No one drives perfectly. There are days, though, when the little mistakes someone else makes on the road can tip a driver over the edge. Road rage, or aggressive driving, has serious consequences both for its victims and for those engaged in it.
Individual states currently determine how they wish to address incidents of road rage that come to court. However, a recent incident in North Carolina is drawing attention to the difference between the consequences that drivers accused of road rage can face in both North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Road Rage Incident in North Carolina Impacts Pennsylvania Family
North Carolina resident Dejywan Floyd, 29, faces first-degree murder charges after an instance of road rage that led to the shooting of Julie Eberly, 47, of Pennsylvania.
Julie Eberly's husband, David Eberly, allegedly cut Dejywan Floyd off while driving on I-95 in Lumberton. In response, Floyd allegedly caught up to the Eberlys' vehicle and fired several shots into the car, injuring and later killing Julie.
This is not Floyd's first incident of violent behavior towards another party. Assistant District Attorney Tommy Tate reports that Floyd, whose bail review hearing has been delayed, was released from prison in 2019. Now, Floyd may return to prison if indicted by a grand jury. He faces the District Court on May 15th.
North Carolina Road Rage Legislation versus Pennsylvania Road Rage Legislation
As the incident in question took place in North Carolina, Floyd will face consequences for his alleged behavior per the appropriate, state-specific legislation. North Carolina has specific statutes addressing road rage, marking a significant difference between it and Pennsylvania.
At the moment, Pennsylvania does not have legislation in place that specifically addresses road rage. However, the Pennsylvania DMV categorizes road rage – also referred to as “aggressive driving” – as one of the special circumstances and emergencies that may merit state intervention on the road. The state takes this one step further, noting that “aggravated assault by vehicle” is considered a felony of the third degree, provided that the incident resulted in another party's injury.
It's not easy to say what kind of charges the state may have brought Floyd up on had the alleged incident taken place in Pennsylvania. His use of a handgun resulted in the first-degree murder charge he now faces in North Carolina as opposed to any charges directly related to aggressive driving. The courts have yet to announce whether or not Floyd will face subsequent road rage charges. If he does, these charges are likely to lengthen his sentence and/or exasperate his fines.
Challenging Allegations of Road Rage
Allegations of road rage can complicate incidents that might otherwise net drivers a ticket. As Floyd's case shows, the consequences for a person's alleged roadway aggression can rapidly escalate from fines to prison time.
There is good news, though. No one facing road rage or vehicular violence charges in Pennsylvania has to fight the courts alone. Instead, interested parties can reach out to attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm.
Schedule a case consultation with the Lento Law Firm by calling 888-535-3686 or by filling out the firm's online form.