Can You Be Arrested For Street Racing In Florida?
Street racing is considered to be extremely dangerous. In recent years, police and prosecutors in Florida are cracking down on street racing and other forms of reckless driving. You may be wondering: Can you be charged with a crime for street racing in Florida? The answer is a clear and resounding “yes”—our state classifies street racing as a first-degree criminal misdemeanor offense. Within this article, our Orlando traffic offense defense lawyer explains the most important things you should understand about street racing charges in Florida.
How is Street Racing Defined Under Florida Law?
To start, it is important to understand how Florida law defines street racing. Under Florida Statutes § 316.191, a highway street race is broadly defined as the “use of one or more motor vehicles in competition, arising from a challenge to demonstrate superiority of a motor vehicle or driver and the acceptance or competitive response to that challenge.” The statute makes it clear that there does not have to be any prize for winning the race, nor does there have to be a prearranged formal or informal agreement to organize the race.
Street Racing is a First Degree Misdemeanor Offense
In Florida, highway street racing is generally charged as a first degree misdemeanor offense. While most street racing charges are not felonies, it would be a big mistake to view an arrest for street racing in Central Florida as “not a big deal.” A conviction for criminal street racing under Florida Statutes § 316.191 can carry significant penalties, including:
- A maximum $1,000 fine for a first offense or a maximum $3,000 fine for a second offense;
- A minimum one year revocation of your driver’s license (could be longer);
- Impounding of your vehicle for up to 30 days, with possible forfeiture proceedings; and
- Up to one year in jail.
Defending Street Racing Charges in Central Florida
Street racing charges can be defended on a number of different grounds. Ultimately, the specific circumstances of the case—as well as the evidence collected by police and prosecutors—will determine the appropriate defense strategy. False charges of street racing should be defended aggressively. On the other hand, an approach focused on reducing punishment, saving your license, and keeping you out of jail may be more sensible in other cases. An experienced Orange County, FL traffic crimes defense lawyer can review the street racing charges and help you determine the proper course of action.
Call Our Central Florida Street Racing Defense Attorney Today
At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer has the skills and experience to handle the full range of traffic-related charges, including street racing arrests. If you or your loved one was charged with street racing, we are here to help. Call us now or contact us online for a confidential, no commitment case review. With a law office in Orlando, we defend street racing charges throughout Central Florida, including in Orange County, Seminole County, and Lake County.