If you are prosecuted for careless driving (CD10) or failing to stop or report a road accident (AC10 and AC20), call us for expert no-nonsense advice and top class representation in court. Penalties for these offences are relatively light (see below). There is a more serious offence of causing death by careless driving (CD80). In some cases, the driver is unfit through drink or drugs or over the limit for drink or drugs.
Causing death by careless drink or drug driving are far more serious offences involving much heavier sentences. For example causing death by careless drink or drug driving has a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment. Drink and drug driving offences are dealt with elsewhere on this website and can be consulted to give guidance on the elements of drink and drug driving.
Most drivers occasionally drive without due care and attention, whether they realise it or not.
The offence of careless driving is committed if the driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver.
- Emerging from a side road into the path of another vehicle
- Turning right across the path of another vehicle
- Undertaking or tailgating
- Scraping another car while negotiating a tight bend or even when parking
- Bumping into the car in front of you at a junction or in slow moving traffic
- Giving a misleading signal
- Going through a red light
These offences can be committed in a “public place” as well as on the road – a pub or supermarket car park or garage forecourt can constitute a public place.
Causing death by careless driving
A relatively minor error of judgment amounting to simple careless driving becomes the much more serious offence of causing death by careless driving if someone dies as a result. The offence can be tried either in a Magistrates’ Court or in the Crown Court. Where the case is heard will depend to large extent on how bad the piece of driving was. Circumstances vary from a momentary lapse in concentration with tragic results to a standard of driving falling not far short of dangerous driving. The maximum penalty in the Crown Court is 5 years imprisonment. Less serious cases are dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court where the maximum punishment is 6 months in prison. The court must impose a minimum period of 12 months disqualification and may order a re-take of the driving test.
Failing to Stop/Report Road Accident
Failing to stop after an accident, if you do not stop and exchange details or report it to the police, you may commit the offence of Failing to Stop and Report. Serious cases such as a hit and run after a bad accident can result in a prison sentence. However, if the court accepts that you were genuinely unaware that an accident had occurred, you will be found not guilty.
Fighting your case
Warren Bergson will examine all the prosecution evidence carefully and advise you on the strength of the police case. Sometimes the best course is a straight guilty plea and damage limitation. If your case does go to trial Warren will carefully cross-examine all the prosecution witnesses including police officers and expose any inconsistencies, mistakes or even lies. He will point out to the court any legal cases in your favour. In short, you will get a thorough, friendly, first class legal service.
Penalties for driving offences
Penalty points (3 to 9) or alternatively a disqualification plus a fine, prosecution costs and Victim Surcharge.
In less serious cases, the police will offer a Fixed Penalty of 3 points and £100. Sometimes you will be offered a Driver Improvement Course. Both options avoid the need to go to court and the course avoids penalty points as well.
Causing Death by Careless Driving
Fail To Stop/Report Road Accident
Penalty points (5 to 10) or alternatively a disqualification plus a fine. In more serious cases the court can impose a community sentence or up to 6 months in prison.