Road Rage will always end badly

Peter Aiken
Criminal Defense Attorney

There is hardly a day that goes by that we don’t hear or read about a road rage incident coming to a bad conclusion.

Some of them end in death but most end in an arrest or a terrible “accident”. We have all seen video clips of cars chasing after other cars, car divers interacting with motorcycle riders or drivers fighting with people on bicycles. Losing your temper over something silly like someone cutting in line or merging into your lane is something that can be prevented. Here in Sarasota we have a large number of seasonal drivers (snow birds) that simply do not know where they are going. We have a huge elderly population that has sight and hearing difficulties. When you mix that with a little suppressed hostility it can end up in a road rage situation. This can end in a car crash, a fight and sometimes the display of a firearm or worse yet a shooting.

Over the years, I have defended many road rage cases. Pulling a gun and pointing it is never a good option. You can get arrested for aggravated assault with a firearm. If someone is acting hostile, call 911. If you can take a video without endangering yourself, do so. Giving someone the “finger” or honking to show anger never makes things better. If you over react you may find yourself arrested. If you reach into someone’s car and punch someone, you have committed a burglary with a battery, a serious felony.

If you punch some old guy you may get charged with battery on a person over sixty five, another serious felony. If you bump some kid on a crotch rocket, you can find yourself charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A felony arrest can tarnish a lifetime clean record and if you are a professional result in the loss of not your driver’s license but you license to practice medicine, dentistry or law. Professionals have a lot to lose and really need to think twice and keep their cool.

As a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer and an old guy myself I have found the best way to deal with hostility is to simply back off. It does not matter who is right or wrong. The same goes for fighting. The loser goes to the hospital and the winner goes to jail. Fighting is never your best option unless it is in unprovoked self defense. The “stand your ground” law may result in your ultimate acquittal but you may end up spending thousands in legal fees defending you innocence. If you are reading this “too late”, and need some good legal advice or defense, feel free to call for a confidential consultation at 941 366 3506

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