Penalties for Road rage in Massachusetts
Road Rage in Massachusetts is when the police alleged that you were driving erratically intentionally because you were mad at what someone else did on the road. What is called Road Rage in the public could be charged in court as Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle or Assault and Battery with a Dangerous weapon. When there is an allegation of Road Rage, it is likely that the officer will file a request for the RMV to suspend your license for immediate threat. You will have to deal both with the Court and the RMV to restore your license.
Depending on the severity, a road rage incident can be charged as negligent operation of a motor vehicle under 90 § 24(a). To be convicted under this statute, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant:
- operated a motor vehicle,
- upon a way or in a place to which the public has a right of access or a place to which members of the public have access as invitees or licensees, and;
- recklessly or negligently so that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered.
Negligent operation basically means that the driver did not drive as safely as they could have. This encompasses a wide range of actions and can be anything from texting to backing out of a driveway too fast, and even road rage. Road rage can be classified as negligent operation because it has the potential to endanger others on the road. Negligent operation can include tailgating and driving too closely, weaving between lanes or drifting in and out of lanes, cutting people off, aggressive driving, distracted driving: attempting to pass in an unauthorized passing zone, unsafe acceleration, and a host of other things. During a road rage incident, anger can cloud a person's judgment and make them so enraged that they will engage in some of these violations.Consequences for Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle
A negligent operation conviction can result in a suspended license of sixty days. Imprisonment of up to two years is possible but typically the penalty is only various fines and a suspended license.What is Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle
A charge or reckless operation is that you were not driving just below the standard of a normal driver, but that you were careless and disregarded the safety of others in your manner of driving.What Will Happen to my License After an Allegation of Road Rage
However, a road rage incident can also result in an immediate threat suspension. This type of license suspension can happen if the registry has determined that the continued operation of a motor vehicle is a danger to public safety, usually, it is the police officer that gives this recommendation. This can happen after a serious offense, but it can also happen based simply on an officer's judgment. In Massachusetts, the immediate threat conviction means that there is no specified date when the license must be reinstated, and in many cases the suspension is indefinite. There are two main reasons that the RMV will suspend a license for immediate threat, the first is for medical reasons, and the second is if the police report suggests that your continued operation of a motor vehicle is a danger to public safety. This can happen from incidents of incredibly dangerous driving, which as mentioned above, is very likely in an event such as road rage.
In order to attempt to get the license reinstated, a defendant must appeal the suspension to the Board of Appeals. Typically, this will usually be a faster process than trying to go through the RMV. If there is not a criminal case pending, the RMV may reinstate the license, but only if the individual can show clearance from a therapist or doctor. But, if a criminal charge is pending, the RMW will not reinstate the license until the case is disposed of, and cases can take a very long time to resolve, so all this time the defendant will be left without a license. This is why appealing to the Board of Appeals is the better option, because unlike the RMV, the Board of Appeals will consider reinstating the license while the criminal charge is pending. But the board will want to see evidence the individual is capable of driving safely.Assault and Battery With a Deadly Weapon, to wit a Motor Vehicle
In the most serious cases, incidents of road rage can lead to assault with a deadly weapon, or worse, motor vehicle homicide. Examples of road rage that could lead to an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon charge would be driving at someone, intentionally causing an accident. If the conduct is severe enough it can also be charged as Attempted Murder or other serious Felony offenses.
If you face a charge of Road Rage, you will want to take hire a lawyer experience with both the Court and the RMV so you can get back on the road as soon as possible. You can call or Text DelSignore any time at 781-686-5924. It is never too early or late to call; we are here to help.