Dangerous Driving Offences
A dangerous driving charge can affect your freedom, family and your work life. With penalties ranging from a driving ban to imprisonment, it is crucial that you get professional legal advice as early as possible. Our specialist Road Traffic Lawyers are highly skilled in assessing the evidence and negotiating with the procurator fiscal in cases where a reduced charge may be more appropriate.
You must contact us at the earliest opportunity for free, initial road traffic advice. Get in touch by completing our online enquiry form and we will get back to you right away.
What is Dangerous Driving?
The law on dangerous driving is set out in section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and states that “a person who drives a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence.”
Although this statement is broad, there is a two-part test applied by the court to assess whether your driving would be deemed dangerous under the law.
Firstly, under the ‘reasonable person’ test, the Crown must be able to prove that the standard of driving fell far below what could be expected of a competent and reasonable driver. Secondly, the Crown must demonstrate that, to a reasonable and competent driver, it would be obvious that such driving was dangerous. It’s important to note that the test is used objectively, and other factors such as driving experience are not considered.
Being Convicted of Dangerous Driving in Scotland
In Scotland, there are three verdicts which may be reached for a dangerous driving offence: ‘guilty’, ‘not guilty’, or ‘not proven’. In cases where the outcome is guilty, you will receive a mandatory minimum 12-month driving ban and a requirement to sit an extended driving test upon completion of the ban. The court may also impose a fine or, in the most severe cases, a prison sentence.
However, if the verdict is not guilty or not proven, there will be no penalty and you will be acquitted of the charge.
Please be aware that, even if you are not convicted of dangerous driving, it is still possible that the court will determine you are guilty of the less serious crime of careless driving.
If you are found guilty of dangerous driving, you may also face a custodial sentence in the most serious of cases. In order to determine whether a custodial sentence will be imposed, the court will consider several factors including the seriousness of the offence, and whether you have previous driving offence convictions of a similar nature.
The length of a custodial sentence for dangerous driving can vary significantly. If the case is brought summarily, the maximum length of sentence is six months. However, should your case appear before a jury, you could face a sentence of up to five years. Where there was a fatality, the court may impose a sentence of up to 14 years.
If you plead guilty to dangerous driving at an early stage, the court will consider a discount in sentence, although it will not be discounted below the statutory 12-month minimum.
If you are facing a dangerous driving charge, there is no time to delay. The sooner you get in contact with our experienced Road Traffic Solicitors, the more options we have to secure a favourable outcome for you. We will explain all of your options clearly and in plain language so you fully understand what comes next. To discuss your case with us, get in touch today.
Contact our Road Traffic Lawyers in Paisley & Greenock Today for a Free Consultation
Based in Paisley & Greenock, our Road Traffic Lawyers have decades of experience and success with road traffic offences, including dangerous driving, careless driving, drink driving, speeding, driving without insurance, driving with a mobile phone, and totting up. We cover Glasgow, Greenock, Port Glasgow, Kilmacolm, Gourock, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, Barrhead, Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire & every police station and court in Scotland.
Contact us as soon as you have been charged, received a fixed penalty or been involved in an accident for free, initial legal advice 24 hours per day. Call us in Paisley on 01418896458 or Greenock on 01475888286 or fill out our online form and we will call you back shortly.