Texas drivers are notorious for driving aggressively and partaking in street racing, and the state leads the nation in traffic deaths. Some car enthusiasts don’t see racing on a highway as a serious offense; to them, it’s simply a way to test the power and endurance of a performance vehicle. However, highway racing can have serious and even deadly consequences. It doesn’t take very much for a street race to go wrong; at high speeds, even the slightest driving error can cause serious bodily injury or death to a driver or passenger. Racing on a highway also poses a threat to the countless other drivers on roadways who are simply trying to go about their everyday business while driving the speed limit.
This criminal offense can have major consequences on your future. In addition to this, if a driver is found driving while intoxicated or with a child passenger, they may find themselves facing years behind bars while being forced to pay expensive court-mandated fines. Because of this, individuals facing these charges need to make sure they have a criminal defense attorney by their side as soon as possible.
Have you been arrested for racing on a highway in Collin County, Texas? If so, you may be extremely concerned about potential jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspensions. These are all possible consequences of street racing, but keep in mind that not every charge has to result in a life-changing conviction. Certain cases are eligible for dismissal, and others may be eligible for reduced charges. But before you can get to this point, you must first hire a criminal defense attorney.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy provide elite criminal defense representation for individuals located in Collin, Tarrant, Denton, Parker, and many other counties in the state of Texas. Led by Richard C. McConathy, our team of legal professionals has years of experience working with cases involving traffic violations. If you have been accused of street racing in Texas and you need a criminal defense attorney, we are here to provide you with services that have the potential to bring about a favorable outcome for you. For more information, call our Collin County office at 469-304-3422 to schedule your free consultation. You can also get in touch with our team through our online contact page.
Texas Statute § 545.420 states that an individual is guilty of racing on a highway when they are found being involved in any sort of race, vehicle speed competition, drag race contest, driver’s physical endurance contest, or vehicle speed/acceleration exhibition.
The same statute defines “drag race” as two or more vehicles lined up next to each other and accelerating in an attempt to outdistance the other participators. It also defines “race” as using one or more vehicles to outdistance another vehicle, prevent a vehicle from passing, reach a finish line or set destination before another vehicle, or test the physical endurance of a driver while traveling over a long-distance driving route.
Racing on highway can be classified a few different ways, ranging from Class B misdemeanor to felony. The classification of this crime is largely dependent on the severity of the crime as well as the elements of the offense (was the driver intoxicated, were any bystanders killed, etc.).
For starters, if individuals are convicted of Class B misdemeanor racing on highway, they can expect to pay a fine of up to $2,000 and potentially spend up to 180 days behind bars. If they are convicted of the Class A misdemeanor version, possible consequences include a fine of up to $4,000 in addition to up to a jail sentence that could be as long as one year.
If a racing on highway charge is upgraded to a state jail felony charge, the defendant can expect to spend a maximum of two years behind bars upon conviction. They will also have to brace themselves for a fine amount that could be as expensive as $10,000.
The classifications don’t stop there, however. If convicted of third-degree racing on highway, individuals will subject to a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a court-mandated fine that may be as high as $10,000. Racing on highway can be upgraded to a felony of the third degree if, during the incident, another party suffered bodily injury directly resulting from the race.
Lastly, second-degree felony racing on highway is the most serious and consequential version of this crime. Individuals can find themselves facing this type if, during their racing, another party was seriously injured or killed directly resulting from the street racing. If convicted of this crime, individuals will be subject to a potential 20-year prison sentence (max) and a fine that could be as lofty as $10,000.
Perhaps the most serious consequence of racing on a highway is the amount of innocent lives being endangered when this sort of event takes place. The state of Texas already deals with far too many fatalities on its roadways. Even though car enthusiasts may believe they’re “safely” racing their vehicles, they are putting the public at risk every time they do it on a public roadway instead of a private racetrack.
NHRA: Take it to the Track - This link takes you to the official website of the National Hot Rod Association. On this webpage, you can find information in regards to the dangers of street racing. You can also find statistics about yearly deaths, traffic violations, and motor vehicle accidents that take place as a direct result of street racing.
Texas Street Racing: As Hardcore As It Gets - This link takes you to the website of Alt_Driver, a website specifically tailored to racing, car, and motorcycle enthusiasts. This webpage is a post that explains some of the strict laws pertaining to street racing, and it details some of the many aspects that make up the culture of Texas street racing.
Racing on highway isn’t a charge that should be taken lightly by citizens OR law enforcement. Police officers are tasked with protecting our communities and eliminating threats, and there’s no way around the fact that reckless driving and speeding can threaten the lives of fellow Texans. On the other side, it’s important to remember that not every charge is indicative of the defender’s actual driving. If you believe your charges can be disputed and potentially reduced or dismiss, The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is the lawyer you need.
Led by experienced criminal defense Richard McConathy, our law firm has everything you need to figure out the ins and outs of your criminal charges. Being convicted of racing on a highway can have a lasting impact on your driving record and impede you from future opportunities, such as affordable auto insurance rates and commercial driving jobs.
Serving Plano, Frisco, Denton, McKinney, Dallas, and many other cities in Texas, our legal experts have everything you need to begin building a defense For more information on how our law office can help you with your racing on highway charges, contact our Collin County office today at 469-304-3422 to speak to an expert about your free consultation.