Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I sped up to pass a slow moving car in front of me (I was within speed limit). The driver became upset that I passed him and moved into his lane, so he started to high beam and tailgating me. He then sped up to get along side of my car and quickly swerved into my lane, as if trying to hit me. When we arrived at the traffic light, he was stopped beside me. While the light was still red, he rolled down his window and began to yell at me. He proceeded to come into my lane and our cars collided.

I reported this incident to the police immediately. They reviewed the intersection video. I was informed that because I began to roll forward as he was entering my lane, I struck him, and I'm the driver at fault.

Are there any criminal legal actions that can be taken against this person? When I called 911 that night, I was told by dispatch that a witness confirmed my story of the driver being hostile towards me. However, the officer I spoke with stated that if I chose to pursue action, I would be the one at risk for being charged with vandalism to the person's car. I feel this isn't right, as I was genuinely afraid for my safety, he made 2 attempts to strike my car, and he came into my lane attempting to intimidate me with his car.

Asked on 9/13/15, 11:14 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joshua Hale Hale Law Group

You can choose to pursue this with police, however you cannot press any criminal charges yourself.

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Answered on 9/14/15, 8:19 am

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