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Death By Careless Driving

Death by careless driving is a highly serious criminal offence with the potential for 5 years imprisonment and the loss of your licence. Getting the right legal advice as soon as possible can help you avoid conviction or minimise the criminal penalties if a conviction is unavoidable.

With over 40 years experience representing clients facing prosecution for serious driving offences, our criminal defence solicitors understand how these complex charges work and how to build an effective defence under even the most challenging circumstances.

From the point of arrest onwards, we can guide and represent you clearly and robustly, while providing empathetic personal support for what is likely to be an upsetting and confusing situation. We can also advise you before the point of arrest if you have concerns about a potential charge.

Our goal is to make is dealing with an investigation and any subsequent prosecution easier on you, while making sure you have the strongest defence possible, so you can secure the best available outcome for your case.

Over the years, we have achieved an enviable track record for seeing cases dropped before they reach court, while also regularly securing not guilty verdicts following a prosecution. Where conviction cannot be avoided, we can also make sure any and all mitigating factors are taken into account to limit any criminal penalties you may face.

If you have been arrested for, or charged with, death by careless driving, you can contact us 24-hours a day, seven days a week for an immediate free initial consultation, expert legal advice and representation.

Our criminal defence solicitors speak a number of languages, as well as working with various accredited interpreters. This means we can advise you clearly and effectively in any language, giving you confidence that you have the right legal advice.

We always want you to have the best legal advice when you need it, so our team is available 24/7 for immediate advice and representation for clients across England and Wales, both in person and by phone.

For a free initial consultation on dealing with a charge of death by careless driving, please contact our local offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester.

Need immediate legal support for a death by careless driving arrest? Our accredited Police Station Representatives and solicitors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year using the emergency numbers listed at the top of the page.

Our expertise with death by careless driving charges

It is important for you feel like your defence is in safe hands when facing serious charges, such as death by careless driving. Our team have over 40 years of experience, offering a detailed understanding of the law and seasoned representation for every stage of criminal proceedings.

We can ensure you have the right advice from the point of your first contact with the police and through every stage of investigation and any resulting prosecution. Our team will quickly work to identify any flaws in the case against you and build the strongest possible defence.

Offering exceptional expertise in the various types of evidence used in these cases, including CCTV footage, accident analysis and witness testimony, we can ensure no key detail or potential angle of defence is missed.

With extensive advocacy experience and working with some of the UK’s leading criminal defence barristers, we can ensure you have the very best representation if your case goes to court.

What to do if you are arrested for death by careless driving

Should you be arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving, it is important to be aware of your rights when interviewed by police. It can be very easy to make mistakes at this stage that can be very hard to recover from later if you say or do anything without proper legal advice.

The following are the four key things you need to remember when speaking to police:

  1. You do not have to answer any questions asked by the police. Whether to do so or not requires a thorough understanding of your case and how the criminal justice system works. Legal advice should be taken before saying anything.
  2. You should never answer any police questions without a solicitor present.
  3. You have the right to free legal representation.
  4. You can use the duty solicitor available or choose your own lawyer.

At the point of arrest, you must be told by the arresting officers what specific offences you are accused of committing. They must also caution you using the words:

“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

After a police interview for death by careless driving, one of the following will occur:

  • You are released with no further action
  • You are released under investigation
  • You are detained in custody
  • You are charged with a specific offence

If you are charged with death by careless driving:

  • A hearing date will be set
  • You will either be:
    • Released on bail
    • Kept in custody until your court hearing

If released, you can be rearrested or summonsed to attend a court hearing at any time.

How is death by careless driving different to death by dangerous driving?

While causing death by careless driving is a very serious criminal offence, the potential penalties are significant less than for the even more serious offence of death by dangerous driving. Establishing the difference is therefore often essential to your defence.

Death by careless driving is where a death has been caused as a result of a defendant “driving without due care and attention’. This means that the defendant’s driving fell below the standard that should be expected of a careful and competent driver, causing the death of another person.

Examples of careless driving include undertaking, failing to leave a safe distance between your vehicle and another road user, or doing something that distracts you from driving e.g. using your mobile phone, eating or smoking.

Death by dangerous driving is where a death has been caused by a defendant driving in a way that fell far below the standard expected of a careful and competent driver, meaning they posed a clear danger of physical injury or serious damage to others or their property.

Examples of dangerous driving might include driving too fast, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, or driving a vehicle that the defendant knew to have a dangerous fault.

Penalties for death by careless driving

The potential penalties on conviction for death by careless driving are:

  • Up to 5 years’ imprisonment
  • Disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months

If you are instead convicted of death by dangerous driving, you could face up to:

  • 14 years’ imprisonment
  • An unlimited fine
  • A mandatory 2-year disqualification from driving
  • A requirement to take an extended driving test to regain your licence

The exact sentence on conviction for death by careless driving will depend on the circumstances, including:

  • The defendant’s level of responsibility for the death
  • Any other offences involved e.g. if the vehicle being driven carelessly was stolen or the defendant failed to stop at the scene of an accident
  • The seriousness of the harm caused e.g. if more than one person was killed or injured

What defence is there if you are charged with death by careless driving?

Your defence options will depend on the circumstances, including whether you wish to plead guilty or not guilty.

Where you wish to plead not guilty, we can use our experience of death by careless driving cases to help you establish your innocence. Should you wish to plead guilty, we will work with you to make sure all mitigating factors are highlighted so you can achieve the minimum possible penalties.

Our criminal defence solicitors are highly experienced in representing clients facing serious driving offences, including death by careless driving, so no matter how challenging your circumstances, you can be assured that we will explore all of the available defence options, so you have the best chance of a positive outcome for your case.

Contact our driving offence defence lawyers today

For a free initial consultation, urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about an arrest or charges related to death by careless driving, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can contact our dedicated criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:

  • Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
  • Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
  • Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
  • City of London: 0207 624 7771 (our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City)

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

24/7 legal representation for death by careless driving charges

Please get in touch for a free initial consultation with one of our expert criminal defence solicitors, as well as immediate representation and advice on dealing with an arrest or charges connected to death by careless driving.

We are available to represent clients all over England and Wales at any time, so please contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556.

This document does not constitute legal advice.


  • Umar Zeb
      • Umar Zeb
      • Senior Partner - Head of Crime
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  • Lisa Nicol
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  • Sanjay Cholera
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  • Pretesh Chauhan
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  • John Barnes
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  • Ryan Williams
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  • Malik Aldeiri
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  • Panama Begum
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  • Sandra Cunningham
      • 0161 835 1638
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  • Barry Linnane
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  • James O'Donnell
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  • Andrew Stewart
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  • Robert Wong
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  • Stuart Lloyd
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For new serious cases you can email a senior partner/lawyer directly by clicking here. When you call us you can request a call back or meeting the same day with a senior partner/lawyer or Barrister.