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Attorneys Representing Clearwater Residents Charged With Traffic Criminal Offenses

When most people think of racing on the highway, they conjure up memories of flashy street races with souped up cars from television and movies. Like many of Florida’s criminal charges though, racing may not be what it seems to the untrained eye. The difference between a simple speeding traffic ticket and the criminal charge of racing is often left in the subjective hands of overzealous police officers who, thanks to the racing law’s vague language, can arrest people for racing under a broad range of circumstances. A dedicated traffic criminal lawyer in Clearwater can help you fight against these charges.

Racing Penalties

Racing on a highway in Florida is a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail or on probation. The statute also requires a $500 to $1000 fine to be assessed. What makes racing charges even more harsh is that a conviction for racing carries a mandatory one year drivers license suspension.’\ Those convicted of subsequent racing offenses face even stiffer penalties. A second offense within five years carries a $1000 to $3000 fine and a two year suspension. A third conviction carries a $2000 to $5000 suspension and a lengthy 4 year suspension.

It is important to consult with an attorney who has experience defending clients from racing charges due to the enhanced penalties involved. An experienced lawyer can get your charges reduced or dropped, and can advise you when you have a viable case for trial.

Understanding the Elements of Racing

A person can be charged with racing on a highway if they engage in any race or speed contest. A “race” under the statute has a nearly 150 word definition that encompasses a wide range of scenarios. A race can be a prearranged, organized contest or an impromptu contest of speed between two strangers. A race under Florida’s statute does not even have to exceed the speed limit on the roadway. This means you could be charged with racing even if you were driving below the speed limit. This vague statute gives law enforcement officers a great deal of authority to determine what is and is not a race. In order to combat these overzealous officers, you should retain an equally zealous Clearwater traffic criminal attorney to fight your case.

Florida’s racing statute, paradoxically, does not even require that a person be involved in a race in order to be charged with racing. The prosecution need only prove that a person drives “in an exhibition of speed or acceleration,” in order to prove that someone violated the racing law. The law does not require that the exhibition of speed involve more that one car or vehicle.

Even worse, a person can be charged with the criminal offense of racing on a highway even if they were the passenger in one of the vehicles. This section of the statute is one of the rare instances where a person can be convicted for a crime for simply sitting in a passenger seat. By far, the worst aspect of Florida’s racing law, is that a person can be convicted of racing for simply being a spectator of a race. Florida has made the act of watching someone else commit a crime an offense in and of itself. Hire a knowledgeable and dedicated Clearwater traffic criminal lawyer to help you challenge this ridiculous law.

Speak yo a Clearwater Traffic Criminal Lawyer Today

The attorneys at Hanlon law have years of experience litigating and defending all manner of traffic criminal cases. We have the trial experience and knowledge necessary to envision the best defense for your specific case. If you have been arrested or charged with racing on the highway or any other driving related offense, we are here to defend you. Call us today at 727.897.5413.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help... Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse