In Florida, drag racing is against the law. A conviction on racing charges could result in a Jail sentence, probation, leave a permanent stain on your record, affect your insurance premiums, suspend your driver’s license and damage your personal and professional reputation.
It is critical that you work with a West Palm Beach racing lawyer who has experience handling these cases. A strong traffic defense team could listen to your side of the story and help you develop innovative and creative strategies to defend you against the charges.
State Laws Against Racing
According to Florida Statutes 316.191, it is illegal to race on the highways. The statute forbids people from using their cars for the following purposes:
- Outdistancing or outgaining other cars,
- Preventing other cars from passing,
- Arriving first at a chosen destination, or
- Testing/exhibiting the endurance or stamina of motorists over a long-distance route.
As such, the law forbids prearranged drag races. It also prohibits spontaneous races, when one driver seemingly challenges another to a race while on the road. It is also illegal to be a race spectator, a passenger in a racing car, or to place a bet on such a race. A lawyer in West Palm Beach could help someone charged under this racing statute.
Penalties for Violating the Racing Statute
The penalties for drag racing are much more serious than for many other driving offenses. When a person speeds, they just get a speeding ticket. When a person drag races, they face criminal misdemeanor charges.
First-time offenders may be sentenced to up to one year in jail, must pay a fine of between $500 and $1000, and could face the revocation of their driver’s license for an entire year. Second-time offenders face potentially longer prison sentences, must pay an increased fine between $1000 and $3,000, and lose their license for two years. Third-time offenders face even longer potential prison sentences, must pay a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000, and lose their license for four years.
It is critical to aggressively fight racing on the highways charges as early as possible. Swift action on the part of a West Palm Beach defense lawyer could ideally get the racing charges dismissed, or at a minimum, reduced to simple speeding charges.
Possible Drag Racing Defense Strategies
A West Palm Beach attorney could defend an accused drag racer by thoroughly investigating the alleged incident. They could meet with eyewitnesses to get their accounts and search for inconsistencies in the arrest report. Often, the prosecutors might not be able to prove that there was a race or that the accused had the intent to race. Sometimes, even if another driver tried to start a race, the accused can demonstrate that they did not take the bait. Other times, officers mistakenly believe that speeding is racing. A skilled lawyer could look through the evidence and help an accused racer fight the charges in the most effective manner.
Let a West Palm Beach Racing Attorney Assist You
Street racing charges are treated very seriously. A dedicated West Palm Beach racing lawyer could review the charges against you, assess the evidence, and help you build an effective defense strategy that reduces the offense from criminal charges to a civil citation. Reach out for legal help today.