How Do I Fight Charges of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving in Florida?
Driving on Florida highways can be dangerous. Orlando, especially, can be unpredictable with so much ongoing road work combined with the high volume of tourists flocking onto the road. Many times, road rage and aggressive driving is the result of pre-existing frustration and heightened emotions caused by some other event outside of driving. For example, if you’re running late for work or an appointment, you’re already feeling “on edge.” When you’re feeling this way and another driver cuts you off on the road, you might be tempted to act out in anger and frustration. That’s something you should never do. When you’re feeling this way, it’s a good idea to remember that arriving safe but a little late is better than being seriously injured or losing your life on the highway from an explosive road rage accident.
If you’ve ever felt road rage while driving in Florida, remember that it can be hazardous to not only you but also those around you. If you’re charged for a crime after driving aggressively or with road rage, you could face severe legal consequences. Let’s take a closer look at road rage, the penalties for this behavior, and how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.
What Kind of Situations Cause Road Rage?
Incidents of road rage usually start with feelings of high emotions before ever stepping foot into your car. You might feel different emotions, such as:
- or rushed.
Those feelings can be amplified after getting into your car and driving in traffic. Most commonly, it’s another driver’s actions on the road that might send you over the edge and lead to aggressive driving – which can evolve to road rage. If a driver caused you to feel road rage, they probably engaged in one of the following behaviors:
- Cutting you off in traffic
- Driving slowly in the left lane so you couldn’t pass
- Honking their horn at you
- Keeping their high beams on behind you
- Tailgating behind your car too closely
Anyone can experience road rage. However, studies show that the most common drivers to experience this are young males below the age of 19. There are also psychological disorders that make some individuals more prone to aggressive driving and road rage, like intermittent explosive disorder.
What Can I Do to Prevent Feelings of Road Rage?
The key to preventing yourself from aggressive driving or road rage is to be aware of your emotions. If you’re feeling stressed while driving, the following are some useful tactics that can help keep a level head:
- Play calm or soothing music that relaxes you while you’re driving
- Keep in mind that you’re sharing the road and no one’s perfect
- Avoid making lengthy eye contact with other drivers on the road
- Keep a proper distance between yourself and other vehicles on the road
Always give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination, so you don’t feel anxious and hurried on the way. If you’re not rushing, then the extra minute(s) that it takes to arrive at your destination that’s caused by slow drivers or congested traffic won’t be so bothersome.
What are the Penalties for Road Rage and Aggressive Driving in Florida?
Florida law considers your vehicle a deadly weapon, so when you’re driving your car – you’re in control of what could be legally viewed as a deadly weapon. There are no charges in Florida for road rage per se, but acts of road rage can lead to felony charges of aggravated battery or assault with a deadly weapon.
If you touch someone without their permission, you can be charged with misdemeanor battery. If you hit someone with your car (a deadly weapon), that charge turns into an aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. That is a felony that’s punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
If you pretend you’re going to hit someone but don’t, you can be charged with misdemeanor assault. Adding a vehicle to the mix can result in a felony. Deliberately swerving toward another driver in your car can be aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is also a felony that’s punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
How Charges Related to Road Rage and Aggressive Driving Can Be Fought
If someone accuses you of road rage or aggressive driving that leads to a charge of aggravated assault or battery, understand that you have options. Law enforcement won’t wait for you to tell your side of the story before pressing charges. They’ll only listen to the complaint and investigate the situation until they have enough proof to press charges against you. You’ll need to have a professional criminal defense attorney on your side to tell your side of the story before the state presses charges, so you have your best chance of fighting the charges filed against you.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will call on investigators and gather witness statements to build a defense for your case. Several possible arguments can be used against assault and battery charges. For example, you could have been acting out of self-defense. A seasoned criminal lawyer will work with you and your specific circumstances when building a defense.
Seek an Experienced Criminal Attorney for Your Road Rage Case
Incidents of road rage and aggressive driving can lead to serious felony charges that can ruin your life. If you’re facing these charges, The Umansky Law Firm is ready to help. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience representing clients against criminal charges, you can be sure that your case will be handled with care and diligence. Our team of experienced criminal attorneys will fight for you and help reach the most favorable outcome while protecting your future freedom.
For a free case review, fill out an online contact form or call today.