By Kortney Daly

Road Rage incidents are all too common on the roads in Florida. People are moving to Florida in record numbers and many people tend to vacation down here. I counted 27 different license plates from different states on a recent 1 hour trip from Vero to Melbourne along US 1. There are a lot of people on the roads here. As a result, the traffic is going to be worse. While most of us are not happy about the increased traffic and commute times, some people are completely enraged by it. They drive excessively fast and recklessly in response to the heavy traffic. It is important to be mindful of these types and not engage with them on the road.  It is best to move out of the way and not engage if possible.

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In this particular scenario, the Dodge Truck appears to have rear ended the trailer and the parties went to pull over on to the side of the road. The driver of the truck, Michael Marsh attacked the driver of the trailer with a box cutter knife. Marsh stabbed the driver of the trailer in the hand and in the leg. As a result, Marsh was arrested for Aggravated Battery with a deadly weapon. Aggravated Battery with a deadly weapon is a second degree felony punishable up to 15 years in Prison with a $10,000 fine.

Aggravated Battery is a very serious offense. In Florida, We use the Criminal Punishment Code to determine the sentencing guidelines of a defendant. The points are calculated using offense levels of the current crime charged and a point system for prior criminal history, if any. Under the Criminal Punishment Code, when someone has 44 points or more, they score prison and it is presumed that if convicted, the sentence should involve a minimum of amount of time in prison. Aggravated Battery is a level 7 offense which carries 56 points on the scoresheet. That means a person is going to be looking at mandatory prison even if they have never been in trouble before. This can be overcome by a downward departure, but there must be a legal reason for a downward departure and the court must choose to sentence under the downward departure.

A lot of these road rage incidents involve guns. Many people who are willing to engage in this type of road rage behavior have firearms and will use them in altercations. It almost always ends badly. Many people end up seriously injured or even killed. Remember to stay alert and stay away. And if the traffic is getting to you and you feel enraged, pull over and take a break. It could save your life or potentially time in prison.

If you or a family member find yourself charged with a crime, do not hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers of  The Smith and Eulo law firm at 352-WIN-4YOU. for your FREE consultation.