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It is illegal to engage in street racing in Chicago, Cook County, or anywhere in Illinois. However, the law defines street racing much more broadly than just two vehicles speeding to see who is faster. In fact, it is not even necessary for two vehicles to be involved in street racing.
Street racing is not a simple traffic ticket under Illinois law. Anyone charged with violating Illinois street racing laws should speak with a qualified traffic defense attorney.
Description of Street Racing in Illinois
There are six types of “street racing” in Illinois. The following is a brief description of what constitutes street racing under the law in Illinois, as found in Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-506.
- Two or more vehicles, side by side, accelerating at speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other. This is the common form of street racing that is familiar to most people. This is often called drag racing.
- Timing vehicles on a pre-determined course, one at a time, to see which is faster.
- Simply trying to outgain the speed of another vehicle on the road, whether they know about it or not.
- Using a car to prevent another car from passing in a passing lane.
- Using a car to get to a destination before another.
- Using a car to test the physical endurance or stamina of a driver over long distances.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to be accused of the crime of street racing.
In addition to the above examples, a person could be convicted of street racing when he or she is not even in a vehicle at all. If an owner of a vehicle gives permission or acquiesces to let another engage in street racing, that is illegal under the law as well. This could result in a conviction of street racing. That conviction is a Class B misdemeanor and is a serious charge.
Penalties for Violating Illinois Street Racing Laws
A driver charged with street racing in Illinois for the first-time faces a Class A misdemeanor. This is a serious offense under the law and is one step below a felony. The law requires the judge to issue a minimum fine of $251, but the judge could impose a fine of up to $2,500 and sentence the driver to one year in jail. This is on the first offense.
A second conviction for street racing laws is much more serious. If you are convicted a second time, it is called “aggravated street racing” and is a Class 4 felony. The law requires the judge to give a minimum fine of $500 and one year in jail. The maximum punishment is up to $25,000 and three years in jail. So, you can see just how serious violating the street racing law can be.
Traffic Lawyers at Driver Defense Team
If you are charged with violating Illinois street racing laws, you need to talk with the right legal team. At Driver Defense Team, our team of dedicated legal assistants and attorneys work tirelessly to ensure that you get the best defense available. When you contact us, we will help you understand what your options are and what you need to do to go forward. We look forward to defending you today.