I have been charged with an offence of Dangerous Driving and am due to appear at Cardiff Crown Court. I deny that my driving was in any way dangerous. What will happen at the first crown court appearance?
You will first appear at the Crown Court for a hearing known as a Preliminary Hearing – if you plead Not Guilty your case is likely to be adjourned for a Plea and Case Management Hearing (PCMH). It is usual to instruct a solicitor to assist you at both a Preliminary hearing and a PCMH. #1 Motoring Solicitors are solicitor advocates and can represent you in both the magistrates’ court and the crown court. In certain circumstances, we might advise you to instruct a motoring Barrister.
You will be expected to enter your plea to Dangerous Driving at the PCMH. A number of procedural and legal matters will be discussed with a view to identifying the legal issues in your case. If you intend to plead guilty at any point in the Crown Court, you should do so at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure that you obtain maximum credit on sentence. In your case, it is likely that you will plead not guilty – therefore your case will be adjourned for trial. At your trial witnesses will be crossed examined on your behalf and you will call evidence to support your defence. The jury will then decide whether you are guilty or not guilty.
The legal definition of dangerous driving can be found under Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. A person will be found guilty of driving dangerously where the way in which he or she drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver AND it would be obvious that driving in such a way would be dangerous. Dangerous driving is a serious motoring offence – the crown court would consider a sentence of imprisonment and a minimum 12 month disqualification from driving upon conviction. The Court would also order that you sit a mandatory extended driving test.
Feel free to call #1 Motoring Solicitors on 02920 220044 for free initial advice in respect of any offences of dangerous driving.