Reckless Driving Racing is fun…and illegal.
RCW 46.61.530 states that “No person or persons may race any motor vehicle or motor vehicles upon any public highway of this state. Racing is willfully comparing or contesting relative speeds by operation of one or more motor vehicles, whether or not the speed is in excess of the maximum speed prescribed by law. WPIC 95.04
Speeding alone is not Reckless Driving, or Reckless Driving Racing. A racing conviction can result in up to 364 days in custody, a 30 day licensing suspension, SR22 requirements, and a fine of up to $5,000.00.
Racing is illegal, but even if you think that you were caught red handed, the prosecutor may not have enough evidence to convict you. Admit nothing and immediately contact an experienced Reckless Driving/Racing attorney, or criminal attorney.
What is Racing?
Any Reckless Driving Racing attorney with a fast car or bike will tell you that comparing speeds with a friend is great fun. But what happens when Johnny Law breaks up the party, impounds your whip and throws you in jail? Should you just plead guilty? Take a plea bargain? Take it to trial? This article will attempt to answer those questions.
What is Reckless Driving Racing in Washington State?
Reckless Driving Racing is a criminal traffic gross misdemeanor, in addition to being major moving violation traffic offense in Washington State.
When a person tries to compare or contest speed by the operation of a motor vehicle, he is guilty of Racing. The penalty for a conviction of this gross misdemeanor can include up to 364 days in jail, a fine of no more than $5,000, and license suspension of no less than 30 days (RCW 46.61.500).
A Motor Vehicle is defined in RCW 46.04.320 as “every vehicle that is self-propelled and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails. “Motor vehicle” includes a neighborhood electric vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.357. “Motor vehicle” includes a medium-speed electric vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.295. An electric personal assistive mobility device is not considered a motor vehicle. A power wheelchair is not considered a motor vehicle. A golf cart is not considered a motor vehicle, except for the purposes of chapter 46.61 RCW.
We recently represented a motorcyclist who was riding with his Tacoma MC club on the Westbound 512. A WSP aircraft recorded a bunch of riders driving awfully fast and weaving in and out of traffic to be the first to a Mexican restaurant on South Tacoma Way. The video apparently showed quite a few guys racing with each other. The pilot filmed riders individually and as a group, and called troopers on the ground to meet the riders at the Restaurant.
My client was parked and standing next to his bike when the trooper arrived. The pilot, circling in the air about 800’ over the scene positively Identified by client and his friends as the riders he witnessed racing on the 512. The ground Trooper wasn’t so confident, so he didn’t arrest everyone, but he did write up everyone there for Reckless Driving Racing.
The court case was a circus. The Trooper’s video did appear to show very, very small motorcycles moving faster than the cars around them. What you couldn’t make out was the license plate number, make, model, or even colors of the bikes. Furthermore, there were huge breaks in the video where the pilot pointed the camera at other riders ¼ mile from my client and his friends. The case was an absolute cluster and we got a dismissal.
Cops love writing people for Reckless Driving Racing whenever they see someone driving a lowered import with their friends at a speed that even suggests racing. We’ve also seen racing charges where a couple of buddies were simply trying to get home in time to see their favorite show. If you’re stopped for racing, don’t argue with the cop, but more importantly, don’t say anything. Cops stopped hyou because they thought you were breaking the law. No matter what you say, the cops are going to hear you admit to racing. Don’t help them. Don’t say anything. Call an experienced traffic lawyer.
We offer free consultations, military discounts, and clear communications. Call us today to discuss how we can help you fight these criminal charges. You can trust us to give you the truth; the whole story, good, or bad. Call today.
James Edmund Oliver, Jr. is a Traffic attorney with over 15 years of experience representing defendants against major moving violation charges. Some of the more common charges he defends against are reckless driving, negligent driving, speeding and speed unsafe for conditions. After serving six years in the Army Reserves, James completed his legal studies at Seattle University School of Law where he graduated in 1998 with a Juris Doctor degree. Jim has established himself as well respected and zealous advocate for a wide variety of clients.