People tend to view illegal street racing as a right of passage for teens and college students. It is an activity that many indulge in despite the danger it poses to racers and bystanders alike.
Unlawful street racing falls under the reckless driving laws in Virginia. Depending on the severity of the offense, you could face an array of reckless driving charges for racing without authorization.
General street racing code
If arrested for racing, you will likely be charged with reckless driving. A conviction means the loss of your driving privileges for six months to two years and the possible loss of your vehicle, according to state code §46.2-867. The law applies to illegal races occurring on the premises of businesses, churches and schools, in addition to motorways.
When injury or death occurs
In cases where street racing causes injury or death to anyone uninvolved with the race, the charges will be much more severe. Legal code §46.2-865.1 identifies the injury or death of another due to street racing as a felony offense punishable by a long period of incarceration (up to 20 years).
If you aid or abet racing
Those who help illegal street races occur are not immune to criminal charges, even if they did not participate in the act of racing. Typically, this leads to a misdemeanor charge, according to state code §46.2-866. Examples of aiding and abetting might include setting up the race or judging the competition.
Don’t assume your situation is minor after an arrest for racing unlawfully. Instead, learn more about all the charges against you. Knowing more about your circumstances is an ideal way to find a defense against reckless driving and associated violations.