Not a Dangerous Driver

Reduced Sentence
Dumfries Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court

Frighteningly, it is not uncommon to have a scenario whereby everybody can assess a case as being eloquent of careless driving, apart from the prosecution who insist on proceeding on the basis of dangerous driving.  The difference between the two offences is pronounced, with a minimum penalty for careless driving (contravention of section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988) being three penalty points, whereas dangerous driving (contravention of section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988) brings about a ban of at least 12 months with an additional compulsory order to re-sit the extended driving test.

Our client in this case had been involved in an accident which was clearly his fault.  He had failed to appreciate the rate of deceleration in a line of traffic and collided with the car in front; driving that was clearly careless.  However, he was charged with and prosecuted for the significantly more serious charge of dangerous driving, not only imperilling his driving entitlement but as a consequence his job and family life.  Entreaties to the Crown to amend the complaint to reflect what he was guilty of fell on deaf ears.

Mercifully, his faith in us to move the case towards a just outcome was well-founded, the Sheriff also being critical of the Procurator Fiscal’s Office for their earlier intransigence.  Six penalty points were a far more accurate reflection of the level of criminal liability in this particular case.   Another licence saved, another delighted client but a case with an unnecessary level of jeopardy.

Published: 11/02/2020

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See also

Dangerous Driving By Overtaking At 115mph On The A75

Our client was facing a minimum disqualification of 1 year along with an order to resit an extended driving test. We managed to persuade the Procurator Fiscal that the standard of driving was careless as opposed to dangerous (depsite being clocked at 115mph in a 60mph limit and overtaking vehicles in contravention of solid white lines). Our client was disqualified for only 6 months and a relatively modest fine of £450 was imposed....