If you are facing an allegation of causing death by dangerous driving this will be of considerable concern to both you and your family. Causing death by dangerous driving is the most serious motoring offence and, therefore, can result in severe penalties.
Specialist legal advice is essential if you are accused of this offence to avoid or limit the impact on your life as far as possible. With our extensive knowledge of this area of law and our robust approach in criminal defence cases, the road traffic defence lawyers at Keith J Tuck are here to help. Contact us today for expert death by dangerous driving defence advice.
What is death by dangerous driving?
Causing death by dangerous driving is a criminal offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988. The offence is committed if:
- the way that the accused was driving falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver;
- it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in such a way would be dangerous; and
- the result is the death of another person.
The prosecution must prove the standard of driving was dangerous. Examples of dangerous driving include:
- Racing or competitive driving
- Ignoring road signs and traffic lights
- Using a mobile phone, while driving
- Overtaking in an unsafe way
- Ignoring the warnings of other drivers
The prosecution must also convince the court that the driving caused the death of the victim. It is not necessary that the driving is the principal or substantial cause of death as long as it was a cause and that there was "more than a slight or trifling link" to the death.
What is the difference between death by dangerous and careless driving?
Causing death by dangerous driving is a more serious offence than causing death by careless driving, which occurs where a driver drives in a way that falls below the standard expected of a careful and competent driver (rather than falling far below) and causes the death of another person. The penalties for causing death by careless driving are less severe, and so your defence solicitor may base their strategy on convincing the court that the standard of driving was careless rather than dangerous.
What are the penalties for causing death by dangerous driving?
The maximum sentence available to the court is 14 years' imprisonment. The length of any custodial sentence will depend on the particular circumstances of the incident, the court will consider a range of mitigating and aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include whether the driver has any previous convictions, while a mitigating factor can be that the driver him or herself was injured in the accident.
The court must also impose a 2-year driving disqualification, and you will have to pass an extended driving test if you intend to drive following the end of the ban.
What defences are available for death by dangerous driving?
There are a number of possible defences to a charge of dangerous driving. They are each very difficult to prove and so if they apply are best raised by a highly-qualified driving defence driver. These can include:
- a situation where the driver became incapacitated from controlling the vehicle, such as a sudden unexpected illness; or
- by some necessity the driver was forced to drive dangerously.
Contact our Dangerous Driving Lawyers Glasgow, Scotland
Here at Keith J Tuck, we have dealt with many dangerous driving cases, including those involving the death of one or more people. Our team of specialist driving offence lawyers can provide you with quick practical and expert advice when you need it most. We listen to your side of events and present them to the court in the best possible way to minimise the consequences for you and your family. We put our clients at the centre of everything we do. Contact us on 0141 336 2020 or contact us via our online form.