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Driving without due care and attention

Careless driving or driving without due care and attention is a criminal offence. Our national team of motoring solicitors are on hand to defend you in court or provide legal advice on the options available to you. Our solicitors can assist wherever you are based and offer fixed fees.

What is driving without due care and attention?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that it is an offence to be guilty of ‘driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention’.

Careless driving is defined as driving that:

  • Falls below the standard expected of a competent driver, or
  • That does not show reasonable consideration for other people using the road/pathways.

Not every accident involves driving without due care and attention. Insurance companies will deal with the financial consequences of an accident and the expenses that arise from them.

If the Police are involved they will be looking to see if the criminal law has been broken and if they think it has they will start criminal proceedings. The offences which might arise can be very serious and you should always seek urgent advice in these situations.
A charge of driving with due care and attention can arise from a momentary lack of concentration, simple mistake or lack of judgement.

What’s the penalty for driving without due care and attention?

The Court can impose 3-9 penalty points or disqualify you. You may also face an unlimited fine. Usually the penalty will increase if there are aggravating factors for example:

  • Excessive speed
  • Allowing yourself to be distracted by doing something else, e.g. eating or drinking
  • Trying to look after passengers in the car
  • Carrying an unsafe load
  • Causing an accident where injury is caused
  • Causing damage to another vehicle or property
  • Where the incident happens in a high risk area, e.g. near a school , crowds of people or on a particularly busy road
  • Tiredness

Even if you are pleading guilty you should seek legal advice, we may be able to offer ‘damage limitation’, by putting in context factors wrong which could increase the severity of the penalty, and providing the court with explanation.

What are fixed penalties?

The police can now offer fixed penalties for careless driving, but you do not have to accept the fixed penalty notice. 
If you believe that you are not guilty, then you should contact us for a free initial discussion. You have the right to fight your case in court and we are here to represent you and argue your defence.

I have been charged, what should I do?

If you have been charged then you will be prosecuted at the Magistrates’ Court. If the Police did not attend the scene and there was no accident you should receive a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days. Otherwise you will receive a court summons. At this stage you should seek urgent legal advice by calling us on 0808 168 5550.

In Court the prosecution will have to prove that your driving fell below the expected standard of a competent driver beyond all reasonable doubt. Our team has a vast amount of experience in successfully defending individuals accused of motoring offences.

Will I lose my licence?

Yes in some circumstances, the court could impose a ban or 3-9 penalty points. We understand how important your licence is which is why we can fight to save it on your behalf.

Losing your licence can have a massive impact upon your job and family life. We’re here to take the worry off your hands, contact us today for advice and representation.

Examples of driving without due care attention

There are many actions which could lead to the offence,  but a few of the main ones are:

  • Eating whilst driving
  • Smoking whilst driving
  • Changing a CD
  • ‘Tail-gating’ another vehicle
  • Driving through a red traffic light
  • Undertaking
  • Driving into a pedestrian

I am innocent, what should I do?

If you believe you are not guilty, then we can help defend you in court. The prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the offence. Our motoring lawyers have a vast amount of experience in successfully defending individuals accused of motoring offences in court. Being found guilty can have a huge impact on your life.

Any mitigating circumstances?

We can take a look at all the facts in your case to see if there may be any other issues at play. For example there may have been mechanical fault with the car during the incident. Although this is may not always amount to a defence, the court may take this into consideration. Such circumstances will need to be looked into by a motoring solicitor.

How to make contact

To discuss your options and for a free initial discussion call our motoring team on 0808 168 5550 or email 
We can assist wherever you are based but we also have offices We also have a network of offices in BirminghamBedfordDerbyLeedsLeicesterLondon TempleManchesterMiddlesbroughNorthamptonNottingham and Sheffield.

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