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Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 2: Dangerous DrivingDangerous driving is a serious offence, typically prosecuted at Sheriff Court level. Justices of the Peace in Scotland are not permitted to preside over cases of this nature, perhaps thankfully, due to insufficient sentencing powers. If your dangerous driving case is to be prosecuted in Glasgow, you will probably find yourself within the Justice of the Peace Court however your case will be considered by a Stipendiary Magistrate. Michael Lyon Solicitors Limited provide representation throughout all Scottish Courts and therefore distance is never an impediment to requesting our expert assistance.
The minimum penalty, if convicted, of an offence under Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is an obligatory twelve month disqualification from holding or obtaining a driving licence. There is also an associated order to resit the extended test of competency to drive. It is worth noting that this represents the sentencing starting point and more serious cases can result in the imposition of a custodial sentence, including up to two years on indictment. Your vehicle may also be forfeited in connection with the proceedings, subject to successful application by the Crown.
Whilst many of us may have an idea of what constitutes dangerous driving, there is a strict two stage test applied by the Courts in Scotland. Firstly the Crown requires to prove that the standard of driving falls far below what would be expected of a reasonable and competent driver. Thereafter, it needs to be demonstrated that it would be obvious to such a driver that the manner of driving is dangerous. This definition may seem to be unnecessarily complicated, however it is essentially for the Sheriff or Stipendiary Magistrate to consider the evidence as a whole and assess whether the offence has been proved by the Crown beyond reasonable doubt.
The stage at which a plea of guilty is entered is now a relevant consideration in road traffic cases. Historically, no discount would be applied to either the level of endorsement or length of disqualification for early pleas of guilty however an accused is now eligible for a discount if the plea is tendered at an early stage in the proceedings. Whilst this clarification in the law has affected our advice in relation to some cases, it is our considered view that dangerous driving charges in Scotland will continue to be fully defended as experience dictates that our clients are only interested avoiding disqualification.
Michael Lyon Solicitors Limited already has the proven track record. We are proud to be free of the constraints of legal aid and have no interest in any other type of work. The recent proliferation of law Firms in Scotland professing a similar degree of specialism in road traffic cases can only be taken as a compliment. We are keen however to ensure that potential clients who demand the highest level of representation are not misled by claims of success rate targets and hollow guarantees.
We believe it is our reputation, not google ranking, that sets us apart.