Virginia Aggressive Driving Charges
In addition to more common traffic charges such as speeding and reckless driving, people in Virginia can also be charged with aggressive driving in certain cases. This offense can be damaging both to an individual’s record and to their driver’s license which makes hiring a Virginia aggressive driving lawyer especially important. To learn more about this offense is it relates to you or to begin building a defense, consult with a traffic attorney in Virginia today.
Elements of Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving is a bit more complicated than most traffic violations and involves the commission of any one or more of twelve very specific traffic offenses combined with either being a hazard to another person or intending to harass, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person.
There are a number of behaviors that qualify such as:
- Driving too closely
- Driving on the right
- Side of the road or the wrong side of the road
- Failure to observe lanes marked for traffic
- And failing to give way or improper passing
Aggressive driving is a class 2 misdemeanor which carries a punishment of confinement in jail for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000 or both. Aggressive driving with the intent to injure another person is punished as a class 1 misdemeanor and warrants the attention of a Virginia aggressive driving attorney.
In addition to the other penalties, the court may also require successful completion of an aggressive driving program which generally is anger management.
Law enforcement officers are more likely to charge a driver with reckless driving than aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is much more complex to secure a conviction on, and reckless driving can be charged as “general reckless driving” which is a catch-all that also includes behaviors that would constitute aggressive driving. Reckless driving is also a higher charge than aggressive driving.
With that said, it depends on the jurisdiction, but in most jurisdictions, a prosecutor only deals with cases where there is a defense attorney involved. There are a few jurisdictions where a prosecutor will not get involved even if there is a defense attorney. In those jurisdictions, it will be up to the judge and the police officer,
Benefits of a Virginia Aggressive Driving Lawyer
A Virginia aggressive driving lawyer can help because there is a chance to get these kinds of offenses reduced to a civil traffic penalty. Your attorney can challenge many of the reasons why the police officer may have cited you in the first place because really these reasons are completely subjective.
Your attorney can help provide a reasonable alternative for why you are behaving in the way that you were and may be able to convince the judge to reduce your charge if you have a good driving record on your side. Furthermore, having the charges reduced to a civil offense or even dismissed completely will end up saving money in the short term with less or no fines and in the long term with your insurance rate.
Many times the fee that you’ll pay your attorney will be less than the fines you would have been facing without one. An attorney can also help you avoid a suspended driver’s license.