Dangerous driving is a very serious motoring offence. The prosecution must prove that you have driven in a way that falls far below the standard that would be expected of a competent and careful driver.
It is not always obvious what is meant by ‘falling far below a standard’ but it is clearly objective and it does not include what was in your mind at the time but merely the actions that you took on the road. The test is: ‘what would an ordinary member of the public think if they saw you driving in this way?’
Examples could include, but not limited to, driving at very high speeds, aggressive driving, ignoring road signs and traffic markings. The offence can be aggravated if committed whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is classed as a serious offence and can be heard in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.
The Court can find you not guilty of dangerous driving but guilty to the alternative charge of careless driving where the evidence suggests that is the case.
Dangerous driving allegations can be defended on the facts of the case and involve demonstrating to the Court that your driving was not far below the accepted standard. In addition to this, your vehicle may have been subjected to a mechanical failure which could not have anticipated .Therefore it is important that those defences include a thorough examination by a vehicle expert to support your defence.
The punishment for dangerous driving depends on where the trial takes place.
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.