Police officers in Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs are cracking down on illegal street racing. Police are particularly concerned about the dangers of street racing as a pregnant woman and her boyfriend were killed by street racers on July 4th this year. Police have been investigating known meet up places, such as parking lots and dead-end streets. These locations are usually marked by tires from the vehicles' screeching. Police believe social media and the desire to show off to friends has increased the participation in street racing.
Recently NBC News reported that police conducted an operation in Sylmar where they set out spike strips and blocked off streets where 50 to 60 people had gathered. As a result, 15 people were arrested, and one man was jailed for reckless driving. The man's car was impounded.
Street Racing can lead to several different criminal charges. California Vehicle Code Section 23109(a) makes it a crime to engage in a speed contest. This includes motor vehicle races “against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device.” California Vehicle Code Section 23103 covers the crime of reckless driving—you can be charged with this crime if you drove a vehicle on a highway and intentionally drove with “wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
Both these offenses are usually misdemeanors. However, as Sgt. Gregory Fuqua from the Los Angeles Police Department stated, "what [you] don't realize is that if somebody gets injured, it's not just a misdemeanor anymore, it's a felony and they will be prosecuted, and they will go to jail."
In any event, you don't want a misdemeanor or felony charge on your record. Either can lead to significant consequences and impact your personal life, job, education, and reputation. If you are facing these charges, remember there are defenses, and the prosecution must prove every element of the charge before you can be convicted. It is important to have an experienced Southern California criminal defense attorney by your side if you are facing these charges. The attorneys here at the Kann California Defense Group have the experience you need to defend your rights. Contact us today!