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Wrongly Accused Of Street Racing In New Jersey? Read This.


Street racing is a serious offense in New Jersey. Safety advocates repeat claims that street racing leads to numerous fatalities each year, but the statistical evidence behind these assertions is often elusive. Even if you did not harm anyone, however, you may still face serious consequences if accused of street racing in the Garden State. Fortunately, it is possible to explore various potential defense strategies alongside a qualified street racing defense lawyer.

What Is the Definition of Street Racing in New Jersey? 

In order to defend yourself against accusations of street racing, it is important to understand the definition of this offense. There are two New Jersey traffic laws that cover street racing: N.J. Stat. § 39:4-52 and Chapter 39:5C.

39:4-52 states that it is illegal to participate in a race on a public highway. This section also makes it illegal to attempt to “make a speed record” on a public highway. The penalty for this offense is a fine of up to $100 for the first offense and up to $200 for subsequent offenses.

39:5C-1 also states that anyone who participates in a street race may face a disorderly persons offense and a fine of up to $100 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses may involve fines of up to $200 and “imprisonment for not more than 90 days.”

This statute not only presents the possibility of incarceration, but it also creates penalties for those who simply “attempt” or “agree” to participate in a street race. In addition, anyone who organizes a street race in some way may face identical penalties to those who actually drive the vehicles. In addition, anyone who attempts to break a speed record could face the same penalties.

Under these definitions, impromptu street races are illegal. For example, two drivers may rev their engines at a red light and attempt to beat each other to the next intersection. Even though there might have been no verbal agreement or prior organization of a street race, this could still be illegal under New Jersey law.

Defenses to Street Racing in New Jersey

There are numerous potential defenses that may apply to street racing charges. Perhaps the most obvious is to show that you were not actually participating in a street race. Perhaps you were caught up with other street racers, and you simply increased your speed to avoid colliding with these vehicles. You may be charged with speeding, but there is no need to face street racing charges if you never intended to participate.

You should also note that these laws only apply to “public” roads. In the past, defendants have had street racing charges dismissed in New Jersey because they were racing on a stretch of highway that was under construction – and not yet open to the public. To determine the most appropriate defense strategy based on your unique situation, consider speaking with a qualified defense attorney.

Find a Qualified Street Racing Defense Lawyer in Bergen County 

If you’ve been accused of street racing in Bergen County, consider getting in touch with a qualified New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law has experience with both criminal defense and general traffic violations. Book a consultation today, and you can determine the most appropriate course of legal action.




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Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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