Charged with Aggressive Driving in Virginia: What You Should Know

aggressive driving in VirginiaAggressive driving is dangerous and can cause serious or even deadly accidents. That’s why Virginia law enforcement officers crack down on aggressive drivers whenever they can. However, the police are not always right and often make mistakes. Unfortunately, their mistakes could have serious consequences for you.

If you have a charge in Virginia for aggressive driving, you need a tough and experienced lawyer to make the difference for you. I am Virginia traffic lawyer Andrew Flusche. I focus my practice on traffic offenses as well as DUI and misdemeanor defense so that my clients benefit from a depth of experience. My laser focus on traffic offenses helps to fight for your best possible outcome.

What Is Aggressive Driving?

You can find the aggressive driving definition in the Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868.1. The definition of aggressive driving begins with a violation of one of the specified traffic offenses listed in Section 46.2-868.1. Those offenses include:

  • Driving on the wrong side of the road;
  • Failing to observe marked travel lanes;
  • Following the vehicle in front too closely, also known as “tailgating”;
  • Driving without stopping or yielding to oncoming traffic that has the right-of-way, also known as “cutting people off”;
  • Evading traffic control signals;
  • Failing to yield to overtaking vehicles;
  • Passing on the right when prohibited;
  • Overtaking unlawfully;
  • Driving at an excessive speed; and
  • Unlawfully stopping on a highway.

These traffic infractions are subject to various fines and could adversely affect your driving privileges.

The police will not ticket you as an aggressive driver just because you committed a traffic offense. You can get a ticket in Virginia for aggressive driving if you create a hazard for another person while committing one of the listed traffic offenses or you commit one of the specified violations with the intent to harass, injure, intimidate, or obstruct another. You do not have to cause an accident to face aggressive driving charges.

Penalty for Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is a criminal offense. According to Section 46.2-868.1(B), aggressive driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor. The penalties for a Class 2 misdemeanor in Virginia include jail time for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000.

The penalty for aggressive driving increases if the court finds that you had the intent to injure another person. In that case, you face a more serious Class 1 misdemeanor charge. A Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia carries a possible penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Virginia’s aggressive driving law also allows the judge to order you to complete a safe driving course. These courses are intended to teach you the dangers of driving aggressively and provide you with information on how to avoid those behaviors while behind the wheel.

Moreover, you might have to face far more serious felony charges if someone suffers a severe injury or dies because of your aggressive driving. If you cause injury to anyone because you drove aggressively, you can face charges that can include significant time behind bars.

What Options Do I Have If I Get an Aggressive Driving Charge?

The options you have will depend on the individual facts of your situation. So, depending on what happened, you could argue that you are not guilty because:

  • The police made a mistake and charged the wrong person;
  • You did not have the intent to injure, harass, intimidate, or obstruct another driver;
  • A witness exaggerated your driving behavior and made it sound worse than what actually happened;
  • Your driving only appeared to be erratic because you took necessary evasive action in response to another driver’s error; or
  • You are the victim of a road rage incident where you were not the aggressor.

These are just some of the defenses that you could argue in an aggressive driving prosecution. But each case is unique, and there might be another defense that works better in your case. When we speak about your case, you and I can discuss possible defenses that may apply to the unique facts involved.

Can I Lose My License Because of an Aggressive Driving Charge?

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues demerit points on your driving record if you commit a traffic offense. The seriousness of the traffic offense dictates how many demerit points you could get. The DMV assigns either three, four, or six points depending on the violation. The severity of the violation determines how long the offense stays on your record, and some demerits can stay on your record permanently. Aggressive driving is a 4-point offense.

Once your record has a certain number of demerits, the DMV could suspend your driver’s license and order you to complete a drivers’ improvement program.

Aggressive Driving Defense with a Results-Oriented Approach

I prioritize your needs. You and I will discuss the unique facts of your case and the law, so you have a clear understanding of what you face. Then, we will work together to develop the best strategy to try to obtain your desired goals. Contact me today at 540.318.5824 to learn more about how I can help you with your aggressive driving charges.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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