Racing on Highway
Racing on a highway is a criminal offense that can carry harsh penalties. Although it may seem like an innocent offense, the crime is taken seriously by law enforcement agencies. Drivers traveling at a high speed can put themselves in danger, in addition to other drivers and pedestrians.
A charge for racing could mean jail time, fines or both. In addition, there could be other related charges, such as reckless driving or DWI if the driver is intoxicated while behind the wheel. An experienced San Antonio traffic offense lawyer can help you protect your future.
San Antonio Racing Defense Attorney
If you were charged with the criminal offense of “racing on highway” under Texas Statute § 545.420, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. Crimes for racing are notoriously difficult to prove at trial. The statute is extremely vague, making it particularly important to hire any attorney for your defense.
Any criminal traffic offense comes with serious consequences that last long after the court case is resolved. Never enter a plea to any racing offense without talking with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call us at (210) 226-1463 to find out more about avoiding the direct and indirect penalties and punishments that come after an accusation of racing or drag racing.
Information on Drag Racing Offenses
The criminal traffic offense for “racing on highway,” under Under Texas Statute § 545.420, prohibits participating in any of the following:
- Any sort of race
- A vehicle speed competition or contest
- A drag race or acceleration contest
- A test of physical endurance of the operator of a vehicle
- An exhibition of vehicle speed or acceleration or to make a vehicle speed record in connection with a drag race
The term “drag race”could mean two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other. A drag race, according to Texas law, also could be one or more vehicles on a selected course for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of the vehicle or vehicles in a specified distance or time.
To get a conviction for a racing on a highway offense, the prosecution must prove the factors of the case that indicate racing beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced racing defense lawyer can fight to have your charges reduced or dropped. An attorney can argue you were speeding or simply passing another car. A reduction can help you avoid steep penalties associated with racing charges.
The penalties and punishments for racing depend, in part, on whether the person accused has any prior convictions for this offense. Under Texas law the following provisions apply:
- A first offense of racing on a highway is a Class B misdemeanor
- A second offense of racing is a Class A misdemeanor
- A third conviction for racing is a state jail felony
It also is considered a Class A misdemeanor if it is alleged the person at the time of the offense of racing on a highway did one of the following:
- Was operating the vehicle while intoxicated, as defined by Section 49.01 of the Penal Code
- Was in possession of an open container, as defined by Section 49.031 of the Penal Code
In Texas, a Class A Misdemeanor it the most serious type of misdemeanor. It carries with it a statutory maximum penalty of a $4,000 fine and up to one year in jail or both, according to Texas Penal Code Annotated § 12.21.
A Class B Misdemeanor is in between the highest and lowest level of misdemeanor offenses. It is punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and 180 days in the county jail or both under the Texas Penal Code Annotated § 12.22.
A state jail felony is the most serious of the three possible classifications for racing charges. A state jail felony is punishable by between six months in jail to 2 years in the jail, a $10,000 fine or both.
In addition to the penalties and punishments mentioned above, the charge can be filed as a felony under certain limited conditions, including when one of the following is alleged:
- It is a felony of the third degree if at the time of racing another person suffered bodily injury as a result of the racing
- It is a felony of the second degree if at the time of racing another person suffered serious bodily injury or death as a result of the racing
A police officer now is required to seize a vehicle used in racing on a highway where an accident results in property damage or injury to any person, according to Transportation Code Section 545.420. The owner may not reclaim the vehicle until all removal and storage fees are paid.
For the felony charges of racing, the prosecutor will argue a person is criminally responsible for racing if the result would not have occurred but for his conduct, operating either alone or concurrently with another cause. The criminal defense attorney often argues that another concurrent cause was clearly sufficient to produce the result and the conduct of the defendant clearly insufficient. In other words, an issue may exist about whether the result would not have occurred but for the conduct of racing.
Finding the Best Drag Racing Defense Attorney in Bexar County
If you were charged with the felony or misdemeanor version of “racing on highway” in Bexar County or the surrounding areas, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. We represent clients on a wide variety of serious criminal traffic offenses such as DWI and reckless driving. Call (210) 226-1463 for a free consultation.