Racing On The Highway
Street Racing in Florida
Orlando Criminal Traffic Attorney
Last Updated: April 14, 2014
It is against the law to street race in Florida. Unfortunately, the definition for
Racing On The Highway (as it is called in the statutes and what you will have been cited for) is rather blurry. Below I go through some issues that this statute has caused.
What is Racing on the Highway (in Florida)
Looking at the law, our state representatives would want you to believe that driving any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, or exhibition of speed or acceleration or for the purpose of making a speed record on any highway, roadway, or parking lot or in any manner participate in, coordinate, facilitate, or collect moneys at any location for any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition or knowingly ride as a passenger in any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition or purposefully cause the movement of traffic to slow or stop for any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition is a violation of the racing statute.
That run-on sentence above is the product of Florida's legislature. That is the prohibitive act of the racing statute. You'd never do any of that. Seems pretty innocuous doesn't it. Unless, of course, you find yourself being charged with racing when you haven't been. The trick is in the definitions for the terms
Penalties If Found Guilty For Racing On Highway
Racing on the Highway [Racing] carries with it the following penalties only if you enter a plea of guilty or no-contest or have been found guilty after a trial:
- It is always a 1st degree misdemeanor.
- Up to 1-year in jail.
- Up to 1-year probation.
- Up to $1,000.00 fine (unles specified by statute).
- First offense requires a $500 to $1,000 fine.
- The Department [DMV] is required to suspend your license for 1-year on the first offense.
A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail. The fine amount varies based on the number of racing convictions a person has. The fine and the time of suspension get progressively worse with the number of prior racing convictions a person has. You can read the statute on my Florida Racing Laws page.
Were You Racing
There are circumstances where the evidence of racing can be overwhelming. This is when you have driven to a clandestine place for the purpose of racing your car against other cars. Unbeknownst to all involved the police are surveiling the scene and they catch you in the act. Unfortunately, most charges involving Racing don't have any facts like those just described. More often a person was just speeding or took off too quick from a stop. In those situations the evidence is far from overwhelming and good defenses are available.
Should You Hire An Attorney
When facing criminal charges you should always consult with a criminal attorney. If you have been charged with racing you should definitely consider hiring an attorney for one salient fact - if found guilty you will lose your drivers license for a year. Regardless of any other penalties you receive, the license suspension will occur. For more information about hiring an attorney please go to my How An Attorney Can Help You page.
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