There is a little known statute on the books in Virginia that criminalizes Aggressive Driving. In fact, a person convicted of Aggressive Driving faces a conviction of a Class 2 Misdemeanor. As a result, that individual faces a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000 under §46.2-868.1 of the traffic code.
Police look for signs of Tailgating, Unsafe Lane Changes, Excessive Speeding, and Running Red Lights and Stop Signs. Of course, these acts alone are not indicative of Aggressive Driving. However, these acts combined with a clear intent to harass another driver or create a hazard for them is Aggressive Driving to the police.
Aggressive Driving in Fairfax County
If you have been charged with Aggressive Driving in Fairfax County, contact an Attorney. Unless the act is aggravated, most Judges will not jail an individual convicted of such an offense. However, DMV points and increased insurance rates will play a part in a conviction. In addition, it is a Misdemeanor so it can affect employment and security clearances.
Your Fairfax Lawyer will take your Aggressive Driving charge seriously (like a reckless driving charge). You will likely be advised to take a driver improvement course or a reckless driving course. Take this advice seriously. Many times, the charge can be reduced to Improper Driving as a simple traffic infraction (like a speeding ticket). If this result cannot be obtained by plea agreement with the prosecutor, you should be ready for trial. The prosecutor will be required to prove a simple offense (such as tailgating) and prove that there was the intent to harass or the act created a hazard for another driver.
Avoiding an Aggressive Driving charge
Give plenty of room between your vehicle and car in front of you. If you get cut off by another driver, do not retaliate. Instead, keep a safe distance from them. If you must use your horn, do so sparingly and not repeatedly. Excessive horn use will draw the attention of a Fairfax County Police Officer and you may find yourself explaining your own driving behavior.
If you do get stopped, be polite and cooperative with the Officer. Do not look upset as this will sustain their observations that you are upset and driving mad. Instead, smile and tell them you are unsure of what the stop is for. Once they explain, tell them you did not realize you were driving that way and then stay quiet. If they ticket you, at least the evidence will be minimal with no incriminating statements. Your lawyer will be in a much better position to argue your case and work towards a reduction or dismissal of your Aggressive Driving Charge in Fairfax County.
Feel free to contact us at the Letnick Law Firm, PLC if you have been charged with Aggressive Driving in Fairfax County. We offer a Free Consultation to discuss your case.