There are many dangerous traffic offenses that can lead to various penalties. Speeding and reckless driving are two behaviors behind the wheel that can spark penalties. When they are used in combination and a person is accused of taking part in an illegal race, it can negatively impact the driver’s life in myriad ways. Although it is known to be illegal to race, that does not automatically mean that a person accused is guilty. It is crucial to have a defense against these allegations.
To combat these charges, the first step is to understand the law regarding racing. If a person takes part in a race and there are two or more vehicles involved, they will be charged with reckless driving. This is true if the incident takes place on the highway, in a driveway, or on the premises of any location, whether it is a business, school, church or public property. Even if the driver was authorized by the owner of the property to take part in a race, it is illegal. If there is a conviction, in addition to other potential penalties, there will be an automatic suspension of driving privileges for at least six months and for as long as two years. The driver’s license will be surrendered to the court.
If, during the race, a driver is found to have behaved so grossly or wantonly and showed a reckless disregard for human life, there will be other charges. If a victim suffers a serious bodily injury and they were not involved in the race, the driver will be charged with a Class 6 felony. This will result in one to five years in jail, a fine of $2,500, or both. If a victim was killed, the driver will be charged with a felony with possible incarceration for one to 20 years. The driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year and for up to three years.
Not only can reckless driving charges lead to the loss of a driver’s license and fines, but, if people are injured or killed, it can result in extended time in jail. When charged with racing, it is important to remember the potential consequences and do whatever is legally possible to avoid the worst-case scenario. A law firm experienced in defending those charged with reckless driving may be able to help.