Dangerous Driving Case Studies
In late 2018 my client was charged with dangerous driving. He was alleged to have overtaken an articulated lorry on a blind bend, crashing nearly head-on into a car coming in the opposite direction. Fortunately, the injuries were relatively minor. Nonetheless, the Crown Prosecution Service regarded it as a serious case of dangerous driving. They refused to accept a guilty plea to careless driving and the prosecution came to trial on 12 February 2019 in the magistrates court.
During the run-up to the trial, I had plans of the road printed which showed the absence of any warning signs in relation to the corner, and that in reality, it was not "blind" as the prosecution had based its case on. After all witnesses had given their evidence, the magistrates found my client not guilty of dangerous driving. On his own admission he was found guilty of careless driving.
He left court with 9 penalty points and a very modest fine. Had he been convicted of dangerous driving he would have faced a minimum disqualification of 12 months together with a compulsory extended retest. He might even have been sent to the Crown Court for sentencing placing him at risk of a prison sentence. Thorough preparation and presentation in court prevented this from happening.
In 2016 I represented Mr B who was charged with dangerous driving. The prosecution alleged that he had ridden his motorcycle dangerously, and three witnesses were called in support to describe his riding. I cross-examined all three and challenge their evidence. Each was discredited and the court decided their evidence was unreliable. My client was acquitted.
In 2015 I represented Mr P who was charged with dangerous driving. It was based on CC TV footage obtained from a town centre bus that he had passed on his car. Police used the footage to calculate his speed at 70 miles an hour in a town centre 30 mile an hour limit. It was decided the speed was “grossly excessive” and justified the charge of dangerous driving. I obtained access to the original footage from the bus and had that analysed. My own expert advised that the police had miscalculated the speed because their frame count was incorrect. When my own expert evidence was introduced the dangerous charge was dropped.
In 2018 I represented Mr G who was charged with dangerous driving. He had been the driver of a fuel tanker that had overturned on a main road in the south-east. The prosecution alleged that my client had exceeded his drivers’ hours the previous day and was therefore overworked and too tired to be driving safely on the day of the accident. The Prosecution Service had misunderstood the tachograph records, and when I correctly analysed these I was able to show that he had worked correctly the previous day. This element of the charge was dropped and it helped my client avoid prison sentence.