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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70188
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I'm writing a novel and need purposes I'd like to get an

Resolved Question:

I'm writing a novel and need for research purposes I'd like to get an idea of how long a custodial sentence someone might receive for driving under the influence of cocaine, running a red light and hitting a child, who subsequently ends up in a coma for several years. It would be the driver's first offence and I am interested in UK law. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Does the child die?

Does it sustain life changing injuries?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No the child does not die. I've yet to decide whether the child suffers life threatening injuries, so could you tell me the length of sentence both with and without life changing injuries please?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

It really turns upon the nature of the injury.

There is an offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving now. I don't think there would be any difficulty with showing dangerous driving. It is just whether or not it falls within serious injury. Serious injury has been defined as that amounting to GBH but that isn't very well defined either. A permanent disability would clearly be caught. Whether a coma would depends on the reason for the coma.

If it is a causing serious injury by dangerous driving then, in fairness, this is a momentary decision. The fact that there was consumption of drugs would be an aggravating feature but whichever way you look at this, running a red light is one single act rather than a long ongoing course of conduct.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Generally speaking, people get under 2 years imprisonment for this offence and quite often get suspended sentences in particular women who almost never go to prison for anything unless they actually kill somebody and even then they are whinging and moaning and making allegations of domestic abuse.

There is also a two year ban that is a mandatory punishment and is the minimum period. There would also be a requirement to take an extended test.

Causing death by dangerous driving carries much higher penalties but I suppose that Parliament has to make a distinction between those offences.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For the purpose of my story, the female driver needs to go to prison (1-2 years is around the period I was thinking).
Say for example, the child sustains a serious head injury as a result of the crash and as a result is in a coma for a year or more - it is not known at the time the driver is sentenced whether the child will make a recovery or not (eventually the child does, but it is impossible for anyone to determine this at the time of sentencing) - would this be sufficient an offense for the woman to receive a custodial sentence? What if the child was also disfigured in some way, (ie: lost a leg) - would this up the sentence? Thanks.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

To get a woman sent to prison you will really have to go some.

The criminal justice system is outrageously biased in favour of women.

She is not going to go to prison for a year to two years realistically for this offence. Even men rarely go to prison for that long.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

The primary focus is upon the nature of the driving. The injuries are considered and it does aggravate but it is just not likely that this would lead to that length of sentence even for a man.

Women dont even get that long when they are convicted of making false allegations of rape.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. So might a prison sentence be more believable if the collision did cause a fatality? And how long might that sentence be?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, much more likely.

Even then women do quite often escape with suspended sentences.

A normal defendant, by which I mean a man, would get between two to five years for causing death by dangerous driving.

A woman can always whine and malinger and quite often do get shocking reductions on sentences.

However, when they have actually killed somebody it gets harder for even women to escape custody.

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