The Virginia code defines aggressive driving as driving behavior that both constitute a traffic infraction and poses a hazard to someone other than the driver themselves, or is done with the intent to harass, injure, intimidate, or obstruct another driver. It is commonly referred to as Virginia’s “Road Rage” statute.
The specifically-enumerated traffic infractions that can be elevated to aggressive driving are driving on the wrong side of the road, failing to observe traffic lane markings, following too closely, failing to yield, evading traffic signs, improperly passing to overtake a vehicle, failing to give way to an overtaking vehicle, and any type of speeding offense or stopping on a highway offense. If any of these are done in a way that presents a hazard to another person or with an additional intent to harass, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person; then all of the elements of aggressive driving are satisfied. Each of these elements will have to be proven by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction.
A Mecklenburg County aggressive driving lawyer could represent you if you are facing charges. A dedicated traffic offense attorney could advocate for you and possibly help you reach a favorable outcome to your case.
Following too closely (tailgating) is one of the most common forms of aggressive driving. Other common forms include speeding up to another vehicle in order to yell at them out the window or make offensive gestures.
Aggressive driving is much more common on the roads than it is within the courts of Mecklenburg County. Aggressive driving is a pretty uncommon charge in the traffic court. This is likely because it is usually only a Class 2 misdemeanor instead of a Class 1 misdemeanor like reckless driving and street racing. Aggressive driving requires fairly particular elements to prove, so many officers probably find it convenient to charge someone with a more serious misdemeanor which is easier to prove and more punitive to the defendant.
In Virginia, most forms of aggressive driving are a Class 2 misdemeanor, meaning they can be punished by up to six months in jail, and up to a $1,000 fine. However, if the prosecution proves that the aggressive driving was done with the intent to injure another person, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. Aggressive driving can also be punished with a requirement to successfully complete an aggressive driving education program.
An aggressive driving conviction carries four demerit points with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles toward a Virginia licensee’s point balance. Also, an aggressive driving conviction will always negatively impact a driver’s automobile insurance policy in terms of the magnitude of premiums, deductibles, and eligibilities.
Virginia law does not allow a court to suspend a person’s license or privilege to drive within the state as a consequence of an aggressive driving conviction. However, administrative license suspensions from the Department of Motor Vehicles are always possible for reasons like rapid demerit point accumulation, such that an aggressive driving conviction might contribute to an incidental period of suspension. An individual facing these penalties should obtain an aggressive driving lawyer in Mecklenburg County right away.
An aggressive driving charge could severely impact a commercial driver’s license. Many CDL holders work for employers who will or must terminate employees who incur driving-related criminal convictions, whether felony or misdemeanor, or whether it involved an actual commercial vehicle. Even if such a conviction does not trigger any employment termination conditions, it can still lead to employment suspensions. Also, it can also dramatically worsen a CDL’s auto insurance expenses, such that the employee becomes too costly for their employers to deem worth the expense over another hire who has better insurance rates due to a better driving record.
Mecklenburg County aggressive driving lawyers could help arrange for effective pretrial mitigation strategies that can be used in negotiations with the prosecution. A defense attorney is a crucial advocate to have in an aggressive driving case because the defendant is generally stereotyped to be a ‘hot-headed’ driver who is taken less seriously than a neutral advocate able to explain the offending conduct from a favorable perspective. If a conviction is inevitable, obtaining a lawyer can be particularly critical in minimizing the sentence sought by the prosecution or imposed by the court.
A Mecklenburg County aggressive driving lawyer could fight for you if you are facing charges. An aggressive driving offense can carry significant penalties and repercussions. Therefore, if you are facing charges, you should get in touch with an accomplished defense attorney today.