Careless Driving x2, Fort William, 21 March 2018, Not Guilty x2
Our client was a haulier and faced 2 careless driving charges for driving an abnormal load without an escort vehicle. The alleged offences occurred within 4 days of each other, with the same vehicle and the same abnormal load so things did not look good for our client.
On the day of the trial, the Procurator Fiscal offered a plea deal of Not Guilty to one of the charges in return for a Guilty plea to the other charge. On many occasions it may be advisable to accept such an offer. On this occasion, however, we were confident that we had strong legal arguments for acquittal on both charges. We made our client aware of the offer and left it to him albeit our advice was to proceed to trial. Our client put his trust in us and both cases proceeded together.
As we expected the Crown case thereafter collapsed after cross-examination of the first witness and our client was found Not Guilty of both charges.
This case was defended by Steven Farmer at Fort William Justice of the Peace Court on 21 March 2018. As we have said, such a plea offer should not be rejected lightly. After all, careless driving can carry up to 9 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification. In this case, however, we believed we had identified strong legal reasons for an acquittal even though many of the facts were not in dispute. Fortunately on this occasion our client’s decision paid off.