Street racing, otherwise termed in certain cases drag racing, is a serious traffic violation in all states. State laws categorizing street racing as either a high misdemeanor or felony will vary, but in all states, serious administrative penalties, alongside any applicable criminal penalties, are assessed to drivers convicted of the offense. If cited for drag racing or street racing, a driver most likely has no choice, but to attend an administrative hearing concerning his or her citation, which will determine the future validity of his or license. Bringing legal counsel, as well as seeking legal counsel beforehand to work on a defense strategy, is highly advisable.
Aside from the potential of incarceration and criminal fines and fees, a driver charged with drag racing or street racing faces serious and long-term administrative penalties as well. In virtually all states that carry specific penalties for drag or street racing, a driver faces immediate suspension or license revocation of his or her driver's license for a sometimes indeterminate period, as well as large fines. Most cases involving drag racing or street racing will entail a mandatory administrative court hearing concerning the driver’s license. At these hearings, a license can (and most likely will) be suspended and fines and other fees will be assessed.
Assuming a driver eventually wishes to retain his or her license, a suspended driver now faces a protracted waiting period to reinstate his or her license, which will often also entail numerous restrictions and other conditions once reinstated. The process can prove costly, and in many cases, will entail attendance at some form of traffic school, only further increasing costs to the driver. On top of all these issues, a driver still faces insurance premiums increases (assuming he or she is not dropped based a high-risk assessment) for at least three (3) years.
For a driver, the only method of mitigating some or all of the aforementioned penalties associated with a drag or street-racing citation is to contest the charge at the administrative hearing. The courts may be open to alternative sentencing mediums, such as traffic school and other driver education courses, in lieu of automatic suspension. Furthermore, with legal counsel, a driver may also potential be able to dismiss an impending drag racing citation, depending on the facts and evidence surrounding a given case.
In practice, the only way a driver facing license revocation for street racing can retain his or her driver’s license is through using legal representation during the administrative hearing. Drag racing cases may be subject to a higher burden of proof than common traffic violations, and in turn, dismissal is possible through legal counsel. It is also notable that state laws and specific offenses widely vary in the wording of the law, as well as potential penalties. Likewise, the entire process for addressing and disputing street racing charges will vary from state to state. Consult with a lawyer to learn more about your legal options following being cited for illegal street racing.