You were in a rush to get home after work, and you were frustrated by the person who was driving ahead of you. They were traveling 10 mph below the speed limit and kept weaving in and out of their lane.

You decided that the best thing you could do would be to get around them. You sped up and went onto the shoulder to do so since they were riding close to the centerline. You shouldn’t have done that, though, because it was only a few seconds later that an officer pulled up behind you. That act may not lead to an aggressive driving charge.

Aggressive driving could include:

  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Failing to yield to the right of way of other traffic, pedestrians or cyclists
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to obey traffic signals
  • Overtaking or passing other vehicles while going off the road, using the shoulder of a highway or by performing other dangerous acts

When officers stop someone for aggressive driving, they believe that the individual is an immediate danger to themselves and others. Keep in mind that the officer does need to provide evidence of your reckless behaviors if they want to pursue an aggressive driving charge. They may need evidence such as video of your vehicle appearing to drive aggressively or witness statements from those affected by aggressive driving acts. Not all civil traffic violations require as high of a burden of proof as aggressive driving charges would require, so there is a chance that the officer won’t have enough evidence to meet the burden of proof required in your criminal case.

Your attorney will work hard to defend you if you’re accused of aggressive driving. If you don’t defend yourself, you may face significant consequences such as having your vehicle impounded, being required to go to driving classes, being given a jail sentence or being fined. Other penalties could include probation, effects on your visas, passports or immigration status and many others. Our site has more on what to do if you’re facing a serious charge.