In Virginia, aggressive driving is not the same thing as reckless driving or road rage. Instead, aggressive driving is a specific criminal misdemeanor. In order to be convicted of aggressive driving, you must have violated the aggressive driving statute.
Aggressive Driving Is Defined in Section 46.2-868.1 of the Virginia Code
According to Section 46.2-868.1 a driver is guilty of aggressive driving if:
- He failed to drive on the right side of the highway (§46.2-802)
- He failed to observe lanes marked for traffic (§46.2-804)
- He was following another vehicle too closely (§46.2-816)
- He failed to stop or yield the right-of-way before entering a highway (§46.2-821)
- He evaded traffic controls (§46.2-833.1)
- He failed to abide by the laws for passing when overtaking a vehicle (§46.2-838)
- He failed to give way to an overtaking vehicle (§46.2-842)
- He failed to give way to certain overtaking vehicles on divided highways (§46.2-842.1)
- He failed to obey certain limitations on overtaking and passing a vehicle (§46.2-843)
- He failed to obey maximum speed limits on highways and roads (§46.2-870)
- He stopped on the highway (§46.2-888)
In addition to violating one of these laws, a driver must have presented a hazard to another person or committed the violation of the law with the intent to harass, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another driver.
Criminal Penalties for Aggressive Driving
In most cases, violating the aggressive driving statute is a Class 2 misdemeanor. In Virginia, a Class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by jail time of not more than six months and a fine of not more than $1,000.
However, if the driver acted with the intent to injure another person, violating the aggressive driving statute may be considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. The potential consequences of a Class 1 misdemeanor are more significant than those of a Class 2 misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor, you face jail time of up to 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500.
If You’ve Been Charged With Aggressive Driving
If you have been charged with aggressive driving, you not only face jail time and a fine, but you also face a criminal conviction that will be on your permanent record. This could impact your future.
Remember that an aggressive driving charge is not a simple traffic ticket. Instead, you have been charged with a crime. Therefore, it is important to take this criminal charge seriously and to contact Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi as soon as possible. Our lawyers will make sure all of your rights are protected from the time you contact us until your case is resolved.