Street Racing Laws in Arizona – What you need to know
Street racing is prohibited in Arizona under ARS 28-708. The charge of street racing on its own – even when an accident does not occur – can have severe legal consequences, including jail time, loss of license, classes, probation, and high fines. It can even be charged as a felony in some circumstances where you can face prison time.
What Is Street Racing?
Arizona law prohibits the following activities: race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed, or acceleration for the purpose of making a speed record on a street or highway.
Notably, “racing and speed competition or contest” usually refers to two cars racing each other on the highway. Importantly, that means that you could be charged with street racing if you were attempting to prevent another vehicle from passing you.
Also, “exhibition of speed” could involve a single car doing burnouts, donuts, or a jump start (very abrupt acceleration) from a stop sign or a traffic light. If you accelerate quickly or dangerously and your tires squeak or smoke, there is a chance that the police will stop you for that.
Street Racing can be a Felony. Here are Potential Consequences of Street Racing
There are serious consequences that can come from a street racing conviction. In all cases, you will receive 8 points on your license. Additionally, you have to attend traffic survivor school, or your license could be suspended. The traffic survival class is an 8-hour lecture meant to teach people to drive responsibly.
Other possible consequences depend on whether it’s your first conviction or not.
- First Conviction
If you are charged and convicted of street racing in Arizona for the first time, you are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A judge has the option to suspend your license. Your license may also be suspended by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) The judge can also sentence up to six months in jail because it is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
- Second Conviction
A second or subsequent conviction is within two years of the first conviction may be charged as a felony. For a felony conviction, jail is mandatory and you may face prison time, and your license will be revoked.
If you are stopped by the police and accused of street racing, there are many things to consider when thinking of how to defend your case. First of all, it is important to figure out why exactly the police stopped you. Did they stop you because they thought you were racing someone or because you were accelerating too quickly? Were you actually racing someone? A possible defense sometimes includes that fact that you simply happened to be driving next to someone who was driving erratically, and you were just trying to get away from them.
Another possible defense is that you just did not do what they were saying. You weren’t speeding, you weren’t racing, and you weren’t driving dangerously or erratically. That defense is more challenging to present because it will end up being your word against the police officer’s word. Of course, if you have a witness who was with you at the time of the alleged racing, and he or she is willing to testify on your behalf, that can be very beneficial.
Another helpful tool for your defense is video footage. If you have dashcam footage, then that could also demonstrate that you did not do what you were accused of doing.
If You Have Been Charged with Street Racing, Then We Can Help
The Law Office of Karl A. Mueller, PLC, is dedicated to protecting the rights of people who have been arrested for traffic violations and traffic-related criminal offenses. Mr. Mueller has a tremendous amount of experience handling street racing and other traffic matters. He pays careful attention to detail and provides aggressive courtroom advocacy.
Mr. Mueller can help with everything from a routine ticket or a criminal traffic violation, like racing. The Law Office of Karl A. Mueller has offices in Gilbert, Tempe, and Phoenix and works throughout the East Valley. We can help thoroughly investigate your case, and we will do whatever we can to collect evidence and fight for your rights. Request a free consultation today by calling 602-697-8761 or contacting us online.