DEATH BY DANGEROUS DRIVING (DD80)

Causing death by dangerous driving and the maximum penalties 

If you have been arrested following an allegation of causing death by dangerous driving, you must contact a specialist Dangerous Driving Solicitor immediately.

As you may imagine, causing death by dangerous driving is the most serious of all driving offences and as such carries the stiffest penalties. A conviction for this offence could see the court use its power to impose a custodial sentence of up to 14 years’ imprisonment together with an unlimited fine, mandatory disqualification and extended re-testing should the defendant wish to reapply for their licence.

Only the best legal representation will potentially find some way of arguing for sentencing to be considered in lenient terms. If you are unfortunately faced with a charge of causing a fatality whilst driving, it is absolutely crucial that you enlist the services of a highly professional and experienced Dangerous Driving Offence Specialist, preferably with many years’ experience defending dangerous driving charges. Contact Motoring Offence Solicitors without delay.

Why choose the Dangerous Driving Solicitors at Motoring Offence Solicitors?

At Motoring Offence Solicitors, we will endeavour to assist you in achieving the best possible outcome. From your initial interview at the police station right through to the conclusion of your case, we will support you every step of the way. There is no need for you to go through this traumatic situation on your own. You can discuss your options free of charge with an expert Motoring Law Solicitor who has specialist expertise in dealing with causing death by driving offences. 

We have considerable experience in handling these types of cases and with thorough planning, preparation and carefully considered advice we know how to obtain the best results for you. You may have to undergo an interview and require assistance at the police station. Brian Koffman & Co. Solicitors are fully police station qualified motoring law solicitors with vast experience of dealing with all police station matters. We are recognised in the ‘Legal 500’ as a leading firm in Criminal law defence.

A charge of causing death by dangerous driving would be heard by a jury in the Crown Court. When a case is brought before the court, the wording of the offence can make it easily open to interpretation. The facts of every case we have been involved in and the way they are presented have made a crucial difference to the outcome of every one of our death by dangerous driving cases.

It is also highly likely that expert evidence such as accident reconstruction, speed calculations and scale plans will be required. We have spent many years advising our clients on strategies designed at creating the most favourable chance of securing an acquittal. We will also consider providing representation under the terms of your motor insurance policy.

What is Causing death by Dangerous Driving?

The definition of the offence of causing death by dangerous driving is set out by the 1988 Road Traffic Act, which states ‘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’

Causing Death by dangerous driving is what makes this offence significantly more severe in the eyes of the law than its non-lethal corresponding and related offence of Dangerous Driving.

The critical factor being that the death of an individual (another driver, a passenger, a pedestrian or member of the emergency services) has been caused. To what degree the driver has contributed toward this event i.e. How bad or reckless was the driving, or how serious a failure in judgement was made, is the crucial area of consideration in deciding whether the death has been caused by dangerous driving or careless driving.

Generally, for an offence to be considered as ‘Dangerous Driving’, the driver’s’ attitude towards the laws of the road and the safety of other road users must be proven to fall significantly below the normal acceptable standards expected of a competent driver. It must be shown there was a clear probability of causing either damage to property or personal injury to themselves or another individual for the act and type of driving to be considered as 'dangerous'

The Courts must also prove that it was singularly the fault of the standard of poor driving that has led to the fatality, this can often be a complicated issue depending on the exact course and timeline of events. For example, often in Motorway pile-ups which result in an individual losing their life due to no fault of their own. There could well have been a serious of minor events not directly related to causing the death of an individual, but in some way contribute to the final incident which has caused death.

The cause of death can also be further complicated, by potential pre-existing health issues that may both affect an individual and contribute towards the onset of death at a date sometime after the motoring incident.

Definitions of ‘Dangerous Driving’ according to UK law

Dangerous Driving is categorised in the following ways:

  • Driving through red traffic lights and colliding with a vehicle which had right of way
  • Driving at speeds over 130 mph on the motorway
  • Driving under the influence of drink or drugs the wrong way around a roundabout
  • Driving when unfit due to injury or medication
  • Attempting to overtake several vehicles and colliding with an oncoming vehicle
  • Driving at speed through a residential area whilst being pursued by the police
  • Pursuing a victim in a road rage incident and losing control of the vehicle causing injury
  • Racing at speed
  • Driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition
  • Driving whilst being avoidably distracted, i.e. Driving whilst using a mobile phone
  • Cases involving death or serious injury
 

DEATH BY DANGEROUS DRIVING SENTENCING GUIDELINES

When sentencing at trial for a death caused by dangerous driving, the court must weigh up the seriousness of the act or omission of the person who caused it with the devastating loss of life.

They will consider:

  • Any other offences that were committed at the same time, for example, driving a stolen vehicle
  • Driving whilst disqualified
  • How responsible the defendant was for what happened?
  • How many people were killed or injured?
  • Whether the defendant was a close friend or relative of the victim or was also injured
  • Previous convictions or previous good character of the defendant and whether they gave assistance at the scene or showed remorse.
 

Many of the points above are open to interpretation and these cases can often be highly detailed and multifaceted. Expert witness testimony can often be called upon to give their opinion. Reconstructions can sometimes also be necessary in order to try to shed light on the preceding circumstances that led to the lethal traffic incident.

Dangerous Driving Penalties under UK law

If convicted of the offence of dangerous driving, the guilty person will be subject to the court imposing penalties of up to:

  • Up to 14 years custodial sentence
  • A mandatory driving ban for any motor vehicle for a minimum of two years
  • A compulsory extended retest
 
 

Defending Death by Dangerous Driving cases

 

Expert Legal advice is a must from a Dangerous Driving Solicitor If you are cautioned, charged or being investigated for death by driving offence or being asked to participate in a police station interview.

Our team of Criminal Dangerous Driving Solicitors in Manchester have in-depth experience and know-how when it comes to defending clients for this most serious of driving offences.

We recognised this is likely to be an extremely emotional and stressful time for you and your family, so we are dedicating to acting professionally and sensitively at a time when you have been accused of blame in respect of the death of an individual. It is crucial that we understand the full circumstances as quickly as possible with as much detail as possible. Death by Dangerous Driving cases are rarely straightforward, so expert legal advice is on hand to guide you through this testing time.

Death by Dangerous Driving cases like are often defended on a factual basis, such as establishing that you did not drive in the manner alleged by the prosecution. Quite often there is a large evidential difference between what is alleged by the prosecution and what happened. This is where the knowledge of an experienced motoring solicitor can be invaluable. 

What is causing death by Careless Driving?

Causing Death by Careless Driving, sometimes referred to as ‘Causing death by Inconsiderate Driving’ is in a similar fashion to dangerous driving, described as driving at standards falling below what should be considered the norm or a sensible competent driver.

Levels of causality and blameworthiness can be dramatically varied as being almost classified as dangerous driving to something like a seemingly minor lack of attention, such as changing the radio station, but that, unfortunately, has still led to the death of another individual following a crash or other road traffic incident.

Definitions of ‘Careless Driving’ according to UK law

  • Overtaking on the inside lane of a road
  • Driving too close to another vehicle
  • Driving through a red light by mistake
  • Turning into the path of another vehicle
 

Whereas, Inconsiderate driving involves:

  • Flashing lights and tail-gating
  • Misusing lanes to seek advantage over other road users
  • Lane hogging in an overtaking lane

 

Do Drink & Drugs influence Death by Dangerous Driving Sentencing?

Deciding to drive whilst unfit due to the consumption of either drink or illegal drugs is viewed as a voluntary act in most cases, (unless if it can be proved that the accused has been ‘spiked’

Blameworthiness is therefore significantly heightened where the death of an individual has been caused by dangerous driving, where the driver is either drunk or influenced by the effects of illegal drugs.

 

What is death by driving whilst unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured?

Your criminal liability is also vastly increased if you cause the death of another person whilst driving without a suitable driving licence, driving whilst disqualified or driving without insurance.

In cases such as these, it is noteworthy that there is often no direct relationship in terms of causality between the driver not having insurance, a licence or legal permission to be driving and the fact that a lethal incident has ensured (unless there are other careless or dangerous driving specifics of the individual incident).

It can often be the case that in all other aspects of the incident the accused driver is free from blame. The offence is simply factual due to the omission of the correct driving documentation.

Contact us Today

If you are facing a 'death by dangerous driving' offence it is vitally important you are legally represented as early as possible. With a wealth of experience in these types of driving offences Motoring Offence Solicitors, led by Brian Koffman can help you and provide evidence that will allow the Courts to deal with you in the fairest way possible.

Brian Koffman in recognised by 'Legal 500' as a leading individual in criminal law. Brian has over 40 years' experience and an enviable success rate for securing positive outcomes for his clients.

Your chances of a better outcome are increased when you have an experienced motoring offence solicitor representing you.

Motoring Offence Solicitors offer the very best privately funded defence advocacy to clients in Manchester and across the UK.  Call our team today on 0161 832 3852 or complete the enquiry form on the right-hand side of this page.