Racing on a Highway


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against Racing on a Highway allegations.

Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon has experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys who have handled countless driving offenses, including Racing on a Highway.  This is an often misunderstood and overcharged law.  You can lose your license, incur heavy fines, have your vehicle impounded, incur other collateral consequences, and even be sentenced to jail, if you are convicted of Racing on Highways.  Give our criminal lawyers a call to discuss your case.

What is Racing on a Highway?

The crime of Racing on a Highway was passed primarily to prohibit drag racing or street racing on public roads.  However, Jacksonville police officers often use this statute to charge people who simply rev their engine and/or squeal their tires at a stop light after the light turns green.  The officer will typically give you a citation.  This citation is a Notice to Appear and it has the same legal effect as an actual arrest.  You must set a court date and you will go before a criminal judge.  This is a criminal offense that can have serious consequences for your license, employment, and record.  You may have been improperly charged with Racing on a Highway.  Even if you were properly charged, a criminal defense attorney may be able to obtain pretrial diversion, lessor fines, alternative charges, or even dismissal.  Every case is different, so give our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys a call today to discuss your case.  

Racing on a Highway is defined in Florida Statute Section 316.191.  In order to be convicted of Racing on the Highway, the State must prove that you:

    1. drove a motor vehicle in, or
    2. participated, coordinated, facilitated, or collected monies at any location for, or
    3. knowingly rode as a passenger in, or
    4. purposely caused moving traffic to slow or stop for

  1. a race, or
  2. a drag race or
  3. acceleration contest, or
  4. a speed competition or contest, or
  5. a test of physical endurance, or
  6.  an exhibition of speed or acceleration, or
  7. an attempt to make a speed record

  1. on a highway, or
  2. roadway, or
  3. parking lot. 


What are the possible consequences of a Racing on Highways conviction?

You may be surprised to hear that a violation of the Racing on Highways statute is a First Degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail.  That doesn't mean that someone convicted of Racing on the Highways would receive the maximum sentence, or even any jail time, but it does mean that this is a serious charge and most people don't realize the potential consequences.

First Offense
Up to 1 year in jail
$500-$1000 fine
1 year driver's license revocation

Second Offense Within 5 Years
Up to 1 year in jail
$1000-$3000 fine
2 year driver's license revocation

Third or Subsequent Violation Within 5 Years
Up to 1 year in jail
$2000 - $5000 fine
4 year driver's license revocation

In addition to the above possible sentences, the Judge can order the vehicle impounded or immobilized.

What are the possible defenses to Racing on Highways?

Police officers often charge citizens with violating this statute when they simply rev their engines at a stop light and accelerate quickly once the light turns green.  This is an improper use of this law, which is intended to punish unsanctioned drag races and other races.  The most common defense related to Racing on Highways is that the person was not racing within the definition of the statute.  Your criminal defense lawyer can file a motion to dismiss if there is a good faith basis to believe that the statute was improperly charged.  Your criminal defense lawyer can also use weak evidence and/or a weak investigation as part of negotiations with the State Attorney's Office.  If the case went to trial, the State would have to prove that you were engaged in some type of race or exhibition of speed.  Your criminal lawyer would argue, based on the evidence, lack of evidence and conflict in evidence, that there was no race or exhibition of speed.  Other defenses include challenging where the alleged racing occurred, (Was it actually a highway, roadway, or parking lot, within the definition under the statute?) and whether the State can prove that you were driving.  

If you have been cited or arrested for
Racing on Highways,

Call the experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys of
 Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon 
now!
904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)
 
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