Reckless driving encompasses several different types of potentially dangerous behaviors, including drag racing. Convicted offenders are subject to substantial fines, as well as the possibility of jail time and a criminal record.
What Is Drag Racing?
Virginia law defines drag racing as a race involving two or more vehicles with a pre-defined start and end point. The race can take place on public streets or highways, in a driveway, or in the parking lot of a business, recreational facility, school, or church.
What Are the Penalties for Drag Racing?
In most cases, drag racing is a misdemeanor charge that results in six demerit points on your driving record and a six month to two-year license suspension. However, if someone is seriously hurt as the result of drag racing, the reckless driving charge is a felony punishable with jail time of one to five years, a one- to three-year license suspension, and the seizure of your vehicle. Drag racing resulting in the death of a bystander carries jail time of up to 20 years.
What Are the Possible Defenses Against a Drag Racing Charge?
There are two main ways you can defend against a drag racing related reckless driving charge:
- You weren't actually racing. A race must have a set start and finish line, so two speeding vehicles aren't automatically considered racing. Witness testimony is the best way to support this claim.
- You had permission to be in the area. If you were on private property and had the permission of the owner or someone representing the owner, this can be a viable defense against the drag racing charge.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
Since drag racing carries stiff penalties, legal representation is essential. To protect your rights and build the strongest possible defense, you'll need to hire an attorney familiar with Virginia laws involving reckless driving and drag racing. Attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh has extensive experience defending clients in all types of reckless driving cases, including both misdemeanor and felony charges. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.