Driving without Due Care and Attention

You are guilty of the offence of driving without due care or ”careless driving” if the standard of your driving falls below what would be expected of a “competent and careful driver“.

Examples of the types of driving which may amount to careless driving include:

  • Emerging from a side road into the path of another vehicle
  • Driving inappropriately close to a vehicle in front
  • Hitting a stationary vehicle from behind
  • Overtaking on the inside
  • Reading a map

We have an enviable record for defending motorists charged with “careless driving” and also of minimising the number of penalty points imposed and avoiding disqualification.

Sentence for Driving Without Due Care and Attention?

  • Fine of up to £5,000
  • 3 – 9 penalty points or discretionary disqualification

Fixed Penalty Notice

A fixed penalty notice can be issued for the offence of driving without due care and attention, which imposes a penalty of £100.00 and the endorsement of 3 penalty points.

If you accept that you have committed the offence then you should accept the fixed penalty notice, producing your driving licence to the police within 7 days and paying the fine within 28 days.

If however, you do not believe that you have committed the offence you should reject the fixed penalty notice and request a court hearing.

Please note that you will not be able to accept the fixed penalty if you already have 9 or more penalty points endorsed on your driving licence. This is as the addition of any additional penalty points will make you liable to disqualification from driving on the grounds of “totting up” (accumulating 12 or more points within 3 years).

If you are unsure of whether or not you should accept or reject the fixed penalty notice, please contact us for a no obligation consultation.

Driving Improvement Courses

In some cases a person who is said to have driven without due care and attention may be offered the chance to attend on a National Driver Alertness Course or similar course operated on behalf of the police. This will be in the alternative to prosecution before the court and will not result in a formal conviction, fine, penalty points or disqualification.  This course usually lasts up to 5 hours and the cost of the course can vary between £50 and £120.

If you accept that you have committed an offence of “careless driving” and you are prosecuted before the Magistrates’ Court, it may be possible that we can persuade the police to withdraw the prosecution and to offer the course in the alternative.

Challenging a charge of driving without due care and attention

The defences to this offence fall into three categories:

  1. The incident did not happen
  2. It was not me, it is a case of mistaken identity
  3. The standard of my driving did not fall below the standard of a “competent and careful driver”

We have defended many motorists charged with “careless driving” , including cases in which motorists

Minimising Your Sentence:


We can all make mistakes and it may be that you admit the offence of careless driving. In these circumstances the court can impose a sentence which includes a fine of up to £5,000 and either the endorsement of 3-9 penalty points or disqualification from driving.

In these circumstances we can present mitigation to the court to minimise any sentence imposed, including the amount of the fine and often most importantly avoiding disqualification from driving or keeping the number of penalty points endorsed to a minimum.

We have successfully mitigated the sentences of a large number of motorists who have been charged with “careless driving”, including both cases involving minor collisions and those which have involved serious injury to a third party.