24 Aug The Legal Ins and Outs of Street Racing in California
Street racing is fun. It’s exciting. It might even seem like a good idea. It’s also the type of fun that can land you in a great deal of legal trouble.
California lawmakers believe that street racing is reckless and dangerous behavior which is why they’ve created strict laws. The hope is that the laws are enough to convince you to give street racing a pass and look for a different, legal way, to get your kicks.
It’s important to understand that California lawmakers are cracking down on all types of street racing. You aren’t allowed to drag race, drift, or engage in a straight-up speed race while you’re on a public road. If you want to race, find a private racetrack.
At this point, street racing is a misdemeanor in California. Don’t assume that just because it’s a misdemeanor that you’ll get away with a reprimand.
The potential consequences of first-time offense for street racing in California include:
- 40 hours of required community service
- Losing your driver’s license for between 90 days and 6 months
- Serving between 1 day and 90 days in county jail
- A fine that ranges from $355-$1000
- Potentially having your vehicle impounded for 30 days (which means 30 days of impound fees)
You probably already guess, the consequences are worse after the first time you’re convicted of street racing in California.
If less than 5 years have passed since your first street racing conviction, the consequences can include:
- A mandatory 6-month suspension of your driver’s license
- Serving 4 days to 6 months in the county jail
- Paying fines that could range from $500-$1000
- High impound fees
Many street racers are caught because someone is hurt during the race which means medical personal and police arrive on the scene. Not only do the injuries bring law enforcement, but the injury also means significantly worse consequences to everyone who was busted on the street racing scene.
Street racers who are caught in a race that resulted in minor injuries can be sentenced to 30 days up to 6 months, have their license suspended, be required to do a significant amount of community services, and be issued fines of $500 to $1,000.
When a person is seriously injured as a result of a street race in California, you could be sentenced to 16 months to 3 years in jail, lose your driving privileges for a long time, and be required to pay as much as $10,000 in fines. It’s also likely that you’ll be named as the defendant in a civil lawsuit.
If someone passes away because of injuries sustained in a street race, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Additional charges that are frequently added to the street racing charges include:
- Reckless endangerment
- Reckless driving
- Evading the police
- Failure to yield
When you consider the potential consequences of street racing, it really is in your best interest to take the time to find a private race track where you can legally race to your heart’s content.