Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today


Although the scenarios described in this story are fictional, the possibility of a misdemeanor speed contest ticket and its consequences are very real. Don’t let this be your story. 

Everything seemed to be going great. I just got a new job and a new car. Well, it was a second-hand car, or “previously-loved” as the dealer described it. It was a 2009 Dodge SRT8 Challenger “Muscle Car” with a 425 horsepower (HP), V-8 6.1 Hemi 6-Speed transmission. Probably much more HP than I needed, but it sure was pretty. 

I had just learned how to drive a manual transmission and to tell the truth; I still wasn’t very good at it. I was headed to work one morning when I had to stop for a light going uphill. The car behind me crept right up on my bumper. I worried about letting out the clutch and rolling back into their car. Instead, I let out the clutch and hit the gas simultaneously. Of course, with that much power under the hood, my tires squealed, and off I shot. 

Within seconds, one of Bakersfield’s finest pulled me over. I tried to plead my case about not having much experience driving a manual transmission, but the law enforcement officer (LEO) wouldn’t listen. He wrote me a ticket for a speed contest, or as he called it, “street racing.” He said he saw the other car turn off when he put on his lights and siren. Even though I told him there was no other car, and I was just going to work. He also stated, “If you keep arguing with me, I will add reckless driving to the charge! Do you know how many charges I could add? How about an exhibition of speed and disturbing the peace, too?”  

I was shocked speechless. Even more so, when I looked at the ticket and saw the “M” circled; I knew that meant I had been charged with a misdemeanor. I was going to need a very good lawyer.

California Law: Exhibition of Speed or Speed Contest

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 23109Driving Offensesstipulates, “A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway.”If convicted, the sentence can include one day or up to 90 days in the county jail, a minimum base fine of $355, not to exceed $1000, or both for the first offense. Also, the judge can order a 90-day up to six months driver’s license (DL) suspension or work-related restriction and community service. 

Penalties are enhanced when injury or death occurs because of the violation. The jail term could increase to 30 days up to six months and a base fine between $500 and $1000, or both. These penalties do not preclude penalties in a civil trial. When the state and county add the assessments, fees, and penalties the actual fine could be five to seven times the base fine. Likewise, subsequent convictions within a five-year period could result in similarly enhanced fines and jail time.

What Can I Do?      

I talked it over with my father, and he recommended I call Bigger & Harman. He said he had heard that around Bakersfield and the Central Valley there was no one better. I called their office and spoke with Paul Harman. Although he believed there was no speed contest or “willful” intent on my part and that he could convince a judge of the same, there are no guarantees. I appreciated his straightforward advice, and I agreed readily to their flat rate fee. My dad said I was lucky they work for a flat rate fee because an hourly charge could add up very quickly.  

I read a lot of the review by their clients online, and I feel a lot better about this whole mess. I don’t know how all this will turn out, but I’m glad I have Bigger & Harman representing me.  

Bakersfield Criminal Traffic Ticket Defenders

Call the Bigger & Harman criminal defense team when you get charged with a misdemeanor crime, (661) 349-9300. Speed contest tickets are more common than most people realize. An exhibition of speed, street racing, and speed contest are “wobbler” offenses that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or infraction. Although the infraction is usually issued for “aiding and abetting,” such as for putting up obstruction material or observing the event, an officer can use it for the event itself if they believe it was a minor incident. When the “M” is circled instead of the “I” on your ticket, it is a misdemeanor, which is a criminal offense that could lead to jail time, significant fines, and a criminal record. This is not the time to try representing yourself; if there ever is such a time.       

Email us at to begin a dialogue or to get updates on your case. In many cases, it is easier for us to update our clients through email as we spend most of our days in traffic court.    

Visit AvvoNoloor Yelp to read all the client comments to get a better idea what we do.  

Se habla Español 661.349.9755.


The 2018 CA Driver Handbook .pdf

The DMV.CA.GOV portal

The 2018 California Superior Court Bail Schedule for Infractions and Misdemeanors.pdf

CVC 23109Driving Offenses

Share To: