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Death by careless driving

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Our Motoring Offence Solicitors have extensive experience in representing defendants who have been involved in road traffic accidents that have sadly resulted in a fatality and are facing charges for causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving. We are often asked to assist clients who have already, at some time, during the course of an investigation or Court proceedings instructed solicitors and are experienced in dealing with the transfer of a case from a previous Solicitor.

If you've been involved in accident which has caused the death of another person, you could be facing charges for death by careless driving. Under Section 20 of the Road Safety Act 2006, it is an offence to cause death by driving without due care and attention. Causing death by careless driving is a very serious offence and can be life changing, not just for the defendant but also for the defendant's family.

The death and the circumstances surrounding the death of a person(s) following a road traffic accident will be investigated thoroughly. These investigations can take several months and can be a very stressful time for everyone involved. If during the investigation stages, you are asked to attend a police interview under caution, it is vital you have a solicitor present. Forbes Solicitors are available 24/7 365 days a year to attend police interviews. If you have been asked to attend a police interview, contact our motoring offence lawyer's today on 01772 220 022.

To be prosecuted for causing death by careless driving the Court will have to prove two things; that a death has occurred; and that the death was a result of careless driving.

What is 'careless' driving?

Your driving will be considered careless if the standard of your driving has fallen below the reasonable standards expected of a competent driver. Any of the following factors will aggravate the offence:

  • failing to comply with road traffic signals;
  • speeding at the time the collision took place; or at a speed which was inappropriate for the weather or road conditions;
  • driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • using a mobile phone at the wheel (or any other electronic device);
  • undertaking another vehicle; or tailgating another vehicle at the time the accident took place;
  • failure to use lanes correctly.

Over the course of the investigation the prosecution must establish that your driving fell below the reasonable standards of a competent driver and will investigate the circumstances surrounding the death. Any aggravating factors will result in a more severe punishment.

Penalties for death by careless driving

Dependent on the circumstances of the case, if you're found guilty of causing death by careless driving, you could be facing a sentence of up to five years imprisonment and a disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months. If the Court deems that disqualification is not appropriate based on the circumstances, you may receive between 3 to 11 points on your licence and will likely have to take a discretionary re-test.

If it was just a case of a momentary lapse of concentration you will likely receive a lower sentence. However, if your driving falls slightly short of dangerous driving, you will be facing a more severe sentence.

If you have been involved in an accident which has resulted in the death of another person and are facing charges for causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving, Forbes Solicitors have a specialist team of Motoring Offence Lawyers who will safeguard your interests and support you and your family through the investigations. Contact our Motoring Offence Lawyers today on 01772 220 022.

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FAQs

Where will I be tried for death by careless/inconsiderate driving?
 
 

If you're facing charges for causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving, you will be tried in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. Cases are often referred to the Crown Court if the Magistrates Court feel they don't have the powers to deal with that particular case.

For more information call our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

What is the difference between death by dangerous driving and death by careless driving?
 
 

The main difference between the two is how responsible the offender is for causing the accident. To be prosecuted for causing death by careless driving, your driving must merely fall below what would be expected of a competent driver. To be charged with death by dangerous driving, the standard of driving must fall far below that of a competent and careful driver.

For advice call our motoring offence team on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

What is careless/inconsiderate driving?
 
 

Your driving will be considered careless if it has fallen below what would be expected of a competent driver. Any of the following could be considered to be careless driving:

  • failure to comply with road traffic signals/signs;
  • speeding or driving at a speed which is inappropriate for the conditions;
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescribed medication when advised not to);
  • distraction by an electronic device for example using a mobile phone;
  • undertaking or tailgating another vehicle;
  • misusing lanes.

For more information, please call our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

What is the penalty for death by careless driving under UK Law?
 
 

If you are found guilty of causing death by careless driving, you could be facing up to five years imprisonment and a minimum driving disqualification of 12 months or a penalty point endorsement of 3 - 11 points on your driving licence in which case, you will have to take a discretionary retest. A momentary loss of concentration will receive a more lenient sentence. However if your driving fell short of death by dangerous driving the sentence will be more severe.

Please contact our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 for more information or make an enquiry online.

How are sentences for death by careless/inconsiderate driving decided?
 
 

The Judge will consider the level of blame which can vary extremely in cases of careless/inconsiderate driving. If the offender was under the influence of drink or drugs, there is a higher level of blame. Similarly, if the offender is driving without a licence, whilst disqualified or uninsured, the offender's level of responsibility increases, and the offender will receive a much higher sentence than if it is simply a momentary lapse of concentration.

You will be sentenced after pleading guilty or being found guilty following a trial. The Judge may pass the sentence immediately or the case may be adjourned whilst they obtain reports.

Before passing a sentence, the Judge will consider any aggravating or mitigating factors such as:

  • how responsible the offender was for the accident;
  • how many people were killed or injured as a result of the collision;
  • their relation to the victim;
  • whether the offender was seriously injured as a result of the collision;
  • other offences committed at the same time of the accident, was the offender driving while disqualified, without a licence or uninsured;
  • previous convictions.

The maximum sentence you could receive for causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving is 5 years imprisonment and for causing death by driving whilst unlicensed, uninsured or disqualified is two years imprisonment.

If level of fault is low and you are not considered to pose a danger of re-offending, the Court may deem a community sentence to be more suitable rehabilitation. You could also be facing a fine.

If the offender enters a guilty plea, dependent on how early the plea is made, the sentence could be reduced by up to one third. All sentences will include a disqualification from driving any vehicle followed by a discretionary re-test.

For more information contact our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

Will I go to prison for death by careless/inconsiderate driving?
 
 

If you are found guilty of causing the death of another person by careless/inconsiderate driving and it is proven your driving fell below the acceptable standards of a competent driver, the maximum sentence you may receive is up to five years imprisonment.

The Judge will take into account any aggravating or mitigating circumstances when sentencing. If convicted for causing death by careless driving, you will be disqualified from driving for a minimum of two years with a discretionary re-test at the end of the disqualification.

If you're facing prosecution for death by careless/inconsiderate driving contact our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or complete an online enquiry form here.

What is the penalty for death by careless/inconsiderate driving when under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
 
 

Penalties are more severe when the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you have caused the death of another person whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol you could be facing:

  • up to 14 years imprisonment;
  • a mandatory disqualification of a minimum of 12 months;
  • an unlimited fine in addition to a custodial sentence;
  • a compulsory extended retest following the disqualification period.

For more information contact our motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

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Our dedicated Motoring Offences team

David Scully

David Scully

Senior Associate

Crime

PinPreston

Call07976 255000

Gareth Price

Gareth Price

Partner

Crime

PinBlackburn

Call07976 272000

Simon Gretton

Simon Gretton

Partner

Crime

PinPreston

Call01257 260600

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