Penalties For Street Racing In Los Angeles County Are Severe
- February 29, 2016
- Jerod Gunsberg
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Over the weekend, a horrible street racing related accident that took the lives of four people on Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County, none of whom were involved in the street race. Several more people are in hospitalized in critical condition.
This is an appropriate time to remind everyone that law enforcement takes street racing very seriously. If the police witness an illegal street race, all participants will be arrested and will be impounded. If there are spectators, the spectators will be arrested too. Cases will be filed.
All local law enforcement agencies across Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California are putting street racing cases as a top priority.
The penalties for a street racing case can be more severe than you think. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23109, a conviction on a first offense will result in fines and 2 points on your license along with some community service. Although a 90 day jail sentence is possible if there’s an injury as a result of street racing, a conviction will result in mandatory 30 days in jail. There are also significant DMV penalties, including revocation of a driver’s license and impounding of your vehicle. There are also cases where authorities seized and crushed vehicles that were involved in illegal street racing. Needless to say, a conviction will also result in an astronomical rise in insurance rates.
If someone is killed as a result of street racing, the district attorney can and likely will file a second degree murder charge against the surviving participants. The basis for a murder charge here is that the conduct was done with such reckless disregard for human life that it amounts to second degree murder. The penalty for this is 15 years to life in prison.
As far as defenses go, there are two main defenses to street racing. First, it must be proven that the participants were voluntarily participating in a street race. If the prosecutor cannot prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, then there is a problem with their case. Second, the prosecutors must prove that the street race occurred on a public street. This means any city street or any freeway. If the street race occurred on private property, then there is no jurisdiction.
Bottom line: If you or a loved are accused of being involved in an illegal street race in Los Angeles County or anywhere in California, contact the Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg for a free consultation at (323) 633-3423 or via our contact form.