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Difference between Aggressive Driving and “Road Rage” in Arizona

Road rage is prosecuted as a criminal offense in Arizona  

The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) as driving that markedly exceeds the normal safety driving behaviors. It consists of driving that affects other motorists and their passengers and places them in unnecessary danger.

Law enforcement agencies recognize it as driving that includes unsafe moving traffic violations that endanger others or their property.

Road Rage – Assault and Vehicular Crimes

Road Rage is a categorized as a criminal offense rather than a lower level civil traffic offense. Road Rage behavior is defined by the Arizona Department of Public Safety as assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle; or assault happening suddenly which results from an incident on a roadway.

Vehicular crimes will be prosecuted under assault or related offenses under at least 2 Arizona Laws including assault, A.R.S. 13-1203 and vehicular crimes, A.R.S. 13-1201

“Road Rage” is recognized by most law enforcement agencies as even more serious than reckless driving to the level of “assault with intent to harm”, and total disregard for safety, resulting from an emotional response of annoyance or impatience by a driver. This then, becomes a serious criminal offense rather than, a civil traffic violation. It is known as a vehicular crime or vehicular assault.

Consequences of Road Rage

Consequences of road rage usually result in serious auto accidents, harm, injury or fatality. In addition, the aggressor will be charged with serious criminal offenses.

In order to be convicted of Road Rage crimes and the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle displayed “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.” These types of crimes generally are charged as dangerous offenses, felonies and crimes against victims. Any criminal offense involving a crime against a victim which results in harm, injury or death, are pursued egregiously by the state prosecution.

Road rage generally involves multiple charges which include the criminal offense which resulted from it. Therefore specific charges and penalties will be dictated by the circumstances. For example if someone driving by a vehicle fires a gun, shooting and killing another driver or passenger in a passing vehicle they would be charged with homicide, aggravated assault, endangerment, manslaughter, or other serious offenses. These dangerous crimes will expose a person to life in prison, and even the death penalty, along with other harsh penalties. They will also expose a person to civil liability law suits by the victim or their families.

Traffic Defense Attorney Gilbert AZ

If you have been arrested with any Road Rage crimes, you face serious charges. Your future and freedom are in jeopardy. You should consult a criminal defense attorney qualified to defend charges involving vehicular crimes. If retained, they will make sure your rights are protected; you are treated fairly; defend your charges; and tell your side of the story. There may be defenses you are not aware of that may mitigate sentencing, reduce the charges, suppress unjust evidence, or obtain a more favorable resolution to your charges.

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