What to do if a reckless driver almost ran me off the road so in my anger I threw a fast food cup of tea at their car?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2014

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What to do if a reckless driver almost ran me off the road so in my anger I threw a fast food cup of tea at their car?

Their window was open a little, so the driver got wet. They went to the highway patrol and filed a complaint. I now have to go to court for throwing a substance at a vehicle. How should I go about getting the lowest punishment? I’ve never been in trouble before.

Asked on October 1, 2014 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The first and most helpful thing you could do would be to retain an attorney to help you; knowledgable, experienced local counsel, who knows the prosecutor and judge, will do more to help you than anything you can do yourself.

That said, in a situation like the one you describe, your best course of action is generally to simply, calmly, and honestly (no embellishment) tell the prosecutor (you typically have a chance to conference with him or her before court) what happened; i.e. that it was a spur-of-the-moment thing prompted by your fear at having nearly been killed and your anger at what the other driver did--and also that what you threw was just a cup of (by then, presumably not-too-hot) tea, and nothing which could injure another person or vehicle. The facts are sympathetic to you; you want to let them help you. But again, an experienced attorney will know best how to put things to maximize the chance of getting a minimum punishment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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