Dangerous Driving in Edinburgh
We were approached for assistance in this case a little later than would have been ideal. Upon receiving a court citation for a breach of section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, namely dangerous driving, our client had responded by letter pleading guilty. The allegation suggested he had failed to keep both a proper lookout and his car under control, cross into the opposing carriageway in the face of oncoming traffic and collide with another vehicle. Injury and, of course, damage resulted from the crash.
In such circumstances, the Court was unable to dispose of the case as a disqualification from driving cannot be imposed in the absence of the accused. Moreover, whilst accepting full culpability for the collision the written explanation attributed the incident to a ‘momentary lapse of concentration’. This is more eloquent of the statutory alternative, and less serious, charge of careless driving. Sentence was adjourned by the Court for the personal appearance of the accused, the delay also affording him an opportunity to engage our services as perhaps should have happened before the initial hearing.
Firstly, we successfully moved the Sheriff to allow the previously tendered plea of guilty to be withdrawn and a plea of not guilty substituted therefor. Then, having considered all documentation disclosed to us by the Crown, we were able to persuade them that the driving was indeed careless, not dangerous as initially libelled.
Our client’s driving licence was ordered to be endorsed with 7 penalty points, a significantly lesser sentence than the minimum one year disqualification and compulsory re-sit order that would have followed had his initial plea been accepted.
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