Aggressive driving and reckless driving seem like similar charges. What is the difference between them and when should you get a traffic lawyer involved?
What Is Considered Aggressive Driving In Atlanta?
Under Georgia law, aggressive driving is:
Driving with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person, including without limitation violating Code Section 40-6-42 [overtaking and passing], 40-6-48 [improper lane change or usage], 40-6-49 [following too closely], 40-6-123 [failing to signal], 40-6-184 [driving too slowly], 40-6-312 [lane usage by motorcycles], or 40-6-390 [reckless driving] with such intent. O.C.G.A. §40-6-397.
Examples of aggressive driving include but are not limited to:
- Cutting off another driver in traffic
- Following behind another vehicle too closely (tailgating)
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Offensive hand signals
- Flashing headlights repeatedly at other drivers
What Is Reckless Driving?
The law also defines reckless driving as:
Any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property commits the offense of reckless driving. O.C.G.A. §40-6-390.
Reckless driving behaviors are often similar to aggressive driving behaviors, but not always. Common instances of reckless driving include:
- Tailgating another driver
- Cutting off a driver behind you
- Failure to signal prior to changing lanes
- Forceful merging
The Key Difference Between the Two
While the two charges may appear similar at first glance, the primary differentiator between them is the intent of the driver. An aggressive driver has the intent to harass or intimidate another driver, while a reckless driver is negligent or disregards the safety of others. Both charges are serious and can result in the suspension of your license
When to Contact a Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Both reckless and aggressive driving are ticketable offenses and misdemeanors, meaning that they will be on both your driving record (in the form of points against your license) and your criminal record. In most cases, aggressive and reckless driving cannot be expunged, which can impede your ability to obtain gainful employment, rent an apartment and buy a home or vehicle.
Get Help With Your Atlanta Traffic Ticket Today
If you’ve accumulated between 9 to 11 points against your license within 24 months of your reckless or aggressive driving charge, you’re at risk of having your license suspended. It’s important to fight the charge against you and protect your driving record with the help of an experienced Georgia traffic ticket attorney. Contact the Kimbrel Law Firm today for more information at (770) 349-9219.