Drag racing is considered the most serious form of reckless driving under Virginia law. As such, even people who aid in a race can be found guilty of a criminal offense.
§ 46.2-866 Racing; Aiders or Abettors
Virginia code § 46.2-866 states, "Any person, although not engaged in a race as defined in § 46.2-865, who aids or abets any such race, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor."
What This Means
According to § 46.2-865, a race is defined as an event with a defined start and end point that takes place between two or more motor vehicles on a highway; or on the property of a business or facility open to the public.
The definition of aiding and abetting is somewhat subjective, but could include:
- Planning the race route
- Judging the race
- Placing obstructions or barricades on the highway
- Taking bets on a race
Penalties for Aiding and Abetting
A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both a fine and imprisonment. The penalty for aiding and abetting a race is essentially the same punishment you'd receive if you were behind the wheel. However, if the driver is charged with felony drag racing for causing injury or death, you will still only be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor for aiding and abetting the race.
With a criminal record for aiding and abetting a race, you may encounter difficulties securing or maintaining employment, enlisting in the military, or attending graduate school.
Defending Against the Charge
If you've been charged with aiding and abetting a race, seeking legal representation is a must. An experienced attorney can help you develop an aggressive defense, calling into to question the validity of witness testimony; whether the event meets the legal definition of a race; or if your behavior constitutes aiding and abetting under the statute.
Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Virginia reckless driving attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh to discuss your legal options.