Can I Get Arrested For Watching or Helping With a Street Race?
Street racing, or drag racing, as it is also called, is a crime in Florida if it takes place on a public highway. What many people don’t realize is that it’s not just an offense to drive a car in a street race. You can be charged for being a passenger in a car that takes part in street racing, or if you in some way help with the race, by organizing it, taking money for it, or slowing or stopping other traffic so that the street race takes place.
As for watching a street race, you can be fined for doing so and even gain points on your driver’s license, but this is not a criminal offense. You may be fined up to $500, but cannot be jailed for it and you won’t be convicted of a criminal offense. However, even if you were only watching a race take place you may still be accused of taking part and that is a whole lot more serious, even if it is untrue.
Penalties for street racing
Street racing is regarded as a criminal offense under Florida Statute §316.191. This covers any one or a combination of the following:
• driving a car involved in a street race, defined as a race in which there is a competition, an acceleration contest or exhibition of speed;
• knowingly being a passenger in a car used in a street race;
• slowing down or stopping other traffic so that a race can take place;
• helping in the organization of a street race, which includes collecting money for it or as a consequence of it.
If it is a first offense, then this could lead to a 2nd degree misdemeanor conviction. This could mean up to 60 days in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and a one year’s driver’s license revocation.
The penalties increase if the offense is a second offense within 5 years. It then becomes a 1st degree misdemeanor and this could mean jail of up to a year in a county jail, up to $5,000 in fines and 2 years driver’s license revocation.
A third offense increases the period of license revocation to 4 years.
A street racing conviction is serious business
Street racing can seem like harmless fun and it is easy to get drawn into it or you might just happen to have been nearby when a street race was taking place and was curious as to what it was all about. You may have had nothing to do with it all but were arrested all the same when the police turned up.
There are many possibilities, and you have the right to be defended against an unjustified street racing charge. An unjustified conviction, or a harsher than justified penalty can affect you for the rest of your life and will have immediate consequences if you are jailed.
If you have been arrested in connection with a street race, it is your right to remain silent and not answer any questions about your connection with the race until you have spoken with Albert Quirantes, Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers in Miami.
We can discuss the circumstances in which you were involved and construct a suitable defense which may get the charge dismissed altogether, get it reduced to a civil violation or to a lesser criminal charge, or help to ensure that any penalties imposed are justified by your involvement under the statute.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.