Speeding is a major traffic concern in Florida. Typically young people with fast cars are targeted for racing violations, but anyone can be the victim of racing allegations. The allegations may seem minor, but they should be taken seriously. The penalties can be harsh, including a driver’s license revocation.
However, the offense can be difficult to prove in court. An attorney can push to have evidence suppressed or to have the charges reduced or dismissed. It is important to have a strong defense in your case from the beginning. A St. Petersburg traffic offense attorney can help you protect your future.
St. Petersburg Racing Defense Attorney
If you were arrested or given notice to appear in court for a racing charge, contact a racing defense lawyer at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor who is familiar with the prosecution of racing cases. She is able to craft an effective defense to racing and reckless driving charges because she has insight on the prosecution’s arguments.
Racing and reckless driving convictions have serious consequences, such as losing the right to legally get behind the wheel or even jail time. You should contact Melinda Morris and her legal team at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. They represent clients throughout the Tampa Bay area. Call (727) 388-4736 for a free consultation about your case.
Information About Racing Charges
Under section 316.192 of the Florida Motor Vehicle statutes, racing is a traffic offense defined as the use of a car or other type of motor vehicle to do any of the following things:
- Outgain or outdistance another motor vehicle
- Prevent another car or motor vehicle from passing
- Arrive at a set destination before another motor vehicle
- Test the endurance or physical stamina of drivers over long distances on public streets and highways
Under Florida law, a driver is prohibited from driving any car, truck, motorcycle or other type of motor vehicle in a drag race, speed race on any highway, roadway or parking lot. Drag races include but are not limited to:
- Speed competitions
- Speed contests
- Tests of physical endurance
- Exhibitions of speed
- Breaking speed records
It is also important to note that you cannot conduct these races on highway, roadways or parking lots. You cannot try to block traffic or intentionally obstruct traffic to carry out a speed race or competition. This means even racing in an abandoned parking lot could result in criminal charges.
Generally, a racing citation in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine between $500 and $1000 dollars. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may revoke your driver’s license for one year.
A second offense for racing within five years of the date of a prior violation also requires a fine of between $1,000 and $3,000 with a two-year driver’s license revocation. A third offense within five years after the date of a prior violation requires a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000 with a four-year driver’s license revocation.
In addition to the criminal consequences, your car insurance rates can go up. It is important to contact an experienced St. Petersburg traffic offense lawyer if you have any type of racing charge. Usually, racing charges can be reduced or dismissed altogether if you get legal representation quickly.
Law enforcement and prosecutors often have an ideal profile they search for in racing and reckless driving cases. Typically the offender is a young male who is driving a muscle car or a sports car. Even if the driver was speeding, the officer might add racing charges because the individual fits the profile of a defendant who would usually be involved in racing.
It is important to get the racing charges reduced or dropped because they are not mere traffic violations. A conviction for racing and reckless driving can have serious consequences and could have a long-term effect on you. You should retain an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney to fight these charges.
Finding A Pinellas County Racing Defense Lawyer
Morris Law Firm, P.A. is committed to representing people who are faced with racing charges throughout St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas. If you have been accused of racing, contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. at (727) 388-4736 to speak with an experienced St. Petersburg traffic violations defense attorney. Our goal is to protect your constitutional rights and defend your case to obtain the lowest possible punishments.