Can I launch a private prosecution?

 

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Following a road traffic accident we are often asked the above question by the riders that we represent. Clients are understandably keen to ensure that the third party responsible for their (and often their horse’s) injuries are brought to justice.

The police will frequently go for the best chance of achieving a prosecution. Having considered the evidence, they will often consider it to be easier to succeed with a charge of driving without due care and attention than with dangerous driving. The difference lies in the burden of proof. The lesser charge requires one to drive below the standard to be expected of a reasonable driver whereas dangerous driving requires the standard to fall far below. In cases of one word against another but where the evidence suggests that one party has done wrong but that there is no persuasive evidence that the wrong was dangerous the police will go for driving without due care and attention. Whilst a rider could embark on a private prosecution it is (a) very expensive and (b) the CPS can take over conduct at any point (and drop it if they wish) and effectively you may find you are wasting your money.

The lesser conviction will still assist a personal injury claim and a lack of prosecution does not prevent a successful personal injury claim.

For more info please contact www.horsesolicitor.co.uk

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