You Might Lose Your Car Due to Street Racing Allegations in Texas
Texas is following the trend of many states across the country by passing laws that aim to crack down on dangerous street racing. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, street racing events increased in many areas of the U.S., and this trend has continued into 2021. This led legislators to take action to try to address the problem.
A new Texas law recently went into effect on September 1, 2021, that increases the charges and penalties for certain street racing allegations. Another law - enacted through House Bill (HB) 2315 - allows law enforcement officers to seize the vehicles of those accused of street racing.
If you were arrested for street racing and had your vehicle seized, you should seek help from a Plano criminal defense attorney immediately. We can help defend against your charges and protect your property rights at the same time.
Contraband Seizure Under HB 2315
Texas law already allows for the seizure of contraband after certain types of criminal offenses. “Contraband” refers to any property that someone allegedly used in the commission of a crime. HB 2315 added street racing to the list of offenses that can lead to contraband seizures, and in these situations, “contraband” refers to the arrestee’s vehicle.
This is a significantly enhanced penalty that lawmakers hope will deter people from racing since drivers do not want to risk losing their cars. This can be a very costly property loss, and anyone told they must forfeit their vehicle should mount a strong defense against the forfeiture.
Increased Street Racing Penalties in Texas
Along with the Street Racing Seizure Law, the Texas legislature also enacted a law, which added a new offense of “reckless driving exhibitions.” The law also increased the charges and penalties for street racing, which now include:
- Class A misdemeanor charges
- Fines up to $4,000
- Up to one year in jail
This is all in addition to the possibility of having your vehicle seized permanently by the police. If you are accused of street racing or being involved in an organized street race, you need the right defense help. In some cases, officers might mistake speeding for racing, and speeding does not warrant Class A misdemeanor penalties, vehicle seizure, or other consequences.
Street Racing is Dangerous
The reality is that street racing is a dangerous activity that can injure or kill others, which is why the legislature is trying to curb this type of activity. In the first eight months of 2021, authorities received 287 reports of street racing, which is concerning compared to 87 reports in eight months of 2020 and only 31 reports in all of 2019.
However, these enhanced enforcement methods and stricter laws can lead to officers falsely arresting and accusing people of street racing. Always have a criminal defense attorney evaluate your situation.
Contact a Plano Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
The criminal defense firm of J. Michael Price II represents clients against a variety of criminal charges in Plano and throughout Collin County. Contact us online or call 214-765-8000 to set up a meeting today.