(Death by dangerous driving, death by careless driving, causing death by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, causing death by careless driving and causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers)
It is a motorist’s worst nightmare for someone to lose their life as a possible consequence of their driving . In addition to having to deal with the fact that someone has tragically died you must also prepare yourself for significant penalties that reflect the severity of the offence.
We appreciate that the potential penalty may be what brought you to this page so a summary of the maximum penalties the court can impose are:
Disqualification of at least 12 months is mandatory in all cases and most offenders will be ordered to take an extended re-test before being their licence is reinstated.
ANY MOTORING ALLEGATION INVOLVING A FATALITY IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS AND WE WOULD URGE YOU TO CONTACT US DIRECTLY TO DISCUSS YOUR CASE AND OBTAIN ADVICE IN RESPECT OF YOUR OPTIONS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
We would recommend that you read the relevant pages on this website relating to the offence you are charged with as the information contained on those pages will be relevant to your charge and outlined your options (i.e. dangerous driving, our alcohol and drug-related pages, no insurance, no licence or disqualified drivers)
This page is intended to help you understand the position you are in and how the courts approach these cases to better prepare you for the proceedings ahead.
The Crown Prosecution Service Policy for Prosecuting Cases of Bad Driving broadly outlines the approach for how they will deal with cases when considering what charge is appropriate based on an assessment of the motorist standard of driving.
Whilst considering this information it is worth noting how dangerous driving and careless driving are defined in law as out of the offences listed above, these are the terms that need clarification and below are the definitions as provided by the Road Traffic Act 1988.
A person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if the standard of driving falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous
Careless driving is driving that falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and a person is to be regarded as driving without reasonable consideration for other persons only if those persons are inconvenienced by his driving.
Examples are as follows:
The most significant harm done by the offences listed is clearly the death of another person(s) and this is a huge element to the offence. The culpability of the offender (how much they are responsible for their actions) is the primary factor that determines the starting point for sentencing. For each of these offences (except causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers) the focus should be an evaluation of the standard of driving involved and the degree of danger that it foreseeably created.
The guidelines draw an important distinction between factors that are intrinsic to the standard of driving (referred to as “determinants of seriousness”) and those which are not, even though they may aggravate the overall offence. The overall outcome will be determined by the number of aggravating factors and how serious each of them is. As such, the same outcome could result from the presence of one particularly bad aggravating factor or two or more less serious factors.
Call Duncan Lewis motoring offence specialists on 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice on all motoring law offences, including those charges involving death.