Highway Racing Comes With Serious Penalties
Highway racing, or street racing, on the roads and highways of Florida carries with it consequences above and beyond that of a standard traffic citation. Rather than simply receiving a ticket, the driver is looking at a first-degree misdemeanor charges.
Florida defines racing as using one or more motor vehicles of any type in competition with each other for the purpose of outrunning or outdistancing those other vehicles. The laws concerning street racing are so stringent that even being accused as a spectator of street racing is grounds for punishment. If you have been accused of a street racing charge, it is imperative that you contact a Jacksonville criminal attorney for representation.
Loss of money
For those convicted of highway racing, the first offense can receive anywhere from a $500 to $1,000 fine. If a second offense is garnered, the fines go up substantially, this time from $1,000 to $3,000. While the amounts of these fines are certainly damaging, they are merely one of the punishments that a driver charged with street racing can expect to receive. Along with fines, there are other penalties that need to be considered.
Loss of license
More damaging than the cumulative cost of fines is that of having your license suspended or revoked. According to Section 316.191(3)(a) of Florida’s Statutes on the topic of street racing, the DHSMV must revoke the license of an offender for no less than the period of one year. That is a one year suspension of your license at the bare minimum, and it could possibly be longer. Fines can be paid, but the challenge of not having a license can be a real imposition to your lifestyle, which is another reason you should consult with a Jacksonville criminal attorney to protect your driving privileges.
Loss of vehicle
When an officer believes that a person or persons were involved in drag racing, you can automatically be taken into custody and your vehicle impounded for 30 days, leaving you without a vehicle for up to a month. If you happen to be convicted twice within the span of five years of highway racing, under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, the State has the right to seize and auction off your vehicle. This means the potential loss of thousands of dollars of personal property, as well as the costs of replacing your vehicle.
What to do next
Highway racing, or street racing, is a serious offense and carries with it serious fines, penalties, and consequences. Additionally, it gives you a criminal record that affects you long after your sentence has been imposed and completed. If you’re charged with highway racing, it’s crucial that you get the best legal representation to research and argue your case. Speak with a Jacksonville criminal attorney who has experience in defending cases of street racing. A free consultation will best help you understand your options and make a decision regarding your legal rights and driving privileges. Call me, James Davis, at (904) 358-0420 to schedule an appointment.