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The Spectrum of Road Traffic Cases

The Spectrum of Road Traffic Cases

Road Traffic law is extremely wide and varied. It ranges from an offence of no MOT to Causing Death by Dangerous Driving. The first of these carries a fine of £60 and the other a sentence of imprisonment of up to 14 years’.

There are myriad offences between these twin polar opposites. They range from those related to the vehicle to the manner of the driving and the intersection between the two.

There has been much development in the law of road traffic in recent years. The new offence relating to causing death by careless driving has been created. This has called the ‘crime of being unlucky’ purely because most people are ‘careless’ in their driving from time to time and if one was driving carelessly and just by pure chance there happened to be someone there at the time then a simple fine could turn into years’ in custody.

Of course sensible judgements need to be made in the prosecution of these road traffic cases and this is why it is absolutely essential that good representation be obtained. Other recent changes in the law include the creation of the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. This cured the anomaly of the situation where a driver could render someone in a permanent vegetative state by dangerous driving and yet only be liable for a maximum of 2 years’ in prison.

There is a perception among some lawyers that road traffic cases are somehow easy of trivial but having prosecuted and defended cases of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, I can tell you at first hand that these cases are anything but easy of trivial.

They often require the calling or expert evidence from collision experts (often experienced police traffic officers), metal expert (metallurgists), and pathologists, etc.

There is always heightened anxiety when ‘there’s a dead body involved’ and these cases can be extremely complex and difficult. This is why it is absolutely vital that a lawyer is obtained who has genuine expertise and experience in this area.

Even relatively simple matters can escalate if not dealt with properly. If dealt with sensibly matters can often be resolved without trials and/or technical arguments can often defeat cps cases before they get off the ground.

This is especially the case in relation to drink driving cases. This is because this is a highly technical area of law where a clever and experienced lawyer can greatly assist. For example, the offence of ‘drunk in charge’ of vehicle can often be defeated by using the ‘common law defence’ of forcing the prosecution to prove the being ‘in charge’ to the criminal standard.

This is because the act of ‘being in charge’ is in fact tantamount to driving and if they could have proved that then they would have charged ‘driving whilst under the influence’. Often lawyers will fall into the trap of attempting to rely on the ‘statutory defence’ which is proving ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that a defendant was not driving. Clearly this puts the prosecution at an advantage as generally a bench will agree that the person in question was ‘probably’ driving.