CAUSING DEATH BY DANGEROUS DRIVING AND OTHER SERIOUS ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES ​

Lawyers sometimes say that there is criminal law and then there is road traffic criminal law! – The Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 are not the easiest pieces of legislation in the world to navigate. You may be called upon to give advice in this very tricky area at the police station stage of the investigation, in the office or at court (Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court).

​This 1-hour ZOOM presentation deals with what I call ‘the serious end of road traffic law’. The presentation will come with a full set of notes and it has been put together for those criminal practitioners who don’t feel entirely comfortable in the area of road traffic.

​You will see immediately from the content whether or not this is a presentation you really ought to attend.

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Content

The following issues will be explored during this presentation:

  • Causing death by dangerous driving – the interpretation of the word ‘causing’ in the 2 Supreme Court judgements – R v Hughes (overturning the earlier Court of Appeal decision of R v Williams) and R v Taylor – extremely important at the police station stage of the case – Indictable-only and carrying 14 years (but not for much longer!)

  • The legal definition of ‘dangerous driving’ as opposed to merely ‘careless or inconsiderate driving’

  • Mandatory periods of disqualification and extended re-tests

  • Causing ‘serious injury’ by dangerous driving – the meaning given to ‘serious injury’– Either-way and carrying 5 years on indictment

  • Causing death by careless driving – the advantages of making admissions at that early stage in the police station and of entering a timely guilty plea – the case of Plaku/Plaku/Bourdon/Smith – April 2021 may be of particular relevance – Either-way and carrying 5 years on indictment

  • Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs - Not the easiest Section of the Road Traffic Act 1988 – Indictable-only and carrying 14 years (but not for much longer!)

  • Causing death (disqualified driving) – amendments made by the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 – now Indictable-only and carrying 10 years

  • Causing serious injury by driving (disqualified) – Either-way and carrying 4 years on indictment

  • Causing death (unlicensed) – road or public place? – Either-way and carrying 2 years on indictment

  • Causing death (uninsured) – road or public place? – Either-way and carrying 2 years on indictment

  • The various ways in which a simple taking of a motor vehicle becomes an aggravated offence including where the aggravation is injury resulting in death – the hugely important Supreme Court decision of Taylor overturning the earlier Court of Appeal decision of Marsh – Either-way and carrying 14 years on indictment

  • Extensions of disqualification and adjustments of disqualification where a custodial sentence is imposed – the leading case in this area – R v Needham