Defending Road Rage Cases in Connecticut
The best Connecticut criminal defense lawyers will tell you that road rage incidents are increasingly common. When anger and frustration reach a boiling point, motorists can often lose their temper, and things can quickly escalate into terrifying situations. Since COVID, people seem more “on edge”, stressed out, and quick to lose their cool when driving. Also, since COVID has ended traffic congestion is back to pre-pandemic levels.
Often someone making an obscene gesture or “brake checking” another driver will set off a confrontation that can result in criminal charges. The most important thing to remember is never to get out of your car and confront someone over a road rage incident. In many situations, things go sideways quickly when someone exits their vehicle to confront someone else. To be clear, making an obscene gesture is not illegal, but aggressive driving or cutting someone off can result in criminal charges. In many situations, people become so enraged that they get into a fistfight with the other motorist, which can result in a charge of assault. Some possible charges can result in mandatory license suspensions and the possibility of having a criminal record, so it is important to take road rage allegations seriously and consult with an experienced Connecticut criminal attorney.Typical Road Rage Charges
There is no specific charge for “road rage” in Connecticut. Instead, many criminal statutes can be applied to the behavior that typifies road rage. Of course, there are regular motor vehicle offenses – non-criminal – such as speeding, following too closely and passing on the right. However, often things get out of hand, and more serious criminal offenses are charged, which require a court appearance. Some common scenarios include the brandishing of weapons and physical assaults. In some instances, people will flash a fake badge and impersonate a police officer to get the upper hand. Some of these include:
- Evading responsibility C.G.S.§ 14-224
- Breach of peace in the 2nd degree - C.G.S.§ 53a-181
- Disorderly conduct - C.G.S.§ 53a-182
- Reckless driving - C.G.S.§ 14-222
- Criminal mischief - C.G.S.§ 53a-116
- Threatening in the 2nd degree – 53a-62
- Engaging police in pursuit - C.G.S.§ 14-223
- Weapons in a Motor Vehicle - C.G.S.§ 29-28
In many situations, there are two sides to the story, and often the first person to call 911 and speak to the police gets the upper hand. Absent some form of video or eyewitness, these cases are often he said / she said situations. When the police have conflicting accounts about what happened, they often side with the first person who contacted them to report an incident. In such situations, contacting a top Connecticut criminal defense attorney is imperative. Sometimes, it is possible to file a motion to obtain and preserve any video evidence before it is erased.
In instances where both parties were arrested (dual arrest), it may be possible to convince the state to drop the charges if both parties can negotiate a resolution and agree to drop the charges against each other. Working with a top Stamford criminal lawyer is important to coordinate an amicable resolution with the other party.Using AR to Resolve a Road Rage Case
First-time offenders may be eligible for the accelerated rehabilitation program. Using this program is not an admission of guilt or an agreement that the allegations against you are accurate. Rather, the AR program is a diversionary program that can result in the dismissal of all the charges against you. Courts typically take a dim of road rage incidents. Hence, it is important to retain the services of an experienced Stamford criminal attorney to prepare the most convicting argument for why you should be allowed to participate in the AR program.Civil Lawsuits Arising out of Road Rage Incidents
When accidents or fist fights occur in road rage incidents, often a civil lawsuit can be filed. While we do not defend civil lawsuits, it is important to collaborate with an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure that the defense of the civil lawsuit does not compromise your rights regarding your criminal case.Contact a Connecticut Road Rage Defense Attorney
Our office offers a free initial consultation to review your case's facts and find the best course of action. Call Attorney Friedman at (203) 357-5555 to schedule your free initial consultation. We are available 24/7. Or you can just contact us online for a quick response.