Florida is set to take a harsher stance against street racing

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Street racing is a potentially dangerous pastime that has surged in popularity in many Florida locations. These high-speed chases have prompted state lawmakers to implement stringent measures to curb such behavior.

Those caught street racing can expect the possible consequences to be severe.

What is street racing?

At its core, it involves two or more vehicles racing against each other away from a sanctioned racetrack. Races can occur spontaneously or as part of organized events known as “takeovers,” where groups of drivers take control of the road, often obstructing traffic.

How is it charged?

In response to the rise in street racing, Florida toughened its position. As of July 1, 2024, those caught participating in street races or intersection takeovers will face stiffer penalties. The law targets not only the drivers but also the spectators who often gather to watch these illegal events.

What are the consequences of conviction?

For a first offense, fines have doubled from $1,000 to $2,000. Repeat offenses within a year may now be charged as third-degree felonies, a significant escalation from the previous misdemeanor charge. A conviction on third-degree felony charges is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines approaching $4,000.

What about more than two convictions?

Subsequent convictions within five years lead to even harsher possible penalties. You could face a second-degree felony with a potential sentence of up to 15 years of imprisonment. Additionally, the state can revoke your driving privileges for two to four years, depending on the number of prior offenses.

Given the severity of the potential penalties, defending yourself against street racing is crucial. Seek legal guidance to learn about defense strategies that may reduce the impact of these charges.