Road Racing & Drag Racing

Road Racing

In Massachusetts, a person may be held criminally liable if they operate a motor vehicle recklessly or if they operate a motor vehicle negligently so as to endanger. In either case, the crime is laid out by M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24(2)(a). M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24(2)(a) provides that any individual who operates a motor vehicle upon a bet or wager or in a race or speeding to set a record shall be held in violation of this law. A convicted offender shall be subject to the following punishments:

  • A fine ranging from $20-$200, or
  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment for 2 weeks (no more than 2 years), or
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.

In order to find a defendant guilty of the crime of Road Racing, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant operated a motor vehicle;
  2. He or she did so on a way, or in a place where the public has a right of access, or in a place where members of the public have access as invitees or licensees; and
  3. The defendant did so upon a bet or wager or in a race, or violated the speeding laws for the purpose of making a record.

For the purposes of this law, a motor vehicle race shall be defined as a competition between the drivers of two or more vehicles to excel in the rate of acceleration or in the speed of their respective vehicles. Direct evidence of an agreement to race is not required if the circumstances support an inference that the defendant entered into an agreement, either express or implied, to engage in a race. However, the crime of drag racing shall be considered a separate offense to that of road racing.

Drag Racing

As of February 26, 2008, drag racing in Massachusetts is considered a criminal offense for most drivers, rather than a civil motor vehicle infraction, under revised MGL c.90, s.17B. M.G.L. c. 90, § 17B defines drag racing as operating or permitting operation of a motor vehicle “in a manner where the owner or operator accelerates at a high rate of speed in competition with another operator, whether or not there is an agreement to race, causing increased noise from skidding tires and amplified noise from racing engines.” A violation of the drag racing law is considered a criminal offense for a licensed operator. A convicted offender shall be subject to the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, or
  • A fine of not more than $1,000.
  • The RMV shall suspend such violator’s license for a period of not less than 30 days for a first offense and for not less than 180 days for any subsequent violation.

In the event that the violator was a holder of a junior operator’s license or learner’s permit, a conviction shall result in the following penalties for a first offense:

  • A fine of not less than $250 and
  • Suspension of the junior operator’s license or learner’s permit for 1 year, and
  • A $500 reinstatement fee to have the license or learner’s permit reinstated following a suspension.

A subsequent violation shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 and suspension of the junior operator’s license or learner’s permit for 3 years. In addition, the offender shall be required to pay a $1,000 reinstatement fee to have the license or learner’s permit reinstated following a suspension.

Relentless Boston Road Racing/Drag Racing Defense Lawyer

Only an attorney specializing in Motor Vehicle crimes will have the requisite knowledge and legal dexterity to fight the charges against you. As a Massachusetts Road Racing Defense Lawyer, Patrick J. Murphy has the swift cunning and brilliant competency to battle for your freedom and protect you good name. If you or someone you know is facing a criminal charge of Road Racing or Drag Racing, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel, and with his thorough knowledge and expertise in the field, Attorney Murphy is the wise choice. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, our experienced Massachusetts defense firm investigates the evidence in each case thoroughly and strives to construct the most persuasive defense strategy. Ensure your rights are protected and your freedom is secure; contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy 24/7 by calling (617) 367-0450 or emailing us directly using our online contact form.

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