Criminal Offences

Street Racing

Street racing is considered a serious traffic offence in NSW. It is characterised by the unlawfully planned or impromptu involvement of 2 or more vehicles, whereby excessive speed in order to race each other. Evidently, such an activity can be extremely dangerous to the individuals involved, passengers in the vehicle, other drivers on the road and bystanders in community. As a result, harsh penalties are enforced by the Court.

The offence of street racing is found under section 115 of the Road Transport Act 2013 which states that:

  1. A person must not organise, promote or take part in:
    1. Any race between vehicles on a road, or
    2. Any attempt to break any vehicle speed record on a road, or
    3. Any trial of the speed of a vehicle on a road, or
    4. Any competitive trial designed to test the skill of any vehicle driver or the reliability or mechanical condition of any vehicle on a road, unless the written approval of the Commissioner of Police to the holding or making of the race, attempt or trial has been obtained.

At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, we have years of experience as traffic offence lawyers in Sydney. In order to obtain the best result possible, it is advised to seek legal representation from an experienced traffic lawyer who has the time to provide you with honest and realistic advice.

Should you or someone you know be facing charges in relation to street racing, contact our criminal law firm now to schedule a FREE consultation.

PENALTIES

There are many penalties that could be incurred if you are caught participating in street racing on NSW roads. Typically, these penalties are less serious for first time offenders, whilst those who have participated in the unlawful activity on multiple occasions could be faced with more severe punishments.

For first time offenders, the maximum fine incurred is $3,300 fine with no term of imprisonment. Although terms of imprisonment are not enforced for first time street racing, the infringement is still classified as a criminal offence. This means that even on the first time of being charged with the offence of driving whilst suspended in NSW will still require you to appear in Court before a Magistrate.

However, if you have been charged of street racing on subsequent occasions, you will be liable to more severe penalties. In fact, section 115 of the Road Transport Act 2013 states that additional convictions of the same traffic offence attract a punishment of 30 penalty units which equates to a fine of $3,300. The Court may alternatively decide to impose a punishment of 9 months in gaol or enforce both punishments collectively in severe circumstances.

However, it is important to be aware that the Court can use its discretion to impose less significant punishments in appropriate situations. In fact, the specific nature of the penalties that will be imposed vary significantly and are enforced on a case by case basis after the deliberation of numerous factors. You may be ordered to perform community service or be given a suspended sentence or good behaviour bond.

Furthermore, with the help of legal representation from our traffic infringement lawyers, we may be able to persuade the Court to deal with the offence by the means of a section 10. In these instances, the Court may dismiss the charge altogether whereby no penalty or conviction is incurred, otherwise minimal conditions are enforced. If these conditions are not adhered to, you will find yourself reappearing before a Court, in which the privilege could be revoked.

If you or someone you know has been charged with street racing, it is best to seek legal advice from our traffic lawyers at Benjamin Leonardo to determine the most relevant penalties that may apply the specific case.

GUILTY

In order to be found guilty of street racing, it is up to the Police to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you organised, participated or promoted the act of;
  • Racing another vehicle on a road; or
  • Attempting to break a vehicle speed record on a road; or
  • Trialled the speed of a vehicle on a road; or
  • Competitively testing the skill of any driver, reliability of any vehicle or mechanical condition of any vehicle on a road; and
  • You did not have written approval by the Commissioner of Police to participate, promote or organise in any of these events

If the Police are able to successfully substantiate these elements, it is likely you will be found guilty. Therefore, you have the option to plead guilty on your own terms. If you choose to submit a guilty plea to the Court in relation to the charges of street racing, your punishment may be more positive than being found guilty otherwise.

Pleading guilty often shows remorse in the eyes of the Court and as a result, it is not uncommon to see the Court enforce a less severe penalty. For example, if the circumstances surrounding the charge are not deemed serious and you have no prior criminal history, you may have the matter dealt with by a section 10 dismissal. Other penalties that the Court has the ability to impose include community service orders, suspended sentences, intensive corrective orders or home detention.

For the most accurate and honest advice, please contact our dedicated traffic infringement lawyers to schedule a FREE confidential consultation.

NOT GUILTY

One method of fighting the charge of street racing is to plead not guilty. In order for the Police to prosecute you of this offence, they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that t you did commit the crime as per section 115 of the Road Transport Act 2013. If this cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, you will not be convicted of street racing. In fact, if it is not possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did commit the offence, it is possible that the charges could be dropped without there even being any further proceedings.

However, if you have pleaded not guilty and the Police are able to prove these claims, our experienced traffic lawyers will scrutinise the evidence provided and raise an appropriate legal defence. If we are successful, you will be found not guilty, and no penalties will be incurred. It is important to remember, however, that in some instances our defence strategies only provide a partial defence. This means that you could be liable to punishment of some sort by an alternative verdict. If this occurs, the penalty is typically less significant in comparison to the original charge, and therefore is a successful outcome.

THE DEFENCE

There are many possible defences that our Sydney traffic lawyers may use on an individual’s behalf to negate allegations of street racing. These defences include:

Duress: Encompasses the use of unlawful coercion to persuade a person to partake in an activity they would not usually participate in. This coercion can take form of harmful threats such as death or grievous bodily harm in which the accused believes that if they do not participate in the activity, they can be at risk.

WHICH COURT?

The crime of street racing is typically heard at a Local Court.

Although we are criminal defence lawyers based in Parramatta and the Sydney CBD, we have extensive experience in defending various criminal cases all over NSW. Therefore, our clients can be confident that we are able to effectively represent their case regardless is the matter is dealt with in Local, District and Supreme Courts. With widespread practice working in all these courts, our criminal defence lawyers can accurately advise you on in relation to what to expect at each.

For a FREE first consultation, call our expert criminal law firm now.