Road Rage = Crime

As reported in the June 16, 2010 Providence Journal, two men were involved in a "road rage" incident, which led to criminal charges. Both men have been charged with simple assault because of an altercation on the side of the road. The incident started when one man allegedly cut off the other. They then drove next to each other, cutting each other off and eventually pulled over on the side of Route 24. Both men got out of their respective cars and confronted each other. It became physical when one man grabbed the other's arm and he retaliated with pepper spray. Although both men were only charged with simple assault, they could have faced much harsher penalties under Rhode Island law.

Road rage can easily escalate into situations involving high speeds, unsafe driving, car crashes and police chases. These can all lead to criminal charges of reckless driving and eluding police.

Rhode Island General Law 31-27-4 Reckless Driving:

Any person who operates a motor vehicle recklessly so that the

lives or safety of the public might be endangered, or operates a

vehicle in an attempt to elude or flee from a traffic officer or

police vehicle, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first

conviction and a felony for the second and subsequent conviction.

Rhode Island General Law 31-27-4.1 Eluding Police:

Any person who in an attempt to elude or flee from a police

officer in an emergency police vehicle in a high speed pursuit

of the person, operate a motor vehicle at speeds greater than

fifteen (15) miles per hour over the speed limit or who causes

property damage only in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

The penalties for violation of the eluding police statute (R.I.G.L. 31-27-4.1) include the following:

First Offense:

  • Imprisonment of up to one year;
  • A fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000;
  • License suspension of not less than ninety (90) days but not more than six (6) months; and
  • Forfeiture of motor vehicle.

Second and Subsequent Offenses:

  • Imprisonment not less than two (2) years but not more than five (5) years;
  • A fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000;
  • License suspension of not less than one (1) year but not more than five (5) years; and
  • Forfeiture of motor vehicle.

If you or a family member has been charged with reckless driving, eluding police or other driving related crimes please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process.

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