What Is Considered Aggressive Driving?
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §28-695 lays out what Arizona considers “Aggressive Driving”. You can be charged with Aggressive Driving if the Prosecution can prove you were speeding or criminally speeding, posed an immediate hazard to another and at least two of the following:
- Fail to obey a traffic control device (i.e. run a red light or not stop at a stop sign);
- Overtake and pass another vehicle on the right by driving off the pavement or main part of the roadway;
- Unsafely change lanes;
- Follow another vehicle too closely (tailgating); or
- Fail to yield the right of way.
Aggressive Driving Penalties and Consequences
In Arizona, Aggressive Driving is a class 1 misdemeanor. This is the most serious classification of misdemeanor in Arizona. A conviction of Aggressive Driving can include the following penalties:
- 6 months jail;
- $2,500 fine plus surcharges;
- 3 years probation;
- Traffic Survival School;
- License Suspension for 30 days (if a second offense, a suspension for one year);
- 8 points on your license;
- Significant increase, or outright cancellation, of your car insurance;
- Impoundment of your vehicle;
- Community service;
- And a lifelong criminal record.
With these severe consequences, an Aggressive Driving conviction will be much more than just a stain on your driving record. You will be hampered by the negative effects of this type of conviction for the rest of your life. You will be forced to pay a significant amount of money in fines, fees, transportation, retrieving your car from the impound, and be subject to extremely high car insurance premiums. Due to these long-lasting penalties, it is crucial that your attorney is experienced in this area of law.
Aggressive Driving Possible Defenses
The Arizona Aggressive Driving statue is complex and requires the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt three types of violations and that your acts posed an immediate hazard to another. Each Aggressive Driving case stands on its own facts and circumstances. However, some defenses that have proven to be successful against this charge and may apply to your case are:
- Burden of Proof. The burden of proof in a criminal charge is beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the State will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were (1) speeding or criminally speeding, (2) committed two of the enumerated moving violations, and (3) your driving presented an immediate hazard to another. It is difficult for the State to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt due to the number of elements. Sometime the State may be able to prove the speeding and both moving violation but not that you presented an immediate hazard, or any combination of the sort. The State has to prove all elements of the charge.
- Sequence of Violations. Each of the elements of the charge must have occurred during a “fluid and continuous” period of driving. Meaning, the speeding, moving violations, and the immediate hazard cannot occur when there is a break between one of the violations, the violations must be done simultaneously. An Officer cannot charge aggressive driving if you are observed speeding, then drive safely and pursuant to the traffic code, and later then commit two moving violations and pose an immediate hazard.
- Method of Calculating Speed. There are many ways in which an Officer can measure your speed: radar, laser, and pacing are just a few of the methods. It is possible there is a flaw in the manner in which the Officer measured your speed to establish the first element of the charge, speeding.
It is important to note that the above are just a few of the possible defenses to an Aggressive Driving charge. Each case stands on its own set of facts and circumstances. One defense that works in one case may not work in a different case, even if the facts are similar. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon White have a vast amount of experience in these types of cases and have a successful history in having this type of charge reduced or even dismissed.
How Chandler Aggressive Driving Defense Lawyers Can Help
The Aggressive Driving Attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon White provide a perspective that is unique and beneficial to our clients due to all of our attorneys are either former State Troopers or former State Prosecutors. After looking at the evidence, our attorneys know how to:
- Identify which evidence, if any, has not been disclosed by the State;
- Identify deficiencies in the State’s evidence;
- Analyze the evidence and make a determination as to whether or not the evidence supports the charge.
Our experience in these types of cases allows us to negotiate the best possible plea that can result in reduced charges, a non-criminal plea, or outright dismissal of the charge all together.