Aggressive Driving Charges in Fairfax

Although aggressive driving is not a very commonly charged offense in Virginia, it has slowly been growing in popularity and is a criminal offense with real consequences. Therefore, if you are charged it is important you try your best to protect both your driving and a criminal record by consulting with a Fairfax traffic lawyer to ensure that you are putting forth the strongest defense possible.

Read on to learn more about aggressive driving charges in Fairfax, before calling and scheduling a consultation with an attorney today.

Fairfax Aggressive Driving Charges

Aggressive driving is a misdemeanor charge which involves the commission of any one or more of 12 traffic offenses combined with either being a hazard to another person or intending to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person. Driving behaviors that could qualify as aggressive driving include:

  • Driving too closely
  • Failure to observe lanes of travel
  • Failing to give way
  • And improper passing

In order to be charged with aggressive driving one has to violate one or more of a number of defenses which are listed in Virginia code 46.2-858.1. Additionally, the driver has to be a hazard to another person or commits one of the offenses with the intent to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person.

Can Speeding Lead to An Aggressive Driving Charge?

It’s very common for speeding to lead to aggressive driving because it’s already a predicate for aggressive driving so all that’s required is for the driver to begin to behaving in a way to intimidate or harass another driver or in a way that’s hazardous to somebody else. Drivers often become angry while waiting in traffic which can lead to these kinds of aggressive behaviors.

Generally officers are looking for these types of driving behaviors or anything else that could be a hazard to other drivers, these things can include speeding, but also things such as:

  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Or tailgating

Aggressive Driving Penalties in Fairfax

in Virginia, aggressive driving is considered a class 2 misdemeanor. Class 2 misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and by up to six months in jail. If the aggressive driving was also done with the intention to cause someone else’s injury then it can be charged as a class 1 misdemeanor which is punishable by up to a fine of $2500 and by up to 12 months in jail. The court can also require the driver to complete an aggressive driving program or to complete anger management courses.

Difference Between Aggressive Driving and a Speeding Ticket

The ticket of aggressive driving is issued the same way a ticket for speeding is issued. So it is not unheard of for people to misjudge an aggressive driving charge as just a speeding ticket, based on appearance. However, if someone is charged with aggressive driving, they probably have a good idea that their actions amounted to a little bit more than a speeding ticket and the police officer will also likely ask them why they were behaving in such a crazy manner.

Speeding is one of the 12 offenses that can amount to aggressive driving if the driver was doing so in a way that is a hazard to others.

What To Expect From An Aggressive Driving Charge

Aggressive driving is a lesser charge than reckless driving but it is treated almost identically. The officer who issued the summons handles the case and since the driver is charged with this offense for behaving in pretty outlandish manners usually, the officers aren’t generally met with cooperative drivers when they pull the car over which they always mention in their testimony and doesn’t ever look good for a judge.

A Fairfax Aggressive Driving Lawyer Help

A Virginia aggressive driving lawyer can help you possibly have this charge reduced to a civil traffic penalty instead such as improper driving. An aggressive driving lawyer in Virginia can challenge the reasons why the summons was issued by a law enforcement officer because sometimes these types of reasons can be very subjective. Your Virginia aggressive driving lawyer may also be able to provide an alternative to the judge for why you were behaving in such a manner in your driving and possibly convince the judge with this alternative to reduce the charge or dismiss it especially if your driving record is good to begin with.