Overview of Aggressive Driving in Virginia
Not to be confused with reckless driving, aggressive driving is a separate offense in Virginia. In order to differentiate between these two offenses, the following sections will provide an overview of Virginia laws and penalties for aggressive driving.
Definition of Aggressive Driving in Virginia
The overarching law against aggressive driving appears in Code of Virginia section 46.2-868.1. In essential terms, aggressive driving involves operation of a vehicle in a way that will intimidate, harass or injure another person or other people. This is a broad requirement, encompassing many types of driving conduct.
Secondarily, aggressive driving requires a corresponding violation of Virginia traffic laws. The following section will examine the specific violations that can qualify for aggressive driving.
Traffic Violations that Qualify for Aggressive Driving in Virginia
As established in Code of Virginia section 46.2-868.1, aggressive driving requires specific violation of one or several traffic laws. Specifically, a violation of one or several of the following Code of Virginia sections can result in a charge for aggressive driving.
- 2-802 – Drivers must drive on the right side of the highway;
- 2-804 – Drivers must obey clearly marked traffic lanes;
- 2-816 – Drivers must maintain a safe distance when driving behind another vehicle;
- 2-821 – Drivers must stop or yield right-of-way when entering certain highways;
- 2-833.1 – Drivers must obey traffic signs, signals, and other devices;
- 2-838 – Drivers must take caution and pass other vehicles travelling in the same direction on the left;
- 2-841 – Drivers may pass other vehicles travelling in the same direction on the right under certain circumstances;
- 2-842 – Drivers must give way when another vehicle passes;
- 2-842.1 – Drivers must give way when another vehicle passes on a highway with a median;
- 2-843 – Drivers must obey certain limitations when overtaking or passing other vehicles;
- 2-870 – Drivers must obey all maximum speed limits on highways and other roads; or
- 2-888 – Drivers must refrain from stopping on the highway, except under certain circumstances.
Having covered the legal requirements for aggressive driving in Virginia, it is time to move on to the penalties for this offense.
Penalties for Aggressive Driving in Virginia
The penalties for aggressive driving also appear in Code of Virginia section 46.2-868.1. In most cases, aggressive driving constitutes a Class 2 misdemeanor. At that level, the penalties can include 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines.
That being said, specific circumstances can result in more stringent penalties. For example, if a person commits aggressive driving and intends to injure another person, then aggressive driving becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor. At that level, the penalties can include 365 days in jail and $2,500 in fines.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you are dealing with charges in Virginia for aggressive driving or other criminal defense matters, it is essential to consult with a criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas, know how to defend against charges for aggressive driving in Virginia. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.