What is the trial procedure if you accused of driving without due care and attention?
How to avoid conviction. Firstly one must understand how the offence is defined. Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act, 1988, states that driving ‘a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place…’ is an offence. The section goes on to state that ‘A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way he drives falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.’ Therefore, the Crown can prove its case ‘if and only if’ it is shown that your driving fell below the standard of ‘a competent and careful driver’.
How can the Crown prove its case against you?
The Crown will ‘particularise’ its factual allegation; it will allege, for example, that on a certain date and location the Defendant was driving without due care and attention, for example, by emerging from a side road into the path of an oncoming vehicle, or, by striking a pedestrian on a zebra crossing.
The Crown would have to show that the material facts were as alleged and then persuade the court that driving in such a way did fall below the standard of driving expected of a competent and careful driver. The issue of how the Defendant drove is a matter of fact for the court. This will be determined by the magistrates.
The magistrates are ‘lay’ in the sense that they are not qualified in the law. They are advised as to the law by the clerk of the court. Alternatively, a professional
Submission of no case to answer
At the close of the Crown’s
Submissions of no case to answer are only successful in a small minority of cases. Usually, there is a case to answer whereupon the case for the defence begins. There is no requirement upon the defence to call evidence as the burden of proof is upon the Crown. However, in most cases where there is a case to answer the defendant is likely to be convicted if he calls no evidence. Therefore, in most
Once all of the evidence is concluded the lawyers for each side will address the court by way of summary. The prosecution advocate has the first opportunity to address the court and the defence advocate follows. The Magistrates would normally then retire to consider the verdict. This would be followed by
Specialist Motor Offence Barrister
If your driving licence is at risk please don’t hesitate to contact me