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Excessive Acceleration or Safe Passing?

California drivers must be diligent when they decide to pass another driver on the road. They can receive a citation for excessive acceleration or an “exhibition of speed” if they do not do the necessary actions that the law requires in safe passing. The charge can result in fines and jail time if a judge finds the person guilty of partaking in anything that is even remotely close to street racing.

Never rev your engine or linger beside the other vehicle as if initiating a race, even in jest. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) or other law enforcement (LE) officers almost never see this type of action as a jest, but rather as an exhibition of speed (sometimes referred to as a speedex) or ‘street racing”. An exhibition of speed is defined by California law as, “when he or she accelerates or drives at a rate of speed that is dangerous and unsafe in order to show off or make an impression on someone else.” To charge a driver with a speedex, all an LE officer must prove is the driver willfully participated in an unsafe action that involved what they saw as an attempt to impress someone. In addition, “street racing is defined as a “speed contest” and does not specify how long that contest had to last. And, the arresting LE officer can impound the vehicles involved for up to 30 days.

Both street racing and an exhibition of speed conviction carry a criminal misdemeanor record. A misdemeanor criminal record will follow you for the rest of your life if you cannot get it expunged. Either conviction can lead to jail time or probation, fines up to $1000 for first offenders, and a drivers’ license suspension up to six months. When there are injuries or property damage and for second offenders the penalties are much worse. That jail time goes up to 16 to 36 months when there is a serious injury and the fine could escalate to as much as $10,000. Additionally, there could be civil consequences, as well.

A Justifiable Acceleration

People who receive excessive acceleration charges start with a good defense already. They cannot pass another vehicle without accelerating past that person's speed. Acceleration is necessary, so a driver should not feel intimidated into entering a guilty plea just because he received a ticket. The charging officer must prove that the alleged offender unlawfully or once again, willfully accelerated more than what was necessary to pass the vehicle. The state bears the “burden of proof”. To do that, the officer may have to produce records of the other person's speed, witnesses and so forth. Therefore, the driver should have hire a professional traffic ticket defense attorney to represent them.

Considering the fines and possible penalties for an excessive acceleration, it is strongly advisable to hire a traffic defense attorney.

Charged with Excessive Acceleration in California?

You need representation if you've received an excessive acceleration charge and you feel as though you did everything properly. You need a traffic law attorney who will fight for your rights by pleading your case from a legal standpoint. Call Bigger & Harman to schedule a consultation with one of these California attorneys. Don't just accept a violation that could cost you fines, points, and high insurance premiums. Call the law office of Bigger & Harman today, 661-349-9300. En español, llame al 661-349-9755. Or, send us an email: attorney@markbigger.com.