Many people in Maryland may consider aggressive driving an issue worth discussing, but it does not always result in allegations of a crime. Still, incidents of alleged road rage may lead to altercations that can leave people facing criminal charges.
In one recent case, Maryland authorities charged an out-of-state policeman with second-degree murder and manslaughter stemming from an apparent road rage incident. The off-duty officer allegedly shot a man on an on-ramp to Route 3, twenty miles south of Baltimore. The officer was driving a minivan with his wife and three kids in the car. According to reports, the officer was following another vehicle when the first vehicle stopped and the driver got out, approaching the officer's van. The vehicles had apparently been involved in an incident prior to the stop.
The reason for the incident was not immediately clear, but police did say they thought the death was the result of aggressive behavior gone wrong. Despite the lack of clarity, however, the alleged shooter is being held on $1 million bond for the aforementioned charges.
Now the off-duty officer faces serious charges which carry severe consequences. Still, charges are only the first step in the legal process, and a criminal defense strategy will start by performing a full review of the incident and evidence gathered by police. For example, Maryland does recognize the right to self-defense in certain situations. An in-depth assessment of the circumstances can determine whether such a defense is appropriate in a given case.
Despite the story presented by police and prosecutors, those facing charges have the right to defend themselves and challenge the evidence presented. Working with an experienced attorney here in Maryland can ensure those accused of crimes receive fair treatment and work towards the best possible outcome.
Source: Christian Science Monitor, "Road rage murder in Maryland: New Jersey police officer charged," Chelsea Sheasley, June 10, 2013