Some Facts About Florida's Racing Law
Some Good, Some Bad, All Truth
Orlando Criminal Traffic Attorney
Last Updated: April 14, 2014
Misconception: Street Racing Isn't That Serious
This depends on perspective. It may not seem serious to some and may seem serious to others. There are too many people out there for me to try and define the serious from the not. I will tell you who does take it seriously - law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors. Law enforcement will arrest you and will impound your car. Some agencies even try to forfeit it under other statutes of the law. Judges, who by the way drive on the same roads as the rest of us, envision all those cars that speed past them wild and recklessly as racers, as you if you stand before them. Prosecutors will try to prove the most innocent act as an act of flagrant violation of the law. This is the terrain you face if arrested for Racing on the Highway in Florida.
Drag Racing Is Obvious
If you were arrested because you were out on some road with a name like Presidents Drive or Wetherbee Road early in the morning you were probably Drag Racing and the facts probably won't favor your defense. Meeting a bunch of people in the middle of the night to drag race cars that have loud exhausts is probably the easiest way to have you car impounded and have your license revoked for a year. You can press for a trial and force the prosecutor to bring forth his or her witnesses in hopes that they will not show. But typically in those cases the state's witnesses are, in fact, law enforcement officers that entered into the crowd undercover.
Racing Is Not Obvious
Racing, on the other hand, is not so obvious. I've defended racing cases where the only alleged wrongful act was high rate of speed. I've gone to trial on cases where the only alleged wrongful act was the light turning green and the cars taking off. Two motorcycles, side by side, exceeding the speed limit until they spotted the police car was another trial. Making a u-turn in an area where racing frequently occurs was another case.
You may think - yes, but all the vehicles just described were probably all jacked-up and modified - but you'd be wrong. 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. Accelerating when the light turns green to try and get ahead of the car to your left so you can make a left turn or following your friend to his house so you can leave your car there before you go out are two examples. If you are reading this you may already understand what I am saying. Going fast is not racing, in fact, but it can still get you arrested.
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. My advice is to hire an 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 you otherwise. If you'd like to speak with me you may find my contact information here.
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