As per the National Highway Safety Administration, road rage encompasses aggressive driving, which may escalate to angry and violent behavior. Road rage could include physical threats, derogatory comments, rude gestures, or driving recklessly, thereby putting others’ lives in danger.
California doesn’t have a specific law for road rage, but you may face criminal charges related to a road rage incident like assault, battery, or aggressive driving. A criminal charge for road rage in Los Angeles can have serious long-term consequences.
Experienced legal representation can help you navigate your case and minimize the impact on your life.
Mariya Melkonyan is an experienced criminal defense attorney who handles serious violent crimes, including road rage convictions and other aggressive driving cases. Her knowledge of legal strategies around road rage defense can help you fight road rage charges and protect your rights.
Road rage criminal charges in California can be severe and vary widely. California Vehicle Code 23103 prohibits driving with a deliberate or reckless disregard for public safety. Aggressive drivers who threaten or attempt to use physical force against other drivers may face charges of assault under California Penal Code 240.
If a driver uses their vehicle with the intent to cause harm, they face a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, according to California Penal Code 245. However, a driver may be subject to a battery charge if they assault another individual during a road rage altercation.
Experienced criminal defense attorney Mariya Melkonyan can build a robust defense strategy to reduce or dismiss road rage charges filed against you. Mariya will use her history as a former Deputy District Attorney to fight for your rights and ensure you receive fair treatment under the law.
When facing road rage convictions, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney defending you. Trust Mariya to protect your reputation, driving privileges, and criminal record.
Her team can help you with:
A conviction for road rage can lead to severe long-term consequences, including county or state incarceration and thousands of dollars in fines. Mariya can explain the potential outcomes of a conviction and build a solid defense strategy to minimize the possible penalties from a conviction.
By working with Mariya, you can feel confident that you have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who will fight for you and help you can rebuild your life.
Protecting Your Rights
Mariya can help protect your rights when facing a road rage charge in California. For instance, if the police violated your constitutional rights during your arrest, such as searching your vehicle without a warrant, she can file a motion to suppress evidence from being used in the trial, getting you the best possible outcome for your case.
Building a Strong Defense Strategy
The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan have the experience to provide a solid defense strategy to all their clients for fighting against road rage convictions. For example, you may be able to argue that you acted reasonably during the incident because of a sudden and unexpected emergency.
Using photos, videos, and witness statements can show you handled the other driver’s reckless behavior appropriately and didn’t endanger other motorists. Mariya’s defense can help you minimize a road rage conviction’s negative impact on your life by reducing or dismissing your charges.
Reduce or Dismiss Road Rage Convictions Entirely
As your criminal defense attorney, Mariya can use various strategies to persuade a prosecutor to reduce or drop charges. These strategies include presenting evidence in your favor or demonstrating that law enforcement officials violated your constitutional rights.
Having an experienced legal defense team means that you have an attorney who knows all the available options under the law to reduce your charges.
For example, the judge may approve your entry into a mental health diversion program if you face charges and have a mental disorder. When you comply with all conditions for the pretrial diversion program, the judge will most likely dismiss all charges against you.
Avoid Long-Term Consequences
Road rage convictions go on your criminal record and can result in long-term consequences for your life. It may affect your chances of obtaining a job or a state license, as potential employers may consider your record when conducting background checks.
You can trust Mariya to negotiate a plea bargain to reduce or prevent jail time, avoid severe penalties, or represent you in court. These strategies can help minimize the long-term effects of a road rage conviction on your life.
Minimize Penalties and Protect Your Record
A past felony conviction on your criminal record could pose serious consequences when facing a new felony charge. Under California’s Three Strikes Law, the court may double the prison sentence for a new felony conviction. Mariya will evaluate your case and provide a legal strategy to reduce your risk of harsher penalties, such as extended jail time.
If you are convicted of a criminal charge related to road rage, you could face severe penalties such as fines, jail time, and suspension of your driver’s license. There is also the possibility of performing community service. So, depending on your case, here are the various penalties that you could face.
Facing fines for a road rage-related conviction can become a massive financial burden on you and your family. Aggressive driving charges can result in fines ranging from $145 to $1,000. An assault conviction has a fine of $1,000, whereas a battery conviction carries a fine of $2,000.
However, if there is a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, that can have fines of up to $10,000.
County or state imprisonment sentences can result from road rage convictions. The penalties for aggressive driving may include 5 to 90 days in county jail, and for assault, you could face 6 months in county prison. It’s important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
If convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, such as road rage shooting as an example, you may have to spend 1 year in county jail or 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison. For battery charges, the potential jail time is 6 months in county prison.
If the battery results in serious bodily injury, you could face harsher penalties of 1 year or 2, 3, or 4 years in county jail under California Penal Code Section 1170(h).
Driver’s License Suspension
A driver’s license suspension under California Road Rage Law Vehicle Code 13210 due to a road rage incident affects your ability to complete routine tasks, attend school, or secure job opportunities.
Road Rage convictions can result in a license suspension for 6 months for a first offense or 1 year for a second offense. Your suspension can begin on the date of your conviction or upon release from prison. The court might also require you to complete a road rage or anger management course.
Mariya can negotiate for community service as part of your summary probation for a road rage conviction. For instance, assault with a deadly weapon may be classified as a wobbler, meaning it could result in a felony or misdemeanor at the judge’s discretion under California Penal Code 17(b).
If convicted of a misdemeanor, you can face court-ordered community service as part of your probation. Community service involves completing your hours under supervision through a court-approved Community Service Referral Agency (CSRA).
Driving can be a stressful experience, and road rage can develop in the heat of the moment. However, you can reduce your likelihood of contributing to road rage incidents by following traffic laws and staying calm.
Obey Traffic Laws
Following all California traffic laws, including posted speed limits, traffic signals, and road signs, helps you develop predictable driving habits and demonstrates respect for other road users. For example, when you follow the posted speed limit on a highway, you ensure that you maintain your speed and are less likely to cause an accident with another driver.
Driving too closely behind other motorists, also known as tailgating, can provoke frustration and anger among drivers on the road, and may cause accidents due to abrupt braking or speeding. The California Vehicle Code 21703 specifically prohibits following other drivers too closely.
Avoid Road Rage Triggers
When you’re in a rush, taking unnecessary risks like speeding can be tempting, putting you and other drivers in danger. Instead, give yourself ample time to arrive at your destination and prioritize safety.
Remain Calm Behind the Wheel
You must maintain a positive mindset when encountering an aggressive driver on the road. Instead of getting frustrated, remember everyone has different priorities and pressures. No matter the reason for their actions, their behavior doesn’t affect you personally, and remember to follow California traffic laws.
Aggressive driving is driving a motor vehicle that puts people or property at risk of harm. The extreme end of aggressive driving is road rage, characterized by violent and angry actions.
You could petition the court to expunge your criminal record if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or completed probation for a road rage incident. Mariya Melkonyan is a criminal defense attorney with experience in expungements who can help you clear your criminal record.
Road rage is not a criminal offense under California law, but a road rage incident can lead to criminal charges such as reckless driving, assault, or battery.
If convicted of a criminal charge from a road rage incident, it will go on your criminal record permanently, which could impact your ability to secure employment. Experienced criminal defense lawyer Mariya Melkonyan can assist you in expunging your criminal record and helping you move forward with your life.
The California DMV may suspend your driving privileges for six months for the first offense or one year for the subsequent offense.
If you are facing road rage charges in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or San Bernardino Counties, contact criminal defense attorney Mariya Melkonyan as soon as possible. Mariya will use her 13 years of experience as a former Deputy District Attorney, to protect your rights and minimize any possible legal consequences.
Speak with Mariya today to learn how she can help you avoid a conviction or reduce, perhaps avoid, possible jail time and penalties.