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2 Fast Too Serious – Street Racing in North Carolina

Unauthorized speed contests are illegal and carry very harsh penalties. Tachometer

The primary distinction is between:

§ 20-141.3. Unlawful racing on streets and highways

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on a street or highway willfully in prearranged speed competition with another motor vehicle. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on a street or highway willfully in speed competition with another motor vehicle. Any person willfully violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

** Pre-arranged speed competitions can result in the SEIZURE OF YOUR VEHICLE

(g) When any officer of the law discovers that any person has operated or is operating a motor vehicle willfully in prearranged speed competition with another motor vehicle on a street or highway, he shall seize the motor vehicle and deliver the same to the sheriff of the county in which such offense is committed.

Misdemeanor Punishment Chart

In addition to Fines, Court Costs, the possibility of Probation and even Jail in certain circumstances, one would be remiss in failing to note Part II of a conviction: LOSS OF LICENSE. Once again Pre-Arranged Speed Competition carries a more substantial penalty, a three-year revocation. Spontaneous Speed Competition is somewhat discretionary, leaving it to the Department of Transportation to determine the length of suspension, but in any event “not to exceed one year.”

  1. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall revoke the driver’s license or privilege to drive of every person convicted of violating the provisions of subsection (a) or subsection (c) of this section, said revocation to be for three years; provided any person whose license has been revoked under this section may apply for a new license after 18 months from revocation. Upon filing of such application the Division may issue a new license upon satisfactory proof that the former licensee has been of good behavior for the past 18 months and that his conduct and attitude are such as to entitle him to favorable consideration and upon such terms and conditions which the Division may see fit to impose for the balance of the three-year revocation period, which period shall be computed from the date of the original revocation.

It may not be immediately obvious, but part of the reason for serious consequences of being convicted of Speed Competitions in North Carolina is because of the potential for serious, life-changing results of competitions. Speed Competitions can be a precursor to FELONY offenses, including but not limited to Second Degree Murder.

Defendant appeals from a judgment entered upon his conviction by a jury of second degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, willful speed competition, reckless driving and driving left of center.   The trial court arrested judgment on the latter three charges and imposed a sentence of 157 months to 198 months for second degree murder and a concurrent sentence of 25 months to 39 months for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.   We find no error.

SEE RELATED: North Carolina v. Brown

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