Proof of Virginia Racing Charge
Racing in Virginia is a contest of speed between two or more motor vehicles. The Commonwealth must prove that there were at least 2 drivers involved to classify the offense as a “race.” Va. Code §46.2-865 states that any person who engages in a race between two or more vehicles on the highways of the Commonwealth or on any driveway or premises of any church, school, recreational facility, or business property open to the public in the Commonwealth is guilty of reckless driving, unless given permission by the owner of the property.
Two cars driving very fast, with one behind the other, and one car attempting to pass another car can be enough to prove a racing charge in Virginia. Additionally, admissions by a driver or drivers can also be used to prove a Virginia racing charge.
Penalties for Virginia Racing Charge
Virginia racing charges are punished with jail, fines, driver’s license suspension, DMV demerit points, and vehicle seizure and forfeiture.
Misdemeanor Racing Charge
Racing in Virginia under Va. Code §46.2-865 is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is punished with up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $2500, mandatory driver’s license suspension for 6 months to 2 years, 6 DMV demerit points, and vehicle seizure and forfeiture. An owner of a vehicle engaged in a race can also have his car seized and forfeited if he was present in the vehicle engaged in the race, another person was driving, and he knowingly consented to the race (Va. Code §46.2-867(ii)).
A driver’s license will be revoked for 5 years if he is convicted of a fourth offense Virginia racing charge (Va. Code §46.2-394).
Felony Racing Charge
If a race results in injury or death, the Virginia racing charge becomes a felony. Va. Code §46.2-865.1 states that a person engaged in a race who caused serious bodily injury to a person not involved in the race has committed a Class 6 felony if he behaved in a manner so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life. This offense is punished with up to 5 years in prison. If an offender involved in a race behaved in a manner so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life and caused the death of another person, he can be punished with 1-20 years in prison.
In addition to prison, a felony racing charge is punished with driver’s license suspension for 1-3 years, 6 DMV demerit points, and seizure and forfeiture of the vehicle involved in the race.
Aiding or Abetting Race
Consequences of a Conviction of a Virginia Racing Charge
A Virginia racing charge can have serious consequences in addition to those provided by law. If an offender is convicted of a Virginia racing charge, his insurance rates will increase, job opportunities could be lost, and security clearances will be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. Most importantly, a conviction for a Virginia racing charge will give the driver a permanent criminal record. Criminal convictions cannot be expunged in Virginia. It is important to contact an experienced Virginia criminal lawyer to get the best possible result for a Virginia racing charge.