Some Facts About Florida's Racing Law
Some Good, Some Bad, All True
Orlando Criminal Traffic Attorney
Last Updated: August 16, 2014
First Misconception: Street Racing Isn't That Serious
Florida's Racing On The Highway law is serious. If found guilty you are looking at up to a year in jail and you will lose your driver's license for a year.
Without a driver's license you will need either someone to give you a ride or have to take the bus to where ever you need to go. This includes work, grocery store, doctor, dentist, school, etc.
If you decide to drive without a valid driver's license you run the risk of being caught and arrested for Driving While License Suspended and having your license suspended for a longer period of time. This is not an uncommon scenario.
Second Misconception: You Will Be Able To Explain It To The Judge
A judge cannot do many things people think they can do including:
- Dismiss your case because they empathize with you.
- Reduce your penalty because they believe you were doing no harm.
- Allow you to keep your driver's license despite being found gulty.
Judges must follow the law. If you have been charged by the State of Florida with breaking the law the only thing a judge can do is preside over the litigation of the case.
Third Misconception: You Will Be Able To Explain Your Case To The Judge
Again, judges only preside over the litigation of the case. The State Attorney's Office will press the charges against you all the way to a trial if necessary to have you convicted of Racing On The Highway.
Forth Misconception: It Is Obvious That You Were Not Racing
Racing is not so obvious. When charged with racing the prosecutor has wide leeway to try and prove you violated the statute in anyway described by the statute - not just based on the reason the police initially reported it. Some cases that have gone to trial were based only on facts such as:
- High rate of speed. Charged with drag racing.
- Light turned green unnoticed, someone honks, and the cars taking off. Charged with drag racing.
- Two motorcycles, side by side, exceeding the speed limit. Charged with racing.
- Making a u-turn in an area where racing frequently occurs. Charged with racing.
- A friend following a friend's car to the friend's home. Charged with racing.
The cases described did not involve loud, modified kit-cars. Many were just ordinary, not very sporty, cars. A Camary, a 10-year old Ford Taurus Wagon, a 20-year old Jeep Cherokee to name a few. The type car has very little to do with the possibility of being charged (although, modified kit cars do draw the eye of law enforcement).
The point being that ordinary innocent conduct can be wrongfully interpreted as racing by the police. If you are reading this you may already understand what I am saying. Often innocent conduct can still get you arrested and charged for a crime you did not commit.
If You Have Been Charged With Racing
If you have received a ticket that says Racing On The Highway you have been charged with street racing. You need to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These charges are serious. You cannot just go into court and try an explain it to the judge. In your heart you may very well know you are innocent. That will not deter the prosecutor from trying to prove it otherwise. If you'd like to speak with me you may find my contact information here.
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