As a result of increased attention on traffic offences in the media, the law has recently cracked down on ‘street racing’ and ‘hooning.’
The law contains a very broad definition of ‘street racing,’ which refers to conduct such as:
- A race between vehicles on a road
- Attempts to break a vehicle speed record on a road
- Any trial of a vehicle on a road
- Any competitive trial designed to test the skill of any vehicle driver or the reliability or mechanical condition of any vehicle on the road.
- Organising, promoting or taking part in any of the above conduct.
Because of the serious consequences that may result, it’s important to get the right lawyers on your side to give you a strong defence in your street racing matter.
As Sydney’s traffic law specialists, our expert lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in street racing matters and fight hard to have the charges dropped early on in the proceedings.
Read on to find out how we can help you win your street racing case.
Your Options in Court
It can be incredibly frustrating being charged with street racing, especially as there is the potential for you to lose your vehicle for a lengthy amount of time if your are found guilty.
However, there are several ways in which you can fight the charges to be found ‘not guilty.’
One way is by showing that police do not have sufficient evidence to prove the offence.
This means that before you can be found guilty, police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Organised, promoted or took part in a race between vehicles OR
- That you organised, promoted or took part in an attempt to break any vehicle speed record OR
- That you organised, promoted or took part in any trial of the speed of a vehicle OR
- That you organised, promoted or took part in a competitive trial designed to test the skill of any vehicle driver, or about the reliability or mechanical condition of any vehicle.
The police only need to prove one of these categories for you to be found guilty of the offence.
However, if you don’t feel that the police are about to prove one of these categories, you might want to discuss the option of pleading ‘not guilty’ with our highly experienced traffic lawyers.
We have the knowledge and experience necessary to give you the best possible advice when it comes to fighting the charges, and in many cases we are able to have charges dropped at an early stage by carefully examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case.
Should your matter proceed to court, our exceptional advocates can help you present any evidence to prove your side of the story, along with any defences which explain your actions.
Defences that you may be able to use include where you were coerced or threatened into street racing – this is also known as duress.
If you are willing to accept the charges against you, you can choose to enter a plea of ‘guilty.’ You will then be sentenced, which is where the magistrate or judge determines the appropriate penalty.
Often, pleading guilty at an early stage in the proceedings is a good idea, as it shows the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.
This can help persuade the magistrate to give you a lighter penalty than you otherwise would have got if you had been found guilty by the court.
However, before entering a plea, you should speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options – including whether you can fight the charges and be found ‘not guilty.’
Our experienced lawyers have extensive experience fighting street racing matters and can help you secure a lenient penalty for you if you end up pleading guilty.
You may also be wondering what kinds of penalties you could face if you plead guilty
|Available Penalties||First Offence||Second or Subsequent Offence|
|Maximum court imposed fine||$3,300||$3,300|
|Maximum gaol term||N/A||9 months|
|Maximum disqualification period||unlimited||unlimited|
|Automatic disqualification period||12 months||12 months|
|Other penalties that can be imposed||
If you are the owner of the vehicle: Your vehicle may be clamped and impounded for up to 3 months.
If you are not the owner of the vehicle: The court can issue a ‘suspension warning notice’ to the owner of the vehicle warning them that if the vehicle is used in a second offence, the vehicle’s registration can be suspended for up to 3 months.
If you are the owner of the vehicle: Your vehicle may be forfeited to the government and sold, or used in crash testing.
If you are not the owner of the vehicle: If it is the second offence in five years, the vehicle’s registration can be suspended for up to 3 months. If it is the third offence in five years, the vehicle can be forfeited to the government and used in crash testing.
While these penalties may seem harsh, it’s important to remember that they are maximum penalties – meaning that they will only apply in the most serious cases.
It will be up to the magistrate to determine the appropriate penalty based on the facts and circumstances of your case – so it is important to ensure that you are being represented by an experienced traffic lawyer.
Our defence team has considerable experience presenting compelling sentencing submissions and will focus on all the positive facts of your case to maximise your chances of securing a lenient penalty.
In certain cases, we may be able to persuade the magistrate to deal with the matter by way of a section 10 – meaning that you will not receive a conviction or fine or be disqualified from driving.
The types of penalties that the court can impose include:
Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?
Being charged with street racing can be a frustrating experience that can result in heavy penalties, including the possibility of your car being impounded.
However, you can give yourself the best possible defence against the charges ensuring that you are advised and represented by a specialist traffic lawyer.
Unlike ‘general’ lawyers, who do not have a particular area of expertise, specialist traffic lawyers have a thorough understanding of traffic law, and know how to best fight these types of charges.
At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we practice exclusively in criminal and traffic law. Our specialist knowledge and skills enable us to secure outstanding results for our clients, no matter how serious the charges are.
In fact, our experience has led us to develop specific techniques and methods of fighting street racing charges to ensure that you get the best outcome.
We always attempt to have charges dropped before matters end up in court, by carefully scrutinising all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case. If any issues are found, we can write to the prosecution and ask to have the charges dropped.
Even if you do end up in court, we will fight hard to secure you a verdict of ‘not guilty.’ Our exceptional advocates will present all evidence in a compelling manner to ensure that you get the best result.
And if you simply want to plead guilty, our lawyers can help you avoid harsh penalties, such as heavy fines and imprisonment, by presenting effective sentencing submissions and urging the magistrate to treat your matter leniently.
So if you’re worried about how a street racing charge may affect your life, call the experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference to find out how we can help you win your street racing case.