Rockland County Aggressive Driving Lawyer
Although aggressive driving may seem more like a traffic offense than a criminal one, it can result in criminal charges in some situations. Defending against these charges can be tricky, especially for those who are unfamiliar with often-confusing legal terminology.
Fortunately, that is where a Rockland County aggressive driving lawyer may be able to help. A dedicated criminal defense attorney could answer any legal questions you may have, conduct necessary research and investigation on your behalf, and provide you with knowledgeable and dedicated legal representation.
Aggressive Driving Offenses
Although every aggressive driving case may be different, behaviors commonly seen as aggressive by law enforcement officers include:
- Excessive speed
- Failure to properly signal
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Excessive lane changes
Many of these behaviors may result in a citation, but allegations of extreme unsafe driving may be a more severe criminal offense. A Rockland County aggressive driving attorney could go into further detail about what specific actions might serve as grounds for a criminal charge rather than a citation.
For example, under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1212, it is unlawful for any driver to operate a vehicle in any manner that interferes with public use of the road or endangers the safety of others on the road. Those convicted of reckless driving as named in this section are guilty of a misdemeanor.
Similar laws prohibit other potentially unsafe behaviors, such as coasting or following emergency fire vehicles. NYVTL §1225-a also prohibits motorists from driving on or across a sidewalk in the interest of promotion pedestrian safety.
Aggressive driving may also stem from a failure to pay attention to the road, especially due to the use of mobile phones or other portable electronic devices. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law generally prohibit operating a motor vehicle while also operating a portable electronic device, including but not limited to:
- Handheld devices such as smartphones
- Personal digital assistants (PDAs)
- Portable computing devices
- Other electronic messaging devices
Those who operate an electronic device while driving may be punished by a fine of up to $200 for a first offense or up to $450 for a third or subsequent offense within 18 months.
Fleeing from a Police Officer
Under New York Penal Law §270.25, it is unlawful to flee from a police officer in a motor vehicle. To be convicted for such an offense, the defendant must have known that the officer in question directed them to stop and then subsequently fled at a speed equal to or greater than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Fleeing from a police officer is usually a Class A misdemeanor. However, fleeing is a felony if it results in the injury or death of either the officer or a third person elevates the ensuing criminal charge to a class E felony. An aggressive driving lawyer in Rockland County could provide information and advice to those charged with fleeing, or attempting to flee, a police officer in a motor vehicle.
Could a Stop for Aggressive Driving Lead to an Arrest?
Most people that receive speeding tickets or other moving violations are given a citation and allowed to go on their way. However, that is not always the case following a stop for aggressive driving. Many driving behaviors that are considered aggressive could be charged as misdemeanors.
It is not uncommon for the police to make an arrest on these charges. In fact, the police have the right to arrest a person even for a speeding infraction if it occurs in their presence. Although uncommon, aggressive drivers could find themselves in police custody.
Could an Aggressive Driving Conviction Lead to Points on My License?
On top of potential fines or jail time, there are other possible consequences for aggressive driving convictions. For instance, a person could have their driving privileges suspended. In Rockland County, these types of administrative penalties are assessed based on a point system.
Every moving violation has a number of points associated with it. Some offenses carry more points than others. For instance, changing lanes without signaling is worth 2 points, while speeding 40 miles or more above the speed limit is worth 11.
Upon a conviction, that point total is applied to the license of the driver in question. Once a person accumulates a certain number of points in an 18-month period, the state will administratively suspend their driving privileges.
How Could an Attorney Help with an Aggressive Driving Case?
There are multiple ways an attorney could assist in defending against an allegation of aggressive driving. A negotiated plea bargain could help a person avoid jail time and hefty fines. It could also lead to reduced criminal charges that cut down the number of points applied to the driver’s license. In some cases, a skilled attorney in Rockland County could help get aggressive driving charges dismissed entirely.
Call a Rockland County Aggressive Driving Attorney
In some cases, you may find yourself facing criminal charges for putting others in danger or being reckless while driving, either of which may result in serious penalties. For the best chance at defending yourself, get in touch with a Rockland County aggressive driving lawyer as soon as possible. After reviewing your case, a skilled defense attorney could work with you to plan a defense that would strongly represent your best interests from arraignment all the way through to trial.