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In this article, we delve into the intricacies of defending against charges of Death by Dangerous Driving in Scotland. Our aim is to provide reassurance, provide guidance, and highlight the options available to individuals facing such charges.

As the number of drivers on Scotland’s roads continues to rise, there is an increasing focus on preventing and prosecuting road traffic infringements. In 2017, a tragic incident occurred when Tomasz Kroker, a lorry driver, crashed into stationary traffic. This resulted in the deaths of four individuals and caused serious injuries to others. Subsequent investigation revealed that he had been distracted by selecting music on his mobile phone at the time. This makes the seemingly mundane act of using a mobile phone whilst driving the cause of the accident and deaths.

Had the driver been caught using his mobile phone before the accident, he would likely have faced a charge of “using a mobile phone while driving.” This would have resulted in six points on his licence and a £200 fine in Scotland. However, due to the devastating outcome of his actions, he was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving.

This case highlights the significant difference in the consequences that one’s actions can have on the severity of the imposed sentence.

Understanding Death by Dangerous Driving

In Scotland, dangerous driving is defined as driving that falls below the standard of a competent and careful driver with an obvious disregard for the safety of others. It is an offence to drive dangerously or carelessly without due care, attention, or reasonable consideration for other road users. However, cases of driving-related death or serious injury may result in up to 14 years imprisonment. This is true regardless of whether it was intentional or not.

Even if an accident does not occur, it is important to note that driving dangerously or carelessly on a road or in a public place can potentially result in a prison sentence of up to two years on indictment. If someone dies as a direct consequence of such behaviour, they can receive a lengthy custodial sentence as well as the loss of their driving licence.

Immediate Actions After an Incident: What to Do and Not to Do

  1. Ensure safety and call emergency services: The safety of everyone involved is of paramount importance. Immediately after an incident, call emergency services to report the accident and provide assistance to the injured. And if possible, ensure the scene is secure.
  2. Do not make admissions or statements: Refrain from making any admissions or statements to the police or other parties involved. It is essential to protect your rights and consult with your lawyer before providing any information.
  3. Contact a knowledgeable Road Traffic Lawyer: Without delay, consult experienced Road Traffic Lawyers who excel in Death by Dangerous Driving cases. A good lawyer’s expertise and understanding of the legal landscape can make a significant difference in building a robust defence strategy.
  4. Gather evidence: If possible, gather evidence from the scene, including photographs, witness statements, and any other relevant information. This evidence can be crucial in building a strong defence case. But do not touch any physical evidence so as not to tamper with the chain of custody.
  5. Notify your insurance company: Inform your insurance company about the incident as soon as possible. They will guide you through the claim process and provide the necessary assistance.

A Few Possible Defence Strategies:

Remember, even if you are guilty, you have more options than you think.

  1. Challenging the prosecution’s case: A skilled defence lawyer will meticulously review the prosecution’s evidence, looking for inconsistencies, errors, or weaknesses that can be challenged in court. This may include questioning the reliability of witnesses or disputing the accuracy of forensic evidence.
  2. Questioning causation: In Death by Dangerous Driving cases, establishing causation is crucial. A knowledgeable lawyer will explore the circumstances surrounding the incident and any contributing factors that may have influenced the outcome.
  3. Exploring lesser offences: Depending on the specific details of the case, it may be possible to argue for a reduction to the charge. This could involve seeking a lesser offence, such as Death by Careless Driving or Dangerous Driving. These carry less severe penalties.
  4. Negotiating a plea bargain: In certain cases, it may be beneficial to negotiate a plea bargain early with the prosecution. This can lead to receiving a discount on the sentence. This involves pleading guilty to fewer offences or a lesser offence in exchange for a reduced sentence. An experienced lawyer will assess the feasibility and potential benefits of pursuing this avenue.
  5. Highlighting mitigating factors: A skilled lawyer will identify and emphasise any mitigating factors that may reduce the severity of the sentence. This might involve showing remorse, presenting an unblemished driving record, or highlighting victim compensation and future incident prevention efforts.

These are a few strategies to ensure the best possible outcome following such an unfortunate incident.

Protect Your Liberty and Livelihood

When faced with charges of death by dangerous driving, the consequences can be severe, impacting both your liberty and livelihood. It is imperative to seek professional legal assistance to protect your rights and mount a robust defence.

Contact Our Road Traffic Defence Team

At Scullion LAW, our experienced Road Traffic Lawyers are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal process and achieve the best possible outcome. Don’t face these charges alone!

Contact us today to secure the expert representation you deserve.

Call our expert Road Traffic Defence Team in Glasgow at 0141 374 2121 or Hamilton at 01698 283 265. Alternatively, you can fill out our enquiry form, and we will promptly return your call.

Our friendly and approachable law team are ready to support you

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