Citation for aggressive driving

Ask a Lawyer

Question

Country: United States of America
State: Maryland

I live in Maryland. Yesterday, on the way to work, I made the kind of lane change everyone does-where you have just enough room to change your lane, without much room for error. It happened to be right around an unmarked police car (state trooper, I think). He pulled me over, and I thought I was either going to get a speeding ticket or a warning. He walked up to the window and announced that what I did was exactly why the aggressive driving law was written! Then he wrote me a ticket charging me with aggressive driving and slapping a $360.00 fine on me! I have a clean and clear record-no history of aggressive driving and about 10-15 years since getting a speeding ticket. I also drive a 1994 ford escort-not the most intimidating car on the road. I am going to dispute the charge and ask for leniency based on my clean record (it's called a waiver hearing: guilty with an explanation-of a bad lane change or going a bit over the speed limit). What I need to know is: -if I should mention the officer's comment (there was a second, younger Officer in his car-makes me think he was trying to make a point or seem impressive to a rookie) -admit to either the bad lane change or going a couple miles over the speed limit (I'd hate to admit to something worse, know what I mean?) -I also would like clarification of the aggressive driving law. Does a bad lane change constitute aggressive driving? I thought that law was for drivers who bully and intimidate other drivers, thereby making them feel threatened. I was not doing that at all. -and, last but not least, what my chances are as long as I keep my statements simple. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me-I'm one of those people who don't have frequent encounters with the court system, so I need to do my homework!

Answer

It seems odd to ticket you unless it was really a severe cut-off. You may dispute it and it likely will be reduced. The brand of car issue will also help you.