What You Need to Know If You've Been Charged with Careless Driving

Posted on: 23 February 2017

if you've been involved in an altercation with the traffic police, you may be worried about the repercussions. You need your car to get to work every day and would find it very difficult without it. What are the implications of a run-in with the cops and what should you be prepared for in your situation?

Showing Due Care

The law requires everybody to drive with what is known as "due care and attention." The police may believe that you have done otherwise if you're involved in an accident which appears to be your fault, or even if you exhibit some overly aggressive driving. You may pull away from traffic lights very quickly, squealing the tyres, and this can by itself bring forward a charge of careless driving.

Learning the Repercussions

In this situation, you may be faced with a fairly hefty fine depending on the severity of the charge, and in the worst cases the courts have the discretion to impose a short prison sentence, although this is rare. What is less rare is a disqualification. If you caused quite a serious accident through your carelessness, then you may lose your licence for a month or more. What you don't want to hear is the phrase "absolute disqualification." This means that you will have to rely on foot power for at least two years and then have to apply, through a formal process, to get your licence back.

Not Relying on Hardship

Much will depend on the seriousness of the charge. If another driver sustains injuries, then the courts will be likely to impose disqualification. You may think that you would be able to get a "hardship" licence in this case, but this is far from certain, and it's best if your defence is put in such a way that the court is asked not to disqualify. In order for this type of approach to work, a lot of research will need to be done into the case. You will probably have to attend voluntary driving workshops and provide independent, third-party character references.

Making It Even Worse

In Australia, there are also such things as "hooning" charges. Careless driving can be classified as a "type I" offence here, and it's possible that your vehicle could be impounded. You absolutely don't want to do this the second time either, as this could lead to your car being not only impounded but confiscated as well.

All in all, there's a lot to consider when it comes to a careless driving charge. You may also have a certain amount of demerit points added to your licence when convicted. It stands to reason therefore that you should seek the advice of qualified lawyers to try and mitigate the result.


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