When you think of getting a traffic ticket, you probably imagine a small fine, and maybe a couple of points on your license. And if the violation is something minor like rolling through a stop sign, you’d be correct. However, if you are charged with exhibition of speed, sometimes referred to as drag racing or racing on the highway, you have been charged with a traffic crime and the penalties are much more serious.
Exhibition of speed involves more than exceeding the speed limit. In fact A.R.S. § 28-708A, expressly prohibits driving a car or participating in any type of :
Certainly drag racing and similar contests are covered under the law, however, there does not have to be more than one vehicle involved. Driving behavior that is commonly prosecuted under this statute includes:
The primary difference between a racing on the highway or exhibition of speed and a minor traffic violation is that exhibition of speed is a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that it is a criminal charge, and the consequences of a first offense include:
If you were unfortunate to be cited for a second exhibition of speed charge within two years, you are facing a class 6 felony.
Obviously, this is a much more serious charge, with potential consequences that reflect that classification. Additional charges can also arise if the exhibition of speed leads to physical injuries.
Most tickets for a violation of A.R.S. § 28-708A are not as simple as you might expect. The average ticket is not a response to two vehicles engaged in an obvious drag race on the highway, with friends cheering you on. Here are a few examples that illustrate some of the possible charges and defenses:
If a plausible defense can be developed, it may lead to a reduction in the charges or a not guilty verdict. In many cases, the mere existence of the possible defense will cause the prosecutor to propose a reduction in the charge in exchange for a guilty plea to the lesser traffic offense.