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Dangerous driving is the most serious type of road offence that a driver can commit, apart from those that involve accidents and fatalities. As such, it has the highest maximum penalties, and being found guilty of a dangerous driving offence not only means that you stand to lose your licence but you could face a custodial sentence, considerable financial fine, and have to take an extensive re-test when you come to try and get your licence back.
High Risk Drivers
What’s more, many insurers will consider you too great a risk to insure while the offence remains on your licence, and this means that you could end up paying considerably more in insurance costs for the next few years, even if you manage to avoid disqualification.
Proving Dangerous Driving
It is the Prosecution’s job to prove that you were driving far below the minimum standard expected of a competent driver, and that you were aware that you were doing so. As such, typical crimes that lead to a dangerous driving conviction, may include racing or aggressive driving. However, if you are caught driving at excessively high speeds, then this alone may be enough for the court to convict you for this offence.
The lesser offence of careless driving carries much lower penalties, but can still include disqualification and a hefty penalty. The greater charge of causing death by dangerous driving has even lengthier sentences, and you could face as long as 14 years in prison if found guilty of this particular offence.
Defences And Other Actions
Competitive driving, dangerous overtaking, and driving at excessive speeds or driving a car that is in especially poor condition could lead to the Prosecution attempting to convict you of dangerous driving. However, your solicitor may be able to defend your case, or agree to a less charge of careless driving. Although careless driving does still usually lead to disqualification, and carries a potential financial fine of up to £5,000, this is still preferable to the maximum sentences that are handed down for dangerous driving, which can include several years in prison.
A conviction for dangerous driving will lead to disqualification, and typically for an extended period of time. Once this disqualification has been served, it will be necessary for the driver to retake their test, or to retake an extended test. You must apply for a provisional licence once again, and you must pass all necessary parts of the driving exam including your theory test. An extended test will include an extended theory test, and you cannot drive a car without first passing all elements of the retest.
One of the key factors in proving dangerous driving is that the Prosecution must show that you were aware of the circumstances. If you were caught driving a car with seriously defective brakes, for example, and it could be shown that you were unaware of the problem due to a malfunction or the brakes failing, then this can be pursued as a counter argument.
Dangerous Driving Solicitors
Dangerous driving is a serious offence, and it is important that you have qualified legal representation to help defend your case, or to ensure that you receive sentencing that is fitting for the level of offence committed. This can help ensure that you avoid a custodial sentence, and if it cannot be proven that you were aware of the circumstances or conditions, then your solicitor may be able to help you avoid sentencing.