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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69786
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been charged with driving without due care and attention

Customer Question

I have been charged with driving without due care and attention (I knocked a cyclist of his bike). I was driving down a hill in a line of traffic (approx 10 mph). I looked in my mirror and saw the cyclist; I felt he was far enough back to make my turn left. I signalled and made my turn but between seeing him in my rear view, looking ahead to make sure no-one was crossing the road, signalling and then slowing to about 2 mph to make my turn, he was on me and I clipped him and he fell off his bike. I do not know what injury he has - ?# ***** bone. I feel it was a 50-50 collision as he shouldn't have been travelling so fast that he was unable to stop when I turned. I clearly made an error of judgement regarding his speed but I don't think I was driving without due care and attention. When cautioned by the police I said it was my fault because at the time i was in shock and also felt that cyclists were always in the right; but having reflected I think he was travelling too fast on the inside of the line of traffic and so must accept some responsibility. Do I plead guilty or not guilty? If I pead guilty, do I get the opportunity to state the above in some defence?
Thanks, Alistair
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Just to clarify, you admitted fault to the police?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I said words to the effect of 'clearly it is my fault but he was trvelling so fast I misjudged hs speed; however I was in shock and I said this on the basis of an assumption that motorists were always deemed at fault in these situations and I didn't want to appear that I was trying to deny my part in the collison


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. Sorry for the delay

Are you prepared to run the risk of costs if it goes against you? It would be about £400-£600?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, sorry, just home from work; I'm not sure I can afford that sort of money right now. I suppose that would be a double whammy, costs and still a conviction. What if I was to plead guilty, do I get the chance to tell the magistrates what I have told you, in mitigation?
Thanks

Alistair
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, you do get the opportunity to mitigate.

If money were no issue then I would tell you to run this. Its not as simple for the Crown as proving that there was a collision. They need to prove that the standard of your driving fell below that of the reasonably careful driver. That is not the same as showing a collision.

Obviously here they will be saying that you pulled out in front of the cyclist which would be driving without due care but your explanation might be accepted and that is a defence.

The risk is that you would lose and face costs but they would give you time to pay.

You would probably get 3-6 points. Its deserving of 3 really but his injuries were high so brace yourself for 6. There will also be a fine and costs proportionate to the case.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69786
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo, thank you, sorry the tip is so small but as I say, money is a bit tight.


Would my mitigation be likely, if I were to plead guilty from the outset, to 'reduce' my punishment - ie fine/points?


 


Alistair

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the positive rating and the bonus. Do remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

The mitigation is basically that you weren't the only person who caused his injuries because his own failure contributed too. You do need to be careful how you put that to the Bench but if they get the point then they might reduce the penalty.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome and I will book mark you, very clear and unambiguous answers.


I will be careful how I put things, but will try to get that point across. Do you think it would help if I related my 'character' in with my mitigation? Never had a fault accident, worked in NHS, (emergency department) all my working life and know full well the risks of the road, I've spent my life helping people, assisting in saving lives and have saved quite a few by my own hand.


I'm devastated by this Jo, I really am, I'm not careless person and I want to try to get this across.


Alistair

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, your hitherto good driving record is always helpful.

My old pupil master used to say that the motor car makes criminal of us all. Its one of those offences that you don't need to be a member of the criminal classes to commit.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

FOR JO C


 


Ok thanks for you help Jo.


 


All the best,


 


Alistair

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For Jo C
Hi again, I had a couple of more queries;

If I decide to plead not guilty, am I entitled to see the evidence/ case against me, under disclosure , if I am defending myself, prior to the court case?

Will the third party be in court? Will I be up against a lawyer/ Barrister?

What do you think my maximum layout would be ( costs, plus fine) should I fail and be found guilty?

Do they 'increase' my fine because I pled not guilty and lost.

Thanks

Alistair
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, but it will be handed to you on the morniing of the first appearance.

The complainant should not be in court for the first appearance unless, of course, he chooses to attend. The Crown will have an advocate of some form.

Probably around £600.

You do lose credit for an early guilty plea if you are convicted after a trial.

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