Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC
What is the law of Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC
A speed contest is made illegal by California CVC Vehicle Code 23109, which states as follows:
(a) A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device. For purposes of this section, an event in which the time to cover a prescribed route of more than 20 miles is measured, but where the vehicle does not exceed the speed limits, is not a speed contest.
(b) A person shall not aid or abet in any motor vehicle speed contest on any highway.
(c) A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on a highway, and a person shall not aid or abet in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on any highway.
(d) A person shall not, for the purpose of facilitating or aiding or as an incident to any motor vehicle speed contest or exhibition upon a highway, in any manner obstruct or place a barricade or obstruction or assist or participate in placing a barricade or obstruction upon any highway.
What must be proven in court to make Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC true?
The jury instruction, which tells the jury at a criminal trial what must be proven, sets forth the elements of the crime, as follows:
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime [Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC], the People must prove that:
1. The defendant drove a motor vehicle on a highway;
2. While so driving, the defendant willfully engaged in an exhibition of speed.
Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.
A person engages in an exhibition of speed when he or she accelerates or drives at a rate of speed that is dangerous and unsafe in order to show off or make an impression on someone else.
[The People must prove that the defendant intended to show off or impress someone but are not required to prove that the defendant intended to show off to or impress any particular person.]
As a result, as you can see, two things must be proven: Driving, and Willful engagement in an exhibition of speed. What is the punishment for Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC?
The term “willful” means intentional, or as stated, on purpose. The “engaged” refers to the actual act. That means not just thinking about it, or bragging about it, but actually engaging in speed on a roadway. What is the punishment for Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC?
The law also requires that the person did the act in order to “show off” or “impress” someone. In many cases, that is the most difficult thing for a prosecutor to prove in the case.
What is the punishment for Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC?
A speed contest charge is normally a misdemeanor charge. Although most people are given a citation and released, it is not a mere traffic infraction. It has an especially harsh punishment under the law. The maximum includes a three year probation period and all of the following:
- A $500 fine;
- 90 days in jail;
- Suspension of your license for up to 6 months;
- Impoundment of your car for up to 30 days; and.
- Community service for up to 50 hours.
Of all of those punishments, the loss of a driver’s license or driving privileges of up to six months is for many of our clients, the worst part.
If someone was injured, or if there are priors for speed contest, then the punishment goes up dramatically. An injury makes the case a felony, which means up to three years in state prison. And there is mandatory jail time for a repeat offender with a speed contest prior.
What are the defenses to Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC?
Some of the defenses that can be used to defend a Speed Contest charge under Vehicle Code 23109 include:
- No willful (intentional) exhibit of speed to impress anyone (or intent to be involved in a speed contest);
- No proof of exceeding the speed limit;
- The act went on over 20 miles;
- There was no other car, or no timing device, involved.
How can a lawyer help me with a Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC in Orange County?
A lawyer can carefully analyze the police videos, reports, and other evidence and make a case that there may not be a speed contest, or can use evidence about the person charged to reduce the case to a charge below a speed contest, which would avoid the harsh punishment above under VC 23109. We often handle speed contest cases in our work as an Orange County DUI Lawyer.
Contact us today if you have been charged with any charges related to Speed Contest Vehicle Code 23109 VC. We have experience handling these cases and can help you.