In Arlington, aggressive driving is generally a Class 2 misdemeanor charge that involves one or more of 12 traffic offenses combined with either being a hazard to another driver or person or intending to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct another driver or person; it is a criminal charge. It is punishable by up to six months in jail as well as a fine of up to $1000.
If the driving was also done in with the intention to injure another person then it may be charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. This is a criminal charge which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2500.
Behaviors that could qualify as aggressive driving includes failure to observe lanes marked for traffic, failing to give way, improper passing and driving too closely. Aggressive behavior is common in Arlington but it is generally not a commonly charged offense as usually officers will charge aggressive driving as reckless driving, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. An Arlington aggressive driving lawyer can help defend you against such charges and ensure that your rights are protected.
In practice, aggressive driving is basically two separate things. First, there are a number of offenses which the driver must be guilty of which are listed in Virginia code section 46.2-868.1. Second, the driver also has to be guilty of one of these by behaving in a particular way while committing the offense such as being a hazard to another person or committing any one of the offenses with the intent to harass, intimate, injure or obstruct another driver.
The second element is that the driver must also be a hazard to another driver or person or commits one of the offenses listed in the code section with the intent to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct another driver or another person.
Speeding is a predicate offense to aggressive driving. If somebody is speeding and they are doing so while being a hazard to another person or speeding with the intent to harass, intimate, injure or obstruct another person then speeding can lead to a higher charge of aggressive driving.
Aggressive driving is a charge because it endangers other people. Typically officers are looking for any driving behavior that could qualify as a danger to another person. This could include behavior such as unsafe lane changes, cutting off other drivers, running red light to stop signs, speeding or tailgating.
Absolutely because aggressive driving can include speeding as a predicate offense. Someone may be charged with aggressive driving when they may believe that they were only speeding. The intention of their behavior and how they were behaving is what makes the difference.
If you’re charged with aggressive driving in Arlington you can expect the police officer to be present with his testimony and describe your behavior that led to him issuing you a summons. You can also expect a judge to not be pleased if it is clear that you are guilty as aggressive driving is frowned upon heavily. It shows the disrespect to the law, as well as a disrespect and disregard for other people.
Also, despite being a lesser charge than reckless driving, aggressive driving cases are treated very similarly to reckless driving. Both are criminal misdemeanor offenses and are treated very harshly. Individuals will face serious penalties if they are convicted.
An Arlington aggressive driving lawyer can help you understand exactly what you’re facing. A lawyer can break down the elements and help you see whether or not your behavior actually does meet the requirement to qualify for a conviction.
An Arlington aggressive driving attorney can also help you build a strong case that will challenge the reasons why an officer issued you a summons in the first place. Oftentimes aggressive driving charges depend only on the officer’s testimony which can be very subjective as it requires intent to be proven for why the driver was behaving a certain way.
Your lawyer may be able to provide an alternative reason for why your behavior resulted in a ticket and possibly may be able to convince the judge to reduce your charge especially if your driving record is clean to begin with.
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