Road Rage Solicitors - Lawyers for Road Rage related Offences
What is Road Rage?
Road rage is common on our roads, with many drivers resorting to anger whilst driving. The term covers a spectrum of aggressive behaviour exhibited by motorists and was first used by US broadcasters in the 1980s to describe shootings on the highway.
While many might think of it merely as a driver's momentary outburst of anger, the implications of road rage in the UK are far-reaching. It includes a variety of behaviours and actions, ranging from verbal abuse, offensive gestures, and threatening language to more serious actions such as physical threats and dangerous driving intended to harm or intimidate others.
Road rage is on the rise in the UK, with Compare the Market finding that 62% of drivers have experienced road rage, and the number of people being prosecuted for road rage crimes rose by 450% between 2016 and 2020. The triggers for such behaviour can vary significantly, from disagreements over parking spaces and impatience in traffic jams to reactions to perceived bad driving.
If you have been accused of an offence because of road rage, seeking an expert solicitor is your first step to defending your case.
Is Road Rage a Criminal Offence?
While there are no specific laws titled "road rage" in the UK, the aggressive behaviours exhibited during such episodes often violate various existing road traffic and criminal laws. As such, anyone exhibiting road rage is at risk of severe legal consequences depending on the seriousness of the case. Our team of expert solicitors can advise you if you have been accused of a Road Rage related offence.
What types of criminal offences can be committed during an incidence of Road Rage?
It is crucial to understand the concept of road rage when it comes to driving offences.Road rage can start as something minor, from a rude hand gesture inside of your vehicle all the way to criminal charges such as harassment or even assault. Whereas, instances such as sudden lane changes, excessive honking and lane blocking are categorised under aggressive driving. This is less serious and classed as a traffic offence.
Road rage incidents can be complex, as they can involve a range of traffic and criminal offences. Below are some examples of what charges could be given for road rage incidents:
- Public Order Offence - Road rage can often be categorised as a public order offence, especially if it involves threatening or abusive behaviour. The Public Order Act 1986 outlines different levels of these offences, ranging from using threatening words to causing fear of unlawful violence.
- Assault - In situations where physical violence is involved, charges can be brought under common assault or more severe categories, such as Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) or Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH), depending on the severity of the injury inflicted.
- Criminal Damage - If a road rage incident results in damage to a vehicle or property, the perpetrator can be charged under the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Depending on the circumstances, this could range from minor scratches to significant damage.
- Dangerous Driving - If the road rage incident escalates into a police chase, ignoring road signs or overtaking dangerously, you could be charged under the Road Traffic Act 1988.This could lead to a criminal record and a possible driving ban.
- Careless Driving - You could be charged with careless driving if your driving falls below the expected minimum standard. This could involve driving too fast, causing an accident, driving too close to other vehicles and failing to stop at traffic lights. Penalties will usually involve between 3-9 points being endorsed on your licence.
- Hit & Run - This is a serious offence. It occurs when a vehicle hits someone and fails to stop. Depending on the severity of the case, you could be given 5-10 points on your licence or a custodial sentence.
Road rage can therefore lead to a wide range of offences which could affect your life significantly. It is vital that you consult a specialist solicitor, if you are charged with any of these offences, for professional guidance. The UK courts will evaluate road rage cases based on intent and recklessness. At Draycott Browne, we will fight your corner, with adept lawyers who have a deep knowledge of the law. Contact us today and we will help you build a strong case.
How can Draycott Browne Help?
At Draycott Browne, we understand how stressful it can be to face charges that can arise from Road Rage, especially if losing your licence will affect your livelihood and independence. Our team of expert Road Rage Offence Solicitors are here to support you and have a proven track record of successfully defending a wide range of offences related to Road Rage.
We offer guidance and advice on your case and the possible outcomes. Our Road Rage Solicitors will build an effective defence strategy to represent you in court. We have helped numerous clients avoid disqualification, and many of our cases have been dropped by the prosecution without coming to trial.
By hiring one of our expert Criminal defence Lawyers, you can rest assured that you have a team of highly skilled legal professionals working on your behalf. Our Road Rage Solicitors will take a robust and proactive approach to ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.
What other complications can arise from Road Rage offences?
Not only can you get in trouble with the law over Road Rage incidents, but it can affect your livelihood in other ways. You could be disqualified from driving, or even have to sit an extended driving test if the case was severe. This would involve a longer driving test, covering a wider range of roads and having to complete all four parking manoeuvres (front bay park, reverse bay park, parallel park and pulling up on the right and reversing two car lengths). What’s more, having your licence endorsed with penalty points could also lead to disqualification through the ‘Totting-Up’ process.
Furthermore, the other party could attempt to claim for any damages, especially if they have suffered an injury or damage to their property. This could have serious financial implications for you. Insurance companies may not be willing to insure you, or premiums may be at a much higher price. You could also be asked to attend a rehabilitation course, such as anger management or driver awareness classes, if this was a factor in your case.
How can you defend Road Rage Offences accusations?
There are many types of defences which can be argued in relation to road rage accusations and our experienced team of solicitors are here to help you. Central to any robust defence is demonstrating a lack of intent or recklessness. If you can prove that your reactions stemmed from fear, a case of self-defence can be presented. Other ways in which you can defend your case include:
- Challenging witness credibility, pointing out inconsistencies or using dashcam footage to present evidence
- Using impartial third-party inconsistencies to help challenge the complainant’s version of events
- Suggesting that the incident was an isolated act, triggered by unique circumstances or heightened emotional distress
- Mental health issues, which is particularly relevant if it is linked to the accused’s behaviour
At Draycott Browne, we will explore every aspect of your defence, to help provide you with the best possible outcome.
How can expert evidence help your case?
In road rage cases, gathering and presenting compelling evidence can be pivotal for defence. The nature of these incidents often makes them 'he said, she said' situations. Solid evidence can tilt the scales in a court of law. Types of evidence that can aid your defence include:
- CCTV and Dashcam Footage - Both recordings can provide an unbiased account of the events leading up to, during, and after the incident. CCTV cameras from surrounding areas, such as traffic lights, petrol stations, or businesses, can capture essential details of the altercation.
- Witness Testimonies - Eyewitness accounts can provide insights into the incident. This includes testimony from other drivers, pedestrians, or passengers. Their accounts can corroborate or dispute the claims made by the involved parties.
- Mobile Phone Records - If there are claims that a driver was using a mobile phone during or leading up to the incident, phone records can be presented as evidence. These records can indicate whether the phone was active at the time, potentially establishing a link to distracted driving.
- Vehicle Damage Inspection - Physical evidence from the vehicles involved can indicate the nature and intensity of the encounter. For instance, paint transfers, dents, or broken parts can paint a picture of the events.
For anyone accused of charges related to road rage, ensuring that all possible evidence is reviewed can be the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. Given the role of evidence in these cases, consulting with Draycott Browne’s expert Motoring Offence Solicitors will be essential in effectively navigating your case.
What are the possible outcomes from Road Rage incidents?
Road Rage can lead to severe consequences, and there are some high profile cases which have had life-changing outcomes. The Kenneth Noye case, a particularly notorious incident, saw Noye involved in a heated altercation following a minor traffic accident, which tragically culminated in the fatal stabbing of Stephen Cameron on the M25. Noye was given a life sentence.
Similarly, Arslan Farooq was convicted after a road rage incident led to serious injuries to another driver. He admitted manslaughter and dangerous driving, and was given a prison sentence of eight years and three months.
If you have been accused of a road rage related incident, it is imperative to consult an expert solicitor which we can provide at Draycott Browne.
Here at Draycott Browne, our team of expert Motoring Offence Solicitors have experience in dealing with road rage cases since 1997, having been recognised as one of the leading Criminal Defence Lawyers in the North.
We pride ourselves on our dedication towards clients, having an attention to detail which is second to none and working tirelessly to help reduce any burdens on you. Our Road Rage Offence Lawyers are dedicated and tenacious, and will guide you through the process as smoothly as possible.
Our team is one of the UK’s foremost Criminal Defence Law Firms, and have a high reputation within the legal industry for delivering results. We regularly help people throughout England, including London, the Midlands and the North West.
By entrusting us to represent you, you can be assured that our technical knowledge and breadth of expertise around the law will help you to construct a strong defence.
We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have been accused of a road rage related offence, you cannot afford to settle for anything less than Draycott Browne.
With these types of charges, you need to act immediately. Contact us today and our professional team will work vigorously to build your defence strategy.