Organized motorsports is certainly a thrilling prospect, but according to the government of Georgia, this pastime has no place on public highways and streets. If you have been charged with some form of street racing in the state of Georgia, you should seek legal help as soon as possible. Your best bet is to find a qualified legal expert who understands the complex laws that govern traffic violations in Georgia.
That being said, it may also be helpful to learn more about the specific laws that surround racing in this state. In doing so, you may develop a better understanding of what to expect, and what kinds of criminal charges you face. Your specific situation depends on a number of factors, and you need to discuss these factors with your attorney to strive for the best possible outcome regarding your case.
How is “Racing” Defined in the State of Georgia?
First and foremost, it is important to understand that Georgia has strict laws that govern street racing. In most cases, this is not something that you can deal with by paying a simple fine or having your license suspended. A close look at these laws may provide greater insight into your unique situation.
Street racing has two separate definitions in the state of Georgia:
- Drag Racing: This is when two or more motor vehicles race from a fixed, stationary starting point. Essentially an “organized” street race, drag racing may involve a pre-planned route through public roads, a short burst of acceleration, or some type of endurance-based competition.
- Racing: According to Georgia law, the term “Racing” has a more vague and broad definition. “Racing” could be a spontaneous competition that erupts between two vehicles on a highway. These vehicles may attempt to accelerate past one another or outdistance each other. The law specifically mentions switching lanes in order to prevent another car from passing.
At the bare minimum, you will be charged with a misdemeanor if you are found guilty of street racing in Georgia if you fall into either of the above categories.
What are the Penalties for Racing in Georgia?
Because of the nature of racing, you will almost certainly be charged with speeding in connection with any street racing allegations. Your penalties will also be harsher if you are charged with a DUI in connection to the incident.
As for the street racing charge itself, there are a number of possible outcomes:
- A $1,000 fine (plus legal costs)
- Suspended license
- Community service
- Jail time
It is also worth noting that new laws passed in Georgia make it possible (in theory) for you to be charged with street racing even if you are not the one behind the wheel. For example, you could face charges if you collect ticket sales for the racing event, or if you ride shotgun in one of the racing vehicles.
Your Next Steps
Being charged with street racing does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. If you team up with an attorney who understands traffic violation laws in Georgia, you can work together to find a favorable result that is fair for everyone. Call Lankford & Moore Law or drop by our offices in Lawrenceville, and we can discuss the possibilities of an alternative outcome with your case.