Is Street Racing a Felony in Texas?

You can add various modifications to your vehicle to make it sleeker, more efficient, and faster. Often, fixing up your car can take a great deal of time and resources. Excited to show others what you've accomplished and how fast your car can go, you might decide to participate in a street race.

Unfortunately, doing so can have serious consequences, as engaging in racing on the highway is against the law. You can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, and, if convicted, can face incarceration and/or fines. On top of that, your vehicle can be taken away from you until you pay fees to have it released.

What Does Texas Consider Street Racing?

When you think of street racing, you might think of a bunch of cars lined up side-by-side and drivers pushing their vehicles' limits to take over the others. That's one way a person could be accused of racing on a highway. But Texas law defines others, and they include instances when drivers are competing against other racers or when a person is alone on the road.

Under Texas law, the following are prohibited behaviors:

  • Racing by having one or more vehicles try to outgain or outperform others or get to a finish line first. It can also involve a driver making a long trek to test their stamina.
  • Engaging in a speed competition.
  • Engaging in a drag race by having two or more vehicles starting side-by-side and seeing which one gets to a preselected destination first. Or having each vehicle start on their own but follow the same path to see which gets to the finish faster.
  • Testing the physical endurance of the driver.
  • Attempting to make a speed record.

What Are the Consequences for Street Racing?

The penalties you can face for racing on a highway depend on whether you're charged with a misdemeanor or felony. The specifics of your circumstances determine the level of offense.

Potential charges and punishments include the following:

  • Class B misdemeanor for first-time offenders. Penalties include up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
  • Class A misdemeanor for repeat offenders or those who were driving while intoxicated or had an open container of alcohol in the vehicle at the time of the offense. A conviction may result in up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
  • State jail felony for those convicted twice before of a racing offense. If they're found guilty, they could be ordered to 180 days to 2 years in state jail. They may also be fined up to $10,000.
  • Third-degree felony for those involved in a racing offense that caused bodily injury to another. The penalties include between 2 and 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second-degree felony for those involved in offenses that resulted in serious bodily injury to or the death of another. A second-degree felony is penalized by between 2 and 20 years' imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Have you been charged with a crime in San Antonio? Our criminal defense attorneys at LaHood Norton Law Group will fight aggressively for you. Contact us at (210) 801-9400 today.