being relied upon the Police, speaking to any eye witnesses, if and where applicable, visiting the site of the accident and deriving from all the collated facts and surrounding circumstances, how best to represent you in court. Where necessary, the assistance of forensic experts may be sought and secured for a detailed analysis of any information derivable from the scene of the accident. Our primary aim in cases of death by dangerous or death by careless and inconsiderate driving is to explore every chance of keeping our client out of prison and reducing the charges where possible. Careless diving, reckless driving and negligent charges may attract significantly lower penalties than where any of these motoring offences results in death. Reckless and careless driving penalties in most cases are limited to a driving ban, monetary fine and possible unpaid community service.
Whereas motoring offences are either way offences, the deciding factor remains whether or not you are contesting the driving offence charge or the allegation that you were driving without due care and attention. The argument may be that you were indeed not careless at the time of the accident but had in fact been avoiding what could have ended up constituting a bigger disaster; such as avoiding a child stepping out onto the road at the last minute and swerving into another car for instance. We would therefore take the argument further in such an instance that your driving had indeed not fallen below the standard expected of and applied by a reasonable and competent driver. You had simply been reacting in a manner most other reasonable drivers would have; avoid hitting a child or any pedestrian who steps into the road at the last minute. All you have to do is to provide our driving offences solicitors with all the details and leave the technicalities to our highly accomplished team of lawyers. Even where there are hardly any mitigating circumstances to rely upon in defending your case, the court’s leniency may nevertheless be invoked. This may be particularly effective where it can be argued that any harsh sentence such as disqualification will bring a significant financial hardship to you and your family. Although a careless driving conviction is more likely to attract penalty points and monetary penalty, if aggravating factors such as a history of driving offences exist, the driver may also be facing disqualification. At London’s most prominent criminal defence law networks, we are confident that even the most seemingly hopeless cases can be turned around in our clients’ favour. You need us on your side.