Dangerous driving has serious implications, including potential jail time, fines, and even a possible suspension of the offender’s license. The actual sanctions applied depend on the jurisdiction in which the event has occurred, but the offense is widely treated with some level of uniformity.
Beyond the legal challenges, insurance companies also don’t mess around with this kind of offense. After all, these companies are businesses that are all about mitigating risk, so they collect higher premiums from those perceived as the highest cost centers.
To this end, you may find that an insurance company imposes facility insurance, heightens premiums severely, or may even cancel the policy altogether- if the driver is deemed to be too much of a risk.
Understanding the Offense
How do you tell if you or someone else is engaging in dangerous driving? Well, it highly depends on your applicable jurisdiction, as there is usually an act that speaks directly to how road-based offenses are handled.
Nevertheless, the operation of a vehicle in a way that brings danger or harm to the public intentionally is usually grounds for this kind of charge. Unfortunately, the result is often physical harm or the death of some innocent third party in the matter.
When dangerous driving is at play, several elements need to be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. First, the intent is incredibly important in the equation. Someone who has no concept of how dangerous their actions were cannot necessarily be labeled committing dangerous driving, though the person may be a dangerous driver.
Next, whatever action is being undertaken needs to be deemed dangerous at its root. For example, exceeding the speed limit in a densely populated area or driving in an oncoming lane are plausible actions for consideration.
Finally, the machine being operated needs to be clearly defined as a motor vehicle and the act needs to have happened in a public place.
Though multiple elements lead to a case of dangerous driving, intent arguably sits at the center of them all. In litigation, the intent is known as “Mens Rea” which is a Latin term speaking to a desire to commit an act or having a guilty mind.
That’s what makes the difference between an unplanned accident arising from a series of unfortunate circumstances versus a case of dangerous driving. So, if attention was diverted, for example, while that is a dangerous thing, it doesn’t necessarily constitute dangerous driving; as the driver would not have planned on not paying attention to then scheme dangerous driving.
Addressing the Matter in Court
Here, you could fall under two umbrellas. You could be the victim in a case of dangerous driving, in which case you need a professional attorney to represent you for maximum compensation.
On the flip side, you may be the driver at the center of the dangerous driving charge, which means you need a lawyer to help you through a very serious situation. You may even find that what you did does not necessarily constitute dangerous driving at all.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, reach out to FMK Law Group as soon as possible, so one of the highly trained and experienced attorneys can begin an evaluation to help you understand your options.