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Driving and Motoring Offences

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.


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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.

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Why choose JD Spicer Zeb?

  • 1000's of Cases Dropped
  • 24/7 Emergency Phonelines
  • 100's of Years Combined Experience
  • Google Reviews Read all Reviews

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.

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

Have you won any awards?


"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
  • Public and private funding benefits.
  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
  • Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
  • Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
  • Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.

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 an 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.

How can we help?

  • Umar Zeb
      • Umar Zeb
      • Senior Partner - Head of Private Client Crime
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  • Lisa Nicol
      • Lisa Nicol
      • Managing Partner - Head of Crime & Serious Cases
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