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scaredcumbrian
Hi,
I have just found this site, and I am hoping someone can help me urgently.

I received an NIP (within the time limits I believe) stating I was being accused of dangerous driving, and a couple of lesser things I can't recall.
(I returned it saying I was driving.)

A month or so later the 2 police officers came round my house saying they needed me to give a statement, and I could do it at home or the station, I was happy either way so they came back the next day to take my statement. (I did not have a solicitor present, although my wife was in the next toom and heard what was alleged.)

They claimed a DC who was driving an unmarked car alleged that He was driving on a small section of dual carriageway on the A590 at Haverthwaite. He says he was doing 60mph and was completing overtaking a vehicle he judged to be doing 40mph when he noticed mt vehicle approaching him from behind at what he judged to be about 85mph. he completed his manoeuvre and I continued to pass him at the end of the carriageway where it goes back to single lane, in doing so I crossed double white lines and had to swerve back in to avoid "Infrastructure".

I denied this (as I do not recall anything of the sort?) The questions all revolved around crossing these white lines at the end. At the end of the interview the officer said he would have been able to give me a caution, or put me on a driving course, but as I had denied it he would have to let the matter run it's course and it may end up in court. He then said he was going to take photo's of the alleged scene. (He also said the double white lines were unlike most he had seen!)

I later went to get photo's my self, and found there were NO DW's at the end of the carriageway, so I thought no more of it.
I then got a summons for Dangerous driving at the magistrates court. After talking to a few people they discouraged me from losing wages taking time of to go and see a solicitor as the allegation was so obviously false.

I went to court today! A duty solicitor said it was advisable to talk to them which I did.....Then my world caved in!
The statement that was read to me said it was alleged that I had overtaken a stream of traffic BEFORE the dual carriageway, and I overtook him on DW's and had to swerve to avoid the barriers seperating the two sides, throwing up dust from the unused section of road. I was GOBSMACKED!

The duty solicitor looked at my statement and said the two don't match, but that would count for nothing in a magistrates court, I should plead not guilty and elect from Crown court which I have?

However the solicitor says as he is a police officer and it is his word against mine I still run the real risk of being found guilty....looking on websites I could get 2 years imprisonment banned for years, and a no limit fine? (On top of the £5k to £10K it will cost me to defend myself?

I need advice please, like what is the likely punishment, am I better with a specialist solicitor, and does the fact what I was told I was being accused of has changed?

I AM SCARED!!!

I forgot to mention....The duty solicitor read out as list of my supposed convictions.......Which sounded like I was a complete animal, lists of ABH / GBH etc.
This was for someone with the same name, but not me....when I went in to court my solicitor said that the prosecution accepted that it was not me and it had been removed.......Could this of had any bearing on things?
Jlc
This is definitely specialist solicitor time. As you note Dangerous Driving at Crown has potential for severe penalties.

BBLaw comes recommended on this forum - might be worth contacting them.
southpaw82
You do not need advice over the Internet. You need to go and see a specialist motoring lawyer. Now.
scaredcumbrian
I will be getting a specialist solicitor today. I can't afford it, but I guess I will have to somehow?

I am just wondering what would be the likely outcome if found guilty?
AFCNEAL
From what you've shared, careless seems more likely to stick than dangerous, so you're looking at 4-6 points maybe and a sizeable fine.

The issue over the wrong criminal history is irrelevant as it's been withdrawn/corrected.

The bit you haven't told us though is were you actually at the location on the date/time alleged and if so what happened. The chances of a fabrication are slim (why?) but it could be a different vehicle was involved?

A specialist solicitor is down to affordability and how well equipped you are to articulate your recollection etc?
glasgow_bhoy
QUOTE (scaredcumbrian @ Fri, 3 May 2013 - 09:35) *
I will be getting a specialist solicitor today. I can't afford it, but I guess I will have to somehow?

I am just wondering what would be the likely outcome if found guilty?

Try to find one, (if its possible with specialist traffic laywers) who deals with legal aid. Your dealing with a crime here which is very serious- I believe you therefore qualify for aid.
johnjo42
Yes, you should qualify for Legal Aid as it's going to the Crown Court.
JJ
scaredcumbrian
Thanks for the advice so far, I would have been in that location at about that time, however I have no recollection of anything that would be considered Dangerous Driving.

What I was questioned on, both from what my actions were supposed to have been, and what the accusers actions were supposed to have been differ significantly from what was put to me (for the first time) in court.

Having looked at the "new" statement, and going back to view the road, it is possible that I could have been overtaking slow traffic (The "new" statement says he was following a car at 40mph) and misjudged the distance and crossed double whites, but it would not have endangered anyone?

I have talked to BBlaw today, and will be getting them to represent me. The travesty is, the police officer said I could have done an awareness course, and if they had questioned me on what is being said now, I would have told them it could be possible and this would never have got this far?

Surely there must be something about the way I was questioned, for example not reading out what was alleged?
Jlc
I didn't say it originally but if you were offered a 'course' then it's usually wise to accept it as this disposes of the matter without any prosecution. On the positive side this could indicate that the alleged offence was 'suitable' for a course offer - a more serious allegation would have not been offered...

You are in good hands now though.
simplesimon
Does it matter that he was offered the course after he disagreed with the officers version? As in I mean surely the course offer shouldve been put on the table straight away.
BertB
QUOTE
At the end of the interview the officer said he would have been able to give me a caution, or put me on a driving course, but as I had denied it he would have to let the matter run it's course and it may end up in court.


What was the point of telling the OP what he could have won? I hope you left with a Bullseye tankard and set of darts by way of consolation.

If this option was available to him had he coughed to something he couldn't recall, could the OP then argue for the same punishent in court, if he plead quilty?
sgtdixie
It is well establishedthat the reference to the course cannot be made before the interview as it would be an inducement to admit the offence. Also a course cannot be offered where the suspect denies the offence.

I suspect that the reason the cop mentioned the course post interview was he thought the OP lied and was letting him know he had shot himself inn the foot.
scaredcumbrian
I have now picked up the full pack that was looked at in court by both the prosecution, and the defence. (Which I have forwarded to BB_Law and I am awaiting a response.)

Now, the crux of the matter is, the accuser has said he moved out to the right hand side of the carriageway where it widened, as he prepared to overtake, he checked his mirrors and saw me overtaking a string of traffic crossing DW's in his mirror. He then goes on to say he started to overtake? (Why?) and that I overtook him whilst he was still in the process of overtaking. Now, if you view google maps for Haverthwaite....And you will have to walk the route as the ariel view does not show ANY DW's as it must be an older view, however if you use the man to walk the route, you will see that he could not have seen me crossing DW's....And if he was overtaking where he says he was, he would either have had to been overtaking on DW's himself, or I could not have been?

If you google map Haverthwaite A590, and walk the route, I can't see how this possibly could add up?
(I may have been overtaking in a single lane that was wide enough to pass other vehicles? But to cross the double white lines where he is saying, I would either have been having to pass him while he was overtaking illegally or I am sure he could not have seen me "Pass him whilst he was in the process of overtaking another vehicle"?

If anyone has the time, please google map it, and walk the route? If he was in the process of overtaking, how can he:
A) have NOT been me overtaking across DW"s himself?
B) Not had a view sufficient to say I was overtaking over DW"S and having to swerve and throw up debris?


I have studied the "New" location at length, and it just does not add up?
If he states he saw me overtaking a string of traffic whilst approaching him, surely he would not have decided to overtake with someone behind him approaching dangerously at speed?
scaredcumbrian
I guess I am just looking for someone to look at this with fresh eyes, walk the route and either confirm or deny my view that I could not have done what is said if the accuser was doing what is in his statement?

As I said before, could I have been speeding to overtake....possibly.....Could he have been carrying out his actions while seeing what he is accusing me of....I doubt highly!!

I am no saint, but something that could cost me my license, and therefore my job, my home, my families well being?

Please.....Take the time to view, how could he be in the process of overtaking, see me breaking ANY law, and then still say I was passing him in an X5 before he completed his overtake?? Unless the X5 is now capable of 300mph and performing the "Night bus" trick off Harry Potter and shrinking in width? There is no possible way, unless both him, and the car he was overtaking had to dangerously swerve left, and in red arrow formation, or it would have resulted in carnage? The worst I could have done is overtaken him before he had the chance to overtake himself, AND THAT COULD BE WHY HE HAS REPORTED ME?
sgtdixie
No-one on here can possibly assess what happened from such brief descriptions. I would say that your initial post suggested that not only did nothing happen but you couldn't remember anything out of the ordinary. As the thread evolves we get descriptions of events and explanations.

Can I suggest you give up on this thread and leave it to your solicitor. You are going to be paying him several hundred pounds for representing you. He will get all the deps and have your full account and can give you advice based on the facts.
scaredcumbrian
sdtdixie - I disagree entirely with your comment.
I have looked at what has been now said MONTHS after the alleged incident, and after both driving the route again myself, and viewing google maps from the ground level extensively I STILL can't understand how what has been alleged could either be true, or seen if the statement of the accusers actions is accurate?

However, what can be viewed and commented on is the fact the fact that if he was overtaking (part way through the manoeuvre) legally.....and using the ability to see the road in detail, he could not have possibly witnessed me breaking ANY law?
What I have said is that if what he says about his actions at the time (and he is a police officer, so I assume he knows what he is doing?) is correct, I could NOT have possibly been seen to break any law?

If I though t that police were never wrong, and always gave evidence 100% correctly.....I would say that the Hillsborough justice campaign is totally flawed and is a pack of lies?

I would however, really appreciate yourself as an officer of the law to walk the google map view of the road, consider that you are "Part way through overtaking" and consider could you have seen anyone breaking the law (especially to the degree of Dangerous driving) and yet be passed by the same car whilst you were still in the process of overtaking?
Logician
You have been living with this, you have seen the officer's statement, you know this inside out. You have told us almost nothing, not even the direction in which you were travelling. We cannot possibly provide any useful assistance on the basis of what you have told us. You have instructed a solicitor, quite rightly, as you are being accused of a serious offence, he will be able to go through this with you in detail. There is no point whatever in our trying to understand this when you have an excellent specialist solicitor on the job with full access to the documentation. We would risk causing confusion.
scaredcumbrian
As it is not yourself who is facing (according to the sentencing guidelines) Jail, loss of licence, huge fine etc......I see how it is very easy to make the statements you have made.
However, as any of the above would mean losing my job, my home, my wife and children's security, I feel that this is rather important?

If you actually look at the area, and put yourself in a position to be driving it, how can any action, without damage, incident or other witnesses posibly result in the outcome I face?

I have not slept, eaten, even been able to face my own children since I realised the seriousness of what I an NOW accused of? I am a grown man who has broken down in tears in front of solicitors, friends etc because I can see the injustice of what could possibly happen to me!

I don't expect you to understand this, as there is plenty of evidence out there to show how the police are treated differently to normal citizens!

I drive over 40,000 miles per year, and I have ONE speeding offence! Yet one persons (WRONG) word against mine could ruin my entire families lives???

I have done NOTHING dangerous, yet I am in bits!!!!
anniekalinowski
I have no actual knowledge regarding law but I read your post and felt I needed to reply. You must keep positive and fight this. Good luck
scaredcumbrian
Logician - I was travelling west, toward Ulverston.

However, I agree with what you say, it is just I can't comprehend what is happening. I do not believe I have done anything wrong, one person says I have and I could lose everything, and so could my family?? I am in pieces, I can't help it, I have even considered suicide to save my family????
anniekalinowski
Scaredcumbrian I hope that you are not serious about that last statement. Keep positive, write down everything, talk to your wife. Keep with facts and seek legal advice. Defeatism never won the day, fight it don't give up.
scaredcumbrian
How can I not be serious??? Surely protecting my families future comes first? How can the police change what is said now? They have changed their story already!
I am being told by everyone that a single police officer can say anything and it will believed above my word, and my world can end????
Logician
You are doing the wisest thing by instructing a well-respected specialist solicitor who will give you the best possible advice. The officer's version will not necessarily be believed above yours, particularly if he has already changed his account and it does not make sense with the layout of the road. Even if he is believed, a single instance of dangerous overtaking may well be down-graded to careless driving rather than dangerous, and will be at the lowest end of dangerous if it stays at that. A prison sentence is inconceivable. You will not protect your family by doing anything stupid, you will wreck their lives.
PaulR986
QUOTE (Logician @ Fri, 3 May 2013 - 21:55) *
You have been living with this, you have seen the officer's statement, you know this inside out. You have told us almost nothing, not even the direction in which you were travelling. We cannot possibly provide any useful assistance on the basis of what you have told us. You have instructed a solicitor, quite rightly, as you are being accused of a serious offence, he will be able to go through this with you in detail. There is no point whatever in our trying to understand this when you have an excellent specialist solicitor on the job with full access to the documentation. We would risk causing confusion.


Only my second post but I agree wholeheartedly with Logician.

Go with the professional legal advice and good luck.
scaredcumbrian
Thanks, I know that in my heart, and I won't do anything stupid.

I just can't handle the injustice of it all?

I have done NOTHING that I would consider Dangerous? I don't drive that way, and the lack of previous convictions compared to the mileage I drive backs this up.
Even if I lose my licence, I lose my job, therefore my house, and therefore my families wellbeing? If I didn't think I did anything wrong, nobody else reported me for doing anything wrong? How can my life be ruined by one (non traffic) Police officer?
scaredcumbrian
Has anyone had the time to walk this stretch of road on google maps? I won't be able to sleep again..........
Logician
QUOTE (scaredcumbrian @ Sat, 4 May 2013 - 00:23) *
Has anyone had the time to walk this stretch of road on google maps? I won't be able to sleep again..........


I suspect you are getting no comments on the detail of your case for the reasons stated earlier, we do not have the full details, any comments from us would be likely to confuse matters rather than help and it is far better left to your solicitor.
scaredcumbrian
I'm sure you are right......I just can't rest, sleep eat, even face my kids with this hanging over me?
I'm sure BB_law will get it sorted, and I know the best thing to do would be to put it out of my mind........easier said than done?

Logician
Of course, but it really is not the worst thing that could happen to you, think of what they might be and get this into perspective.
scaredcumbrian
Logican - I know you are trying to help, but tbh I can't think of much (that is likely) that could be happening at the moment that could be worse?

Losing my job, my house, making my family having to suffer......That is bad enough for now? sad.gif
southpaw82
I know it's hard but try to relax. You have a good lawyer, let him handle it.
mrh3369
As southpaw says try to relax, there is no injustice yet just an allegation that you may well defend successfully, it's stressful but chin up tell the truth and you should be ok.
AFCNEAL
As others have said - let BBLaw deal with it.

I did have a look on Google Maps and there are several dangerous (looking) junctions, all of which appear to have DW lines before/during/after them and although I don't know the road at all, it's clearly a busy one and it's easy to imagine locals getting frustrated with slower traffic and overtaking on the long straights - although there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. Without knowing exactly where the incident supposedly took place, impossible for anyone to comment............
scaredcumbrian
Thanks for everyones help, I am just waiting to here what BB-Law think, and I am hoping it will all be cleared up soon.

I hadn't realised my wife had posted a new topic, obviously she is as worried as I am, but I have asked her to leave it to the the lawyers now.

However, I do need to say one more thing.........SgtDixie.....Whilst it is admirable that you stick up for your police colleagues, it is hardly like they have ever been either wrong, or worse before now is it?
I am fairly clear in my own mind now what must have happened, and to the best of my knowledge what I may have done would neither be dangerous, or illegal!

It may have got under the skin of someone who wanted to overtake first, but that does not make it wrong (Or illegal!) however, making false allegations because of it, should be! (And, if justice is done, then I WILL be looking in to how I can take false allegations further!)

Your posts have a slight tinge of attitude to them, not just on my thread but others too? What I am going through could possibly ruin my life as well as my wife and children's, yet you seem to ignore that in all cases?

I would have thought that EMPATHY and a little bit of HUMANITY would be key attributes in a good officer of the law, however your tone leads me to think that I must be mistaken?


mrh3369
People come here for advice and generally they get it and the sgt is normally bang on the money but the sites not known as a sympathy and shoulder to cry on self help circle it's just told how it is.
scaredcumbrian
There is more than one way to give an answer?
As I said, it is being dealt with by an expert now, but surely it would give the public a better appreciation of the police (who we all pay for?) if they used some empathy?

I have not wanted, or expected to have someone stroke my hair whilst telling me it will be ok.......But if what I have seen both in my own situation (a first dealing with the police for me) and what I have seen on here is typical of the attitude......I'm not too sure I would be eager to help them in future!
ukboxer
"I am fairly clear in my own mind now what must have happened, and to the best of my knowledge what I may have done would neither be dangerous, or illegal!"

I feel it should be pointed out that what you consider not to be dangerous or illegal may in fact be dangerous and illegal.

Whilst I do have sympathy with what is happening to you bringing up references to Hillsborough and questioning the professionalism of SgtDixie is a little below the belt.

He and the others who have replied are doing so in their own time to give you advice. You may not like or agree with some of the replies, but unlike you people are doing so without emotion (and I dont mean that horribly) and that is why this site is helpful. If everyone got emotional and just replied with posts saying how sorry we are, calling the Police this and that and saying good luck etc you are not getting the factual help that you need. The purpose of this forum is not for empathy (although you may well get it from some, me included), it is for help to undertand the allegations and charges, the possible outcomes and various steps you are advised to take etc i.e contacting BBLaw, which you did. I kinda guess you were just blowing off steam though.

No one here was a witness to what happened so walking through google maps cannot give anyone an informative idea of exactly what happened nor can we see it from the perspective of the Officer who made this allegation.

Not sleeping or eating with worry is not going to help you at all but it will get better. You should turn to your wife and children for support rather than not being able to face them, after all you would support them if they had worries and anxiety right? It works both ways and it will help smile.gif

Unfortunatly it is pretty obvious that this is going to be a major worry for you until it is resolved and the suicidal thoughts may well be a sign of panic so perhaps you should see your doctor for some short term help just to get you through this.

As you have representation now I dont feel you can gain anymore from this thread. BBLaw has great feedback so take some comfort in that.

I do genuinely wish you the best and a successful outcome
AFCNEAL
Sympathy evaporates quickly on here. Everyone reads & contributes voluntarily, in their own time and free of charge. There's no obligation on SgtD, me, you or anyone else to sugar-coat anything. We see many, many threads develop where the poster starts out as the poor victim and slowly reveals what actually happened and it turns out the 'circumstance' was markedly different than originally portrayed.

What YOU THINK doesn't really matter. Please don't trash the experienced posters on here otherwise your already insecure personal situation will become a lonely one too.

You owe a few people on here an apology.
scaredcumbrian
You're right, I was out of order, and I apologise.
It is just getting me down I guess.

sgtdixie, Please accept my apology, I should never have said those things, and if I had been thinking clearly I never would have. Sorry again.
ukboxer
If I am reading your original post correctly, you state that the Officer changed his statement but that would count for nothing in the Magistrates Court.

Would that have a baring in Crown Court? If an accused had changed their statement would that not be admissable in court? So is it not the same the other way round? It may just sway a jury if it comes down to word against word where statements have been changed.

I do think you have a lot going in your favour with this:

Word against word
No CCTV
No camera pictures
No other witnesses (that you know of)
You have specialist legal representation
captain swoop
QUOTE
however, making false allegations because of it, should be! (And, if justice is done, then I WILL be looking in to how I can take false allegations further!)


Are you accusing the officer of deliberately telling a lie?
sgtdixie
QUOTE (scaredcumbrian @ Mon, 6 May 2013 - 10:44) *
You're right, I was out of order, and I apologise.
It is just getting me down I guess.

sgtdixie, Please accept my apology, I should never have said those things, and if I had been thinking clearly I never would have. Sorry again.


Don't worry, I have been called worse. My advice stands; your solicitor has a good reputation, leave it to him.
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