The law: Road S.1 Road Traffic Act 1988, s.2A.
A person who causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence. A person drives dangerously if: The manner in which he/she drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous Alternatively: If the driving is due to the condition of a vehicle if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.
Likely sentence or penalty
Triable only in the Crown Court Maximum: 14 years imprisonment Minimum disqualification of 2 years with compulsory extended re-test.
Causing death by dangerous driving is an aggravated form of dangerous driving. The maximum sentence on conviction is a very lengthy one of 14 years but such a sentence would be reserved for the very worst kind of case where a person is convicted after trial. If convicted the sentence will depend upon what kind of category of offence it falls into: Level 1 – The most serious offence encompassing driving that involved a deliberate decision to ignore (or a flagrant disregard for) the rules of the road and an apparent disregard for the great danger being caused to others. Level 2 – This is driving that creates a substantial risk of danger Level 3 – This is driving that created a significant risk of danger
A conviction will lead to an automatic disqualification for a period of time and a requirement to remain disqualified indefinitely until such time as the person has passed an extended driving test. It also carries a high likelihood of receiving a prison sentence.
There are a number of possible defences to this allegation and is to be distinguished from the less serious offence of causing death by careless driving. This is because to be guilty of dangerous driving the standard of driving has to fall far below the standard of a competent driver. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from specialist motoring or criminal defence lawyers who will either be able to help you avoid a conviction or limit the damage by securing a reduced sentence.
Rose & Dunn can represent you for a fixed fee or possibly on legal aid. Contact us for further advice and assistance including a free initial appraisal of your case with no obligation.