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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71141
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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in october i was driving home from seeing a friend and ended

Customer Question

in october i was driving home from seeing a friend and ended up crashing into an ambulance on the other side of the road, i have no recollection of this happening and have no idea how it happened. a man in a van stopped to see if i was ok and told me i had hit an ambulance but that no one was hurt. i then appear to have wandered away from the scene. i have no recollection of doing this. i crossed a field then a police helicopter was sent out. this sounds silly now but i hid from the helicopter as two years ago i was airlifted to hospital after a riding accident and for some reason i was convinced that the helicopter was taking me back to hospital where i had spent months in alot of pain. i was then found by police told i had to go to hospital, i was refusing to get in the ambulance still convinced they were going to put me in hospital for a long time ( i think i had banged my head as had a cut and large bruise to the side of my head and over my eye) i was crying and saying that i wanted my partner, the police then told me that he was waiting in the ambulance and if i got in i could see him, i got in the ambulance and my partner was not there, this made me slightly hysterical and start crying, the police then tried to breathalise me but i was unable to blow as i was crying and so i was arrested. on getting to the police station i was breathalised and easily passed the test. i was given a police interview and let out the following afternoon. i have now had a letter to say i am charged with failing to stop and driving with undue care and attention, do i have any deffence and should i get a specialist solicitor to defend me or do i just need to plead guilty and take the rap, i am obviously very concerned as i know that you can face jail for failing to stop
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

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

Had you been drinking?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

i had had a couple of drinks which i told the police 1/2 a pint of lager and a vodka lime and lemonade

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

Realistically though, I am sorry, but you have no defence to failing to stop. Whichever way you look at this you knew of an accident and you left the scene. In addition to that you hid from the police helicopter so its game over I'm afraid. It would be very difficult to argue that you may have reported to a police station within 24 hours on that basis.

In relation to driving without due care, that is always harder to prove. There was an accident but that doesn't necessarily prove that you were driving without due care. We can all have an accident. They have to show that there was some instance of driving below the standard of the reasonable driver.

They may be able to do that. It doesn't help that you struck a vehicle on the other side of the road which tends to suggest that you were over the wrong side of the road at least at some point.

Personally I would offer a plea to one offence or the other. If there was a police helicopter then realistically they are going to want the failing to stop. They might drop the driving without due care and attention.

You could put them to prove on the driving without due care. If nobody saw the accident then they will be relying on a collision report from a police officer which is always open to cross examination.

Whether its worth it or not is another matter. Given the nature of the failing to stop you will not get any more for the careless driving. That only carries points and a fine. You are not likely to avoid disqualification as a result of this.

The failing to stop carries a maximum of 6 months custody and an unlimited fine. Also it carries 5-10 points or a disqualification.

This probably falls into band two or three sentencing bracket depending on the level of damage. That does include custody but you won't get custody. I've only ever seen custody once for a failing to stop and that involved a person who had struck a pedestrian who later died, drove away and the Crown were able to prove that if he had stopped and summonsed help the pedestrian probably would have survived.

However, I would brace yourself for a heavy fine and a ban.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.