It doesn’t matter if you call it reckless driving or aggressive driving, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s dangerous and can result in serious trouble with the law.
For example, in the state of Arizona, aggressive driving is a criminal charge. This is much more serious than a civil traffic violation, with serious consequences, such as license suspension and a hefty fine, in the event of a conviction.
In Arizona, aggressive driving is defined by the law as a violation that involves speeding and a minimum of two of these violations:
- Illegal lane change
- Failure to obey a traffic control device
- Illegal passing, such as doing so on the shoulder of the road
- Failure to yield
Even though you understand the rules of the road and the risks associated with reckless driving, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always follow the law. There are times when you find yourself violating traffic laws, such as if you’re speeding on the interstate.
Law enforcement agencies understand that drivers make mistakes every now and again, which is why there’s a big difference between aggressive driving and a basic civil traffic violation.
Police assume that if you’re speeding, while also violating two or more of the violations detailed above, that you’ve gone well beyond making an honest mistake. You’re now in the territory of driving entirely too aggressively, which puts the safety and well-being of others at risk.
What are the consequences?
The consequences associated with an aggressive driving conviction depend on a variety of factors, such as your driving history and the facts of your case. Some of the potential punishments include:
- License suspension or revocation
- Jail time
- Mandatory driving safety classes
- Higher insurance premium (or possible cancellation of your policy)
- Community service
- Vehicle impoundment
- Permanent criminal record
- Points on your driving record
If you’re charged with aggressive driving, don’t assume that you have no choice but to take the punishment and find a way to deal with the ramifications. There are many defense strategies you can use to your advantage, all of which position you to avoid a conviction or at the very least minimize the impact on your life.