Dangerous driving charges in Scotland often result from collisions or instances of ‘road rage’. They include, for instance, cases where the motorist had been taking alcohol or drugs prior to driving or where the motorist was using a mobile phone at the time of an accident.

Contact us for expert advice in this important area of the law. Road traffic offence charges are very technical and it important to ensure that you are properly represented.

There are subtle, but important, differences between the offences of dangerous driving and careless driving. A conviction for dangerous driving will usually result in a more serious sentence.

The criminal road traffic offences of “causing death by dangerous driving” and “dangerous driving” itself are contained within Sections 1 and 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Examples of conduct which may result in charges of dangerous driving and criminal conviction include excessive speeding where the speed of the vehicle is well above the speed limit. Another example is where the vehicle is in a sensitive area, such as near a school or hospital.  Other forms of conduct include reading a document or street map whilst driving or using a mobile phone, whether making a phone call, texting or browsing the internet while driving.

It is for the Procurator Fiscal to bring any charges of dangerous driving. Such charges will most likely be brought where it is likely that the Section 2A criteria of the Road Traffic Act are met. These are that the driving “fell 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”.

Successful prosecution is, therefore, dependant on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Contact us for expert advice in this important area of the law. Road traffic offence charges are very technical and it important to ensure that you are properly represented.

Since no two cases are identical, an expert road traffic lawyer’s opinion and representation in the courts of Edinburgh & Lothian could mean the difference between conviction and a lesser criminal sentence, such as careless or inconsiderate driving, or even being free of criminal liability.

Attendance at police interview is a likely consequence of a charge of dangerous driving and road traffic solicitors can represent or advise on any aspect of detention or police interview. It is important to note that following the recent criminal law case of Cadder v HMA, everyone in Scotland has the right of access to a solicitor during police interview, for instance at an Edinburgh police station.

In terms of sentencing for a conviction of dangerous driving, a one year’s qualification is the minimum sentence imposed by the court, but may also include a fine or even prison sentence of up to two years. Exceptional circumstances may warrant only a deduction of points to the driving licence. The penalty for death by dangerous driving is more severe and can include a custodial sentence of up to fourteen years in prison with a lengthier disqualification from driving. The type of sentence given by the sheriff in the Edinburgh courts will depend on the circumstances of the case and the evidence produced by the Crown, but may also depend on whether a guilty or not guilty plea is tendered.

We represent clients throughout Scotland and are based in Edinburgh city centre. We regularly appear in the courts of west lothian, east lothian, fife and beyond.

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