Dallas Racing Attorneys
Have you been arrested for racing, or engaging in a contest for speed? Under Texas law, racing is a crime that can land you serious jail time. In order to be charged with this offense, it’s not required that drag race. If you’re driving down the highway, and you race (even for a moment) with someone who happens to drive next to you, you can be arrested.
Before September 1, 2003, racing was a Class C misdemeanor, punishable only be a fine of up to $500. You couldn’t be sentenced to jail time. However, racing is, at a minimum, a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a penalty range of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $2000.
Depending upon the alleged facts of your case, the crime of racing can contemplate a wide array of punishment schemes. If you’ve previously been convicted of racing, charged with racing while in possession of an open container of alcohol, or allged to have been racing while intoxicated, the offense is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor. Under these facts, you can receive up to a year in the county jail, and fine of up to $4000. Have you already been convicted twice for racing? If so, you’re looking at a state jail felony. You could serve from 180 days to 2 years in the state jail, and receive a fine of up to $10,000. If anyone suffered bodily injury, the racing charge is enhanced to a third degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, and up to a $10,000. Finally, if you’re charged with racing that resulted in the death of another, you’r looking at a second degree felony; an offense that carries a punishment from 2 to 20 in the state penitentiary, and up to a $10,000 fine.
If you’ve been arrested for racing, you need serious legal help. Call the Dallas criminal defense lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. 214.827.2800 or email one of our attorneys now using the “Get Legal Help Now!” in the left margin of this web page. Each of our lawyers has over 15 years of experience in the practice of criminal defense law. Free consultation. Don’t leave your fate to chance. We want to help you! Se habla español.
Texas Transportation Code Section 545.420. RACING ON HIGHWAY. (a) A person may not participate in any manner in:
(1) a race;
(2) a vehicle speed competition or contest;
(3) a drag race or acceleration contest;
(4) a test of physical endurance of the operator of a vehicle; or
(5) in connection with a drag race, an exhibition of vehicle speed or acceleration or to make a vehicle speed record.
(b) In this section:
(1) “Drag race” means the operation of:
(A) two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other; or
(B) one or more vehicles over a common selected course, from the same place to the same place, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of the vehicle or vehicles in a specified distance or time.
(2) “Race” means the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to:
(A) outgain or outdistance another vehicle or prevent another vehicle from passing;
(B) arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles; or
(C) test the physical stamina or endurance of an operator over a long-distance driving route.
(d) Except as provided by Subsections (e)-(h), an offense under Subsection (a) is a Class B misdemeanor.
(e) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:
(1) the person has previously been convicted one time of an offense under that subsection; or
(2) the person, at the time of the offense:
(A) was operating the vehicle while intoxicated, as defined by Section 49.01, Penal Code; or
(B) was in possession of an open container, as defined by Section 49.031, Penal Code.
(f) An offense under Subsection (a) is a state jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted two times of an offense under that subsection.
(g) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that as a result of the offense, an individual suffered bodily injury.
(h) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the second degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that as a result of the offense, an individual suffered serious bodily injury or death.
(i) This subsection applies only to a motor vehicle used in the commission of an offense under this section that results in an accident with property damage or personal injury. A peace officer shall require the vehicle to be taken to the nearest licensed vehicle storage facility unless the vehicle is seized as evidence, in which case the vehicle may be taken to a storage facility as designated by the peace officer involved. Notwithstanding Article 18.23, Code of Criminal Procedure, the owner of a motor vehicle that is removed or stored under this subsection is liable for all removal and storage fees incurred and is not entitled to take possession of the vehicle until those fees are paid.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 535, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1258, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.