In honor of a woman who was paralyzed from the waist down as a teenager because of a road rage incident, New Jersey has just made Jessica Rogers' Law official. Rogers was a passenger when the driver of the car she was a passenger in went after another car that cut him off. Rogers' driver subsequently lost control and crashed.
The law upgrades the degree of a vehicular incident – from Disorderly Persons to fourth degree or fourth to third degree – if road rage is established as a factor. How will road rage be established? That will be up to officers and juries to decide. But short of obvious rage-worthy cases like the Oklahoma driver who pulled a gun after being honked at or the Alaska driver who fatally stabbed another, we see a lot of legal wrangling and plea deals plus big fines to go down to aggressive driving.
According to several sites of New Jersey trial attorneys, Disorderly Persons charges come with a maximum of six months in county. Fourth degree ups that to 18 months max, but things get serious at third degree with three to five years in the hoosegow and up to $15,000 in fines. Get ready for enforcement gymnastics, though, for as the wise defendant once said, "It ain't what you know, it's what you can prove."