Driving can be a frustrating experience, particularly when you’re faced with heavy traffic or those who appear to be obstructing your way. And while it can be difficult to keep one’s cool when driving, doing so is crucial if you want to avoid an aggressive driving charge. Under Arizona law – specifically, ARS §28-695, a driver whose driving is hazardous or unreasonable — or fails to follow the requirement of ARS §28-701 to “control the speed of a vehicle “(i.e. spfeeding)” — and commits two or more of these specified acts, can be arrested on this charge:
Failure to yield right of way; following too closely; failure to obey a traffic control device; making an unsafe lane change; and overtaking and passing another vehicle on the right by driving off of the main travel portion of the roadway or off of the pavement.
Aggressive Driving: Potential Consequences
Under Arizona law, a first-time aggressive driving charge is a class one misdemeanor. Punishments for such misdemeanors range from probation only, to probation with up to six months in jail. Additionally, the court may levy a fine of up to $2,500 along with an 84 percent surcharge.
As you might expect, the consequences for a second-offense aggressive driving in Arizona charge are more severe. Thus, if you have been convicted of a second such charge within 24 months of a prior conviction, the court may also revoke your license for one year. And once you return to driving, you may find that no insurance companies will offer you any coverage.
Defenses to Aggressive Driving Charges
If charged with driving aggressively, we may be able to assert several defenses on your behalf. Frequently, we will fight claims by pointing out that your driving did not pose any immediate hazard to any other vehicle or person. This is because Arizona’s laws require you to actually present a hazard to others, not merely commit violations, and arresting officers typically focus only on the existence of violations. The burden of establishing behavior requisite for charges under ARS §28-695 also requires an officer to observe you committing two violations and speeding at the same time, not just at some point along the same trip.
The defenses we assert on your behalf can help eliminate your charge and drop it to two separate civil tickets, such as speeding and weaving. This is significant in that civil tickets are not misdemeanors, so you will not go to jail at all. Two civil tickets would also result in just five points on your license rather than eight.
With former prosecutors on staff, DM Cantor know how to fight for your rights and will opt for only the most effective strategies in your defense. The firm’s defensive work is always comprehensive, and we will assert defenses specific to aggressive driving in Arizona as well as general criminal defenses to help you avoid harsh penalties.
One common general criminal defense that is asserted is denial of the right to counsel. This defense can be effective not only where you are not allowed to talk to an attorney post-arrest, but where your requests to speak with one prior to making any statements are not heeded within a reasonable amount of time.
Violations of Miranda rights may also result in dropped charges. This occurs when the police try to trick or force you into making a statement you would not voluntarily make otherwise. This “voluntariness standard” means any coerced statements or confessions may not be used against you, and no evidence uncovered as a direct result of the involuntary statements. Also, the police’s failure to read you your Miranda rights functions as an effective defense, if incriminating statements are made after you are arrested.
Investigatory inadequacies can also prevent you from being penalized. Specifically, a sloppy, inaccurate or misleading police report can also help you avoid serious charges.
DM Cantor has been given the AV rating® – the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell. This indicates that the legal community recognizes the skill, resourcefulness, and ethical conduct of the firm. Put your case in experienced, competent hands by contacting DM Cantor. You can reach our lawyers 24 hours a day by calling 602-737-2812 or contact us here for an initial consultation.