Is Road Rage a Crime in Arizona?
The first and the most important thing you need to understand about this topic is that road rage is criminalized by law in Arizona.
Road rage is defined as driving that exceeds safe driving norms and standards. It affects the driver of the vehicle, passengers and other people on the road. The consequences of road rage can be disastrous, leading to injuries and even death.
Arizona Road Rage Laws
In Arizona, road rage is a crime and not a traffic violation because of the severe consequences it could have. This behavior is classified as assault with a motor vehicle, aimed at hurting others. Some of the relevant Arizona legal provisions include Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1203 and 13-1201.
Thus, road rage is more serious than reckless driving. It has to be intentional and there’s an aim to hurt others. A prosecutor in such an instance will have to demonstrate that the driver willfully and intentionally disregarded the safety of others.
In Arizona, road rage will often be prosecuted under provisions for assault. Depending on the circumstances and the harm caused by the driver, they could be prosecuted for a serious felony like endangerment, aggravated assault or manslaughter/homicide.
Additional Charges Arising from Road Rage
Apart from facing the criminal proceedings mentioned above, people who commit road rage in Arizona could face charges for additional crimes.
The first and most obvious one is reckless driving. Reckless driving will usually be classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor. The consequences for the driver include license suspension for a period of one year, fines and up to four months in jail.
A person who has been charged with reckless driving in the past is going to face Class 1 misdemeanor charges.
Aggressive driving is another potential charge. It involves a number of illegal driving acts and it is considered a more serious offense than reckless driving. People who are found guilty of aggressive driving will have to face the legal consequences of a Class 1 misdemeanor. These include license suspension, a fine of up to 2,500 dollars and a jail sentence of up to six months.
What to Do if You’re Facing Road Rage Assault Charges
Road rage usually has serious consequences. If you ever engage in such reckless behavior and you harm others, you will have to face the criminal proceedings that follow. Through the collection of evidence and interview witnesses, the prosecution will aim to establish that your behavior was willing and intentional and that you disregarded safety policies with the aim to harm others.
Getting in touch with an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney should happen as soon as you’re arrested. Your lawyer will give you a better idea about the right way to interact with the investigators for the purpose of avoiding self-incrimination.
Reckless driving, road rage and aggressive driving cases can vary significantly from each other on the basis of the circumstances and the outcome of your actions. Thus, a lawyer will need to acquaint themselves with the specifics for the purpose of crafting an effective defense strategy.
Several defense scenarios could deliver good results in such cases. The first and the most obvious thing a lawyer will attempt to do is that you were not acting in a reckless or intentional manner. Alternatively, the argument could be based on a violation of your rights during the arrest or the investigative process. If such a violation can be established, some of the evidence against you may be dismissed.
Finally, an attorney can challenge the police report and the decision of the law enforcement professional that contributed to the arrest. The use of misleading or false information will be challenged, potentially reducing the sentence or leading to the complete dismissal of the charges.
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