The prosecution have to prove that your driving was of a standard below that expected of a competent and careful driver. Therefore, it does not matter what your driving qualifications are, but the question is “did your driving fall below an objective standard?” For example, driving from a side road into the path of another vehicle or being distracted by a radio or mobile phone.
Each case turns on its own facts and any defence, in the main, will rely on close examination of witnesses and their view of your driving.
These are often factual or could involve a sudden and unexpected mechanical defect. In some cases, it will be necessary to instruct a mechanical expert to re-construct ‘the scene of an accident’ or to examine your motor vehicle.
These offences are only triable at the Magistrates’ Court. The punishment can be a fine up to £5,000 and the Magistrates have a discretionary power to disqualify you. If disqualification is not imposed, then your licence can be endorsed with between 3 to 9 penalty points.
Where the evidence reveals that the vehicle was used or resulted in an attack on another road user then this is classed as an aggravating feature and may result in any punishment being at the higher end of the scale.