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In this “Quick Guide” we will take you through the law, the sentencing and the defence for the offence of Careless Driving in England & Wales.

The offence of Careless Driving (Driving Without Due Care and Attention) is contained within Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

This driving offence is committed if the way a motorist drives falls below the standard of what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

What are the penalties for Driving Without Due Care and Attention (Careless Driving)?

If a motorist enters a guilty plea to careless driving, or is found guilty of careless driving after trial, the Court can:

  • Impose 3 to 9 Penalty Points or
  • Impose a Driving Ban

Sentencing Guidelines for Careless Driving

Level of Seriousness
Category 1
Category 2
Category 3
Starting Point
Band C fine
Band B fine
Band A fine
Band C fine
Band B fine
Band A fine
Disqualification / Points
Consider disqualification
7 – 9 points
5 – 6 points
3 – 4 points

When will I require legal representation?

In all circumstances, a motorist charged with Careless Driving benefits from specialist legal advice and representation, because the starting point is to consider the evidence and establish whether there is sufficient evidence to secure a conviction. Such an assessment can only be made by an experienced driving offence solicitor.

If there is scope to challenge the prosecution case, expert legal representation will be required at trial, progressing a careless driving case to trial without legal representation is likely to result in a guilty verdict, because the defence case will not be presented properly in Court without legal representation.  

If the best option is to enter a guilty plea, a lawyer attending Court with you will put forward mitigation on your behalf, which will enhance the chances of receiving penalty points, rather than a driving ban.

If you already have penalty points on your licence, you are also at risk of receiving a Penalty Points Driving Ban (Totting Up Ban)

Things our solicitors look out for in Careless Driving cases

  • The strength of the Prosecution Evidence
  • Discrepancies within the Prosecution Evidence
  • The conduct of other road users at the time
  • Assess whether the standard of driving amounted to Careless Driving
  • Assessing the possible sentence
  • Assessing whether our clients are at risk of receiving a Totting Up Driving Ban
  • Assessing whether an Exceptional Hardship Application needs to be put forward

Do you require a solicitor for Careless Driving?

If you have just read our quick guide to Careless Driving (driving without due care and attention) then you should have an idea by now whether you require legal representation for this offence. If you feel you do require legal advice and representation please not hesitate to contact us by calling 0345 222 9955 or by filling out our contact form.

guide to careless driving england wales

Related Driving Offence Articles

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An Excellent Service, Mr. Kang is a highly sought solicitor. Very knowledgeable about the subject to hand and extremely confident with the advice given to me at the time of a stressful situation.

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Kang & Co Solicitors is a truly specialist high-end law firm providing legal advice and representation for all matters involving Criminal Law, Driving Offences, Transport Law, Pace Interviews, Regulatory Law and Licensing Law.

Our head office is located at 1 Victoria Square in Birmingham City Centre and we offer our services throughout England and Wales on a private fee-paying basis. We also have an office at 5 Chancery Lane in London and another office in central Milton Keynes. We are frequently instructed by individuals and businesses nationwide.

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Birmingham Office

1 Victoria Square
West Midlands
B1 1BD

london office lawyers

London Office

5 Chancery Lane

the pinnacle office

Milton Keynes Office

The Pinnacle
Midsummer Boulevard
Milton Keynes, MK9 1BP

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09:00 – 17:00
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Meetings at our offices are by Appointment Only

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