Personal

Death by Dangerous Driving

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Our expert motoring offence solicitors have extensive experience of representing clients facing charges for causing death by dangerous driving. We have defended individuals from all walks of life and 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 a road traffic accident which has resulted in the death of another person, you could be facing charges for death by dangerous driving. The Road Traffic Accident Act defines death by dangerous driving as a person who causes the death of another by driving a vehicle in a dangerous way on a road or in a public place. Causing death by dangerous driving is the most serious driving offence and has severe penalties. It is important to seek expert legal advice immediately following a fatal collision.

The Police will conduct a thorough investigation into the death and circumstances surrounding the collision to identify the cause of the accident. These investigations can take several months following the accident. During the investigation, you may be asked to attend a police interview under caution where you will need a solicitor present. If you have been asked to attend a police interview contact our expert motoring offence solicitors today on 01772 220 022.

As the surviving person, this does not mean you were at fault. It may be the case that you were driving along a road when another driver cut you up which unfortunately resulted in a collision and their own death.

What is causing death by dangerous driving?

Your driving will be considered 'dangerous' if your attitude towards the laws of the road and the safety of other road users falls considerably below the acceptable standards expected. It would be obvious to other road users that there is a serious risk of danger. Examples include:

  • driving through a red light or ignoring signs;
  • driving at very high speeds or racing at speed;
  • undertaking or overtaking dangerously;
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including driving under the influence of prescribed medication when advised not to.);
  • driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition;
  • driving whilst distracted eg. using a mobile phone.

What are the penalties for causing death by dangerous driving?

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

Death by dangerous driving is the most serious of motoring offences and could see you facing up to 14 years' imprisonment. This is likely to increase over the coming years as parliament seek to increase the severity of this. If you are prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving, you will also receive a mandatory disqualification for driving any vehicle for a minimum of two years and a compulsory extended retest at the end of the disqualification. In some cases, you may also be charged with an unlimited fine.

The Court will also consider the following when sentencing for death by dangerous driving:

  • how responsible was the offender for causing the accident;
  • how many people were killed or injured as a result of the collision;
  • What is the offender's relation to the victim?;
  • driving under the influence of medication when advised not to;
  • other offences committed at the same time of the accident such as a stolen vehicle, driving while disqualified, without insurance or under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • previous convictions.

If you have been involved in a fatal collision, it is vital to seek legal advice as early as possible. Forbes Solicitors have an expert team of motoring offence solicitors who will act in your best interest and support you and your family through the whole process. Being charged for death by dangerous driving can be life changing. If you're cautioned, charged or under investigation following an allegation of causing death by dangerous driving, contact our team of specialist Motoring Offence Lawyers today on 01772 220 022.

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FAQs

Where will I be tried for causing death by dangerous driving?
 
 

If you're facing charges for death by dangerous driving you will be tried at the Crown Court where you will be heard by a Jury. Death by dangerous driving is an indictable offence which means it is the most serious type of offence and carries the maximum sentence.

If you're facing charges for death by dangerous driving contact our expert motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

What is considered to be dangerous driving in the UK?
 
 

If you are driving in way that could cause serious harm to yourself, other road users or pedestrians your driving will be considered dangerous. Dangerous driving can include:

  • driving through a red light or ignoring signs;
  • driving at very high speeds or racing at speed;
  • undertaking or overtaking dangerously;
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescribed medication when advised not to);
  • driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition;
  • driving whilst being distracted.

If you're facing charges for death by dangerous driving contact our expert 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 death by dangerous driving, the standard of driving must fall far below that of a competent and careful driver. In this case the offenders driving would be so bad that it would be obvious to other road users that there is a high risk of danger. To be prosecuted for causing death by careless driving, your driving must merely fall below what would be expected of a competent driver.

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

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

If you are facing prosecution for death by dangerous driving, the Judge will consider all the facts of the case to apply a suitable sentence which could be any of the following:

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

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

Will I go to prison for death by dangerous driving?
 
 

If you are found guilty of causing the death of another person as a result of dangerous driving the maximum sentence you may receive is 14 years imprisonment.

The Judge will take into account any aggravating or mitigating circumstances when sentencing, including:

  • responsibility for the accident;
  • how many people were killed or injured as a result of the collision;
  • relation to the victim;
  • any injuries as a result of the collision;
  • other offences committed at the same time of the accident such as a stolen vehicle, was the offender driving while disqualified;
  • previous convictions.

On conviction you will be disqualified from driving for a minimum of two years with a compulsory retest at the end of the disqualification.

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

How are sentences for death by dangerous driving decided?
 
 

You will be sentenced after pleading guilty or being found guilty following the 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 the circumstances such as:

  • responsibility for the accident;
  • how many people were killed or injured as a result of the collision;
  • relation to the victim;
  • injuries as a result of the collision;
  • other offences committed at the same time of the accident such as a stolen vehicle, was the offender driving while disqualified;
  • previous convictions.

The maximum sentence you could receive is 14 years imprisonment. If you enter a guilty plea, this could reduce your sentence by up to one third, dependent on how early the plea is made. If you are prosecuted you will receive a disqualification from driving any vehicle followed by a compulsory extended retest at the end of the disqualification.

For more information contact our expert motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or make an enquiry here.

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Our dedicated Motoring Offences team

David Scully

David Scully

Senior Associate

Crime

PinChorley

Call07976 255000

Gareth Price

Gareth Price

Partner

Crime

PinBlackburn

Call07976 272000

Simon Gretton

Simon Gretton

Partner

Crime

PinPreston

Call01257 260600

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