Car accidents are difficult for everyone involved, but in some cases, they can result in criminal charges. Keep reading to learn about four situations involving road rage that could lead to you face charges. If you are facing these or other charges related to being involved in a car accident, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
You Were Driving Aggressively or Recklessly
It is illegal in California to “drive a vehicle upon a highway in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This could include speeding, tailgating, swerving, and other actions. If convicted of this statute, you could face up to three months in county jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. If the reckless driving caused bodily injury to anyone else, you could face more significant penalties.
You Committed Assault While Driving
If you were driving aggressively in such a way that you attempted to or threatened to apply force to someone else who was walking or driving, and the person who was the victim of these actions reasonably believed that you would hurt them, then you could be charged with assault. This is a misdemeanor charge that can result in up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
You Committed Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Note that in the state of California, a car can be considered a deadly weapon. If you use a car in a manner that is considered assault – such as driving toward a pedestrian as though you are going to hit them and then swerving away at the last second – you could face charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
This is a wobbler offense, which means that the prosecution can decide if they want to charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the specifics of the case. A felony conviction can lead to four years in state prison. If the deadly weapon in question was a gun and you brandished it, you could face additional charges for firearms charges.
You Committed Battery
If your road rage resulted in actually hitting the driver or using force against them, then you could face battery charges. This could come with a fine of as much as $2,000 and up to six months in county jail. Battery resulting in serious bodily injury is a separate criminal offense and can come with even more significant consequences.
If you are facing criminal charges related to a car accident or a road rage incident, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.