Racing / Exhibition of Speed
Phoenix Criminal Traffic Attorney, Sheena Lemmons at Civil Rights Restored DUI & Criminal Law
Most commonly, when people refer to a traffic ticket in Arizona, it is a civil traffic ticket such as exceeding the reasonable and prudent speed. However, as a category of offenses, racing, also known an exhibition of speed, racing on the highway, or drag racing, is a criminal offense. A criminal traffic ticket in Arizona carries harsh consequences on conviction such as mandatory fines, driver’s license suspension, and possible incarceration.
At Civil Rights Restored, we are prepared to aggressively defend your criminal traffic charges in Arizona with contemporary defense strategies.
If you were charged with racing / exhibition of speed, Sheena Lemmons at Civil Rights Restored defends cases in Maricopa County including Phoenix, metro Phoenix area, Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Glendale, Avondale, and more.
Call us for a free consultation to start building your defense today.
What is Racing / Exhibition of Speed in Arizona?
Racing or exhibition of speed is defined in A.R.S. 28-708 (2022).
A person is prohibited from driving in the following manners:
- Speed competition or contest,
- Drag race or acceleration contest,
- Test of physical endurance or
- Exhibition of speed or Acceleration or
- For the purpose of making a speed record on a street or highway.
Can You Get Charged With Racing / Exhibition of Speed if Only One Vehicle is Involved?
Yes. Where racing generally involves two separate vehicles, exhibition of speed may only involve one driver. The Arizona Legislature has included multiple different driving maneuvers that do not require another vehicle to be involved in the offense in order to be charged with exhibition of speed. This could involve solitary acts such as very fast acceleration from a standstill or burning out the tires, doing donuts in a parking lot or on the road, and squealing the tires.
For example: Driver 1 is parked at a red light. He looks to the car next to him, Driver 2 and starts revving up his engine, enticing the other driver to race. When the light turns green, Driver 1 stomps on the gas, burning out the tires and speeds off. Driver 2 does not engage and instead accelerates at a normal pace and goes on his way. Here, Driver 1 may be charged with exhibition of speed.
Making a speed record is another example of an exhibition of speed offense that may only involve one vehicle. This may happen where a person is trying to obtain a speed record over a specific distance on the road.
What are the Penalties of Exhibition of Speed in Arizona?
First Offense Racing / Exhibition of Speed
Racing on the highway in Arizona is a class 1 misdemeanor for a first-offense. A class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor charge in the Arizona criminal code. Penalties for a conviction for racing may include:
- Class 1 misdemeanor
- Potential incarceration of up to 6 months, maximum
- 90 days driver’s license suspension
- At least $250 fine up to $2,500
- Possible community restitution hours
Criminal Liability for Others: If a person knowingly aids or abets another in the commission of the offense, they may be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor.
Second Offense Racing / Exhibition of Speed
A second or subsequent conviction for racing / exhibition of speed within twenty-four (24) months is much more severe. The offense is now a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
A felony conviction in Arizona for exhibition of speed can be very damaging to a person’s life and includes consequences such as mandatory jail, felony criminal record, driver’s license suspension, ineligibility to obtain occupational licensing, government assistance and housing, employment issues, and the loss of your civil rights.
Penalties for a second offense or subsequent offense for racing / exhibition of speed may include:
- Class 6 felony
- 10 days mandatory incarceration up to 2 years prison, maximum
- 1 year driver’s license revocation
- At least $500 fine
- Possible community restitution hours
- Up to 3 years felony probation
Driver’s License Suspension / Exhibition of Speed MVD Points Assessment
If you are convicted of racing / exhibition of speed in Arizona, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will assess points against your permanent driving record.
The MVD may assess up to eight (8) points for a conviction of racing / exhibition of speed.
If you accumulate eight (8) or more points in a twelve (12) month period, the MVD will suspend your driver’s license for up to a year, unless you attend Traffic Survival School.
Defenses to Exhibition of Speed in Arizona
At Civil Rights Restored, Phoenix Exhibition of Speed Lawyer, our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. We will aggressively fight for dismissal, reduced charges to a civil traffic violation, and work to mitigate the damages.
Defenses to racing / exhibition of speed charges heavily depends on the circumstances of each case and whether there are any witnesses to the incident.
For example, if you are charged with racing on the highway, drag racing, or acceleration contest, then it matters whether there were two drivers involved and whether they were actually racing each other. This is typically indicated from the vehicles starting at the same position and accelerating very quickly, as in a drag racing scenario.
If you are charged with exhibition of speed and the officer states it is because you drove around a corner squealing the tires, then it matters whether the surface of the road is susceptible to this condition and how fast the person was going. Simply because someone’s tires squeal or chirp does not have to mean they were engaged in exhibition of speed. Perhaps the person may have been speeding, but not necessarily to the level of supporting the elements of an exhibition of speed charge.
In any case, our exhibition of speed attorney will interview the relevant police officers involved in the investigation to find out what the officer observed, how they measured their observations, whether any obstructions to their view were present, and any other potential factor. We will interview any other relevant witnesses to your case and review any officer worn bodycam or dashcam.
Civil Rights Restored will challenge the accuracy and reliability of the officer’s assertions and the facts of the case. If we can undermine the elements of the offense, the state may drop the charges or offer a plea to reduced civil charges.
Ready to Get This Racing / Exhibition of Speed Case Resolved?
If you are ready to build your defense to your case, contact Sheena Lemmons, Phoenix & Scottsdale racing / exhibition of speed lawyer today.
Let’s start fixing this together.
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