“Aggressive Driving” Is the Statute Under Which the State of Virginia Prosecutes “Road Rage”
What most drivers call “road rage” is treated under a criminal statute called “aggressive driving” in Virginia. If you deliberately attempt to cut off another driver, chase after another vehicle in heavy traffic, or get out of your car in the middle of the turnpike and challenge another motorist to a fight, the police can choose to arrest you for aggressive driving (among other potential charges), and you'll need to hire an experienced Virginia traffic attorney to plead your case.
Road Rage Can Be Prosecuted as a Class 1 or Class 2 Misdemeanor
At some time or another, pretty much everyone has experienced road rage: that feeling of helplessness, anger, and personal insult that results whenever traffic conditions make you late for work or another driver has executed a maneuver that puts you and your family in danger. Most people just swallow these feelings and curse their luck, but a few take it upon themselves to enact revenge on other drivers or otherwise “act out” on the road. Some common examples of road rage include:
- Deliberately tailgating a vehicle that you feel has cut you off
- Engaging in a shouting match with the driver next to you in traffic
- Getting out of your car, impeding oncoming traffic, so you can “have it out” with another driver
- Recklessly driving onto the shoulder of the road to get out of a traffic jam
- Weaving in and out of traffic while you honk your horn and shake your fist at other drivers
Depending on the circumstances of your “road rage” incident, the police can choose to cite you for either a Class One or a Class Two misdemeanor. Most aggressive driving charges in Virginia are Class One misdemeanors. These usually apply when your conduct hasn't resulted in any injuries and you haven't targeted a specific driver. If, however, the authorities determine that you acted with the “intent to injure another person,” you may be charged with a Class Two misdemeanor, with correspondingly higher penalties (including fines, jail time, and suspension of your license).
A Charge or Road Rage Demands an Experienced Defense Attorney
Even if you feel that the police have overblown the circumstances of your aggressive driving charge, you will still need to hire an experienced Virginia traffic attorney who can present the evidence in the best light and work to secure the best possible outcome to your Virginia road rage prosecution (say, enrollment in an aggressive driving program, rather than a stiff fine or the suspension of your license). Call the attorneys at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC today at 888-783-9701 for a free consultation.