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Driving Offence: Driving Without Due care and attention.

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johnnyo636 | 01:25 Sat 05th Aug 2006 | Motoring
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I am going to court this month due to a driving conviction of driving without due care and attention. i would like to know what you think i will get given i.e a fine or points on my licence. etc.just before the accident i was stationary at some traffic lights, as they changed to green i proceeded round a small bend and towards a small hump bridge. as i approached the bridge i accelerated slightly and carried on talking to my friend as i went over the hump i noticed a car stopped directly in front of me in a queue of traffic. i immediately slammed on the brakes but due to the amount of rain the car did not stop immediatley but carried on sliding forward, i then felt the car jolt and heard an almighty bang. i panicked at this point because i was not sure what had happened. i was in shock my friend told me to move the car to the side of the road,i started the car and moved it to a safe position. i then got out of the vehicle and spoke to the driver of the vehicle in front. i had hit a car which was stationary in a queue of traffic waiting to turn into B&Q. the stationary vehicle had moved with enough force to also shunt another vehicle in front. The driver of both vehicles were not harmed.my car was written off.i am now being charged with driving without due care and attention. i have pleaded not guilty and intend to make the point that the driving conditons were bad. i did leave enough time to stop howver the vast amount of water on the road meant the car aquaplaned. i was not driving dangeroulsy i was a failry new driver and i was not used to the intense weather and driving in those conditiions. what do you guys think i should do and what do you think i will get. also for a small court case such as this do i need a solictor.i am 18 and have been driving for about a year but at the time of the accident had only been driving for about a month.Get back to me with your comments.Thanks

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Hi

If you are found guilty you are likely to be fined and given between 3 - 9 points on your licence. Given that you have held your licence for under two years you are in serious danger of having your licence revoked if you are given 6 points or above. The magistrates could also give a discretionary disqualification if they consider it a serious lapse.

The outcome of the case and likely sentence is very dependent on the circumstances - eg - what speed were you doing, were you concentrating or looking at the passenger, had the weather conditions suddenly changed, etc

From what you say, the weather was dreadful and there was alot of water on the road. This is not an excuse, you should have been driving according to the conditions and increased your distance from the traffic in front accordingly. Could you see the stopped traffic from your side of the bridge?

I would definitely advise you to speak to a solicitor before the case. Defending yourself in court can be nerve racking and intimidating, and you are likely to be up against an experienced prosecutor.

Also bear in mind that if you plead not guilty and are found guilty after trial, the fine will be higher.
You will get between 3 and 9 points on your licence and a fine.

If you get 6 or more points you will be banned.

Your defence will not stand up - the driving conditions were bad so you should have adapted your driving accordingly. Also you could not see what was on the other side of the humped bridge - another reason to proceed with extreme caution.

Get proper advice.



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Me thinks you had better plead guilty - you state that carried on talking as you carried on over the hump - that's driving without due care and attention - just as bad as using a mobile phone that is.
You say the conditions were bad - leave a larger gap between you and the vehicle in front next time out - I'm sure a question on the driving test is about stopping distances and what affects them ie. a wet road.
You say you slammed on the brakes and the car skidded - a skid is caused by either of three things - excessive steering( as in going round a bend too fast) excesive braking ( not leaving enuff room between you and the car in front and excessive acceleration or a combination of these.
You are Guilty of the offence you are charged with and I would advise you to plead guilty otherwise the penalty will be more severe if you plead not guilty.
And I would suggest you get better tyres on your car - aquaplaning is caused by excessive speed over water or insufficient tread depth. ( even a witht tyres at the legal limit you still have to slow down to avoid this).
Be more careful next time you venture out.
As far as your plea goes, that is a matter for you. However, from your brief description of events it sounds as though you stand every chance of being convicted. The law states that you must adjust your driving when conditions are bad and it seems as if you did not do so.

As you have already pleaded not guilty you have now lost the opportunity to be given a full (33%) discount on any fine you may face. If you change your plea now (and I presume your next appearance will be what is known as a �pre-trial review�) you may still be given a discount, but reduced from the maximum.

You need to be fully aware of the consequences of the various sentencing options open to the court if you are convicted. Apart from the fine, you will either be disqualified or have penalty points endorsed on your licence (not both). If you are disqualified you may not drive at all for the period of the disqualification. However, when that period ends, you may resume driving as a full licence holder. If you are awarded six or more points, as a new driver (i.e. one who passed his first test less than two years ago) the DVLA will revoke your full licence. What Ethel has said is misleading. You will not be �banned� but may continue to drive as a provisional licence holder. This means back to �L� Plates and being accompanied, and you will have to pass your test (including theory) again.

Many new drivers ask the court to impose a short disqualification rather than points if they are likely to accumulate more than five. The courts sometimes accede to this request, but it is advisable to have a solicitor put this to the court on your behalf. If you are in England or Wales you will not get legal aid for this.
I have to agree with the judge, the fact that you crashed means that as far as they are concerned, you were driving without due care, i know that sounds harsh but its very black and white.
No way to prove your speed, no independant witnesses, you crashed, end of. The claim on insurance will go against you as well which will harm your future premiums.
You would be as well to use the legal assistance you should have with your car insurance policy for this, assuming you're the policy holder and you paid for this service? If you are with a decent company they will help you as much as they can, if youre with an Internet cowboy, you're probably screwed
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Do you think that i will need to have a solictor present. If i dont have one will this cause any problems or make the case worse. can anyone give me some advice on what to say and what exactly happens on the day and what type of questions i will be asked as i have not been to court before and this is my first offence.

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