Motorcyclist Driving Dangerously?
Unlike England, there are no sentencing guidelines in Scotland. It is, ultimately, the prerogative of the Sheriff or Justice of the Peace to determine how an offender is dealt with. Our extensive experience Scotland-wide gives us a unique perspective on each individual judge’s proclivity for sentence.
Our client in this particular case benefitted from our knowledge of the presiding Sheriff. It was alleged by the Crown that he was riding his motorbike dangerously in Glasgow city centre, with police witnesses claiming he drove at grossly excessive speed, weaving in and out of other vehicles in an aggressive manner that was suggestive of racing. Our suspicion was that the police evidence was tainted by a dislike of motorcycles and complete lack of understanding of how they are competently ridden.
At the trial diet what the Crown didn’t know, but we did, was that the presiding Sheriff is a keen motorcyclist. With his proper understanding of two-wheeled motoring, and the discretion afforded to him in deciding on an appropriate sentence, this gave us an advantage over the prosecutor during the trial.
Therefore, instead of being convicted of an offence which brings with it a mandatory disqualification of at least 12 months along with an order to re-sit the driving test, our client was found guilty of careless driving to reflect the fact that his riding had caused some inconvenience to other road users. The impact on his driving licence was further minimised to the lowest penalty prescribed by law, namely 3 penalty points.
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