Yes, the Fast and the Furious movie franchise made street racing look like a great way of generating some excitement on a Friday night, but before you gather a group of your friend together to see who can drive the fastest, you should know that street racing, drag racing, and other vehicular speed contests aren’t legal on California’s public roads. They violate not one, but two of California’s laws: Vehicle Code 23103 VC (reckless driving) and Vehicle Code 23109 VC (speed contests).You must understand violating either of these California laws by speed racing on one of California’s public roads won’t result in a simple ticket. In most cases, you’ll find yourself facing misdemeanor charges. If you’re convicted, you’ll go through life with a criminal record and have to pay some extremely hefty fines. You may even spend some time inside a county jail cell.In order to secure a guilty conviction in a California street racing case, the prosecution must be able to prove that in addition to actually driving the car, you were also aware that you were street racing. You can’t be convicted of street racing if you simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and got swept up in a street racing sting.You can be charged with street racing if you and another driver challenge one another to a race while sitting at a stoplight. In California, it only takes two people to create an illegal street racing situation.The first time you’re convicted of participating in a speed contest in California, your sentence can include:
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Spending as much as 90 days in jail

Finally! It’s graduation season. For many students and parents, this is a day they’ve been waiting for their entire lives. They’re finally putting high school behind themselves once and for all and allowing themselves to focus on the future.If you’re a graduating senior or someone...

No one likes DUI checkpoints. Not only do they make many of us nervous, even when we haven’t been drinking. There’s just something about getting caught in a checkpoint and seeing a police officer walking towards us that tends to activate a guilt complex, they also drastically extend the length of time it takes you to get from Point A to Point B.As irritated as you might be that you were caught at a DUI checkpoint, you shouldn’t expect the state to stop using them anytime soon. The purpose of the checkpoints is to reduce the annual number of deaths and injuries that are the direct result of drunk driving incidents. As long as the checkpoints continue to catch drunk drivers, they will remain an issue you’ll have to deal with when driving in California.Many people have protested that DUI checkpoints are illegal, that they’re a form of entrapment. The issue has even made it all the way to both the California and Federal Supreme Courts, who ruled that the checkpoints were legal.There are some rules that they must follow when the highway patrol sets up a California DUI checkpoint. These rules include:
  • Arranging things so only the supervising officers are in charge of operational decisions;
  • Establishing completely neutral criteria for drawing motorists into the checkpoint.
  • Making sure the checkpoint is set up in a location where the supervising officers can reasonably expect drunk drivers to pass-through
  • The checkpoint is safe and all safety protocol is being followed
  • The is sufficient evidence that the checkpoint will catch some drunk drivers
  • That the checkpoint is organized in such a way that each person is detained for as short a period of time as possible
  • Roadblocks are used to publicly announce the presence of DUI checkpoint

One of the charges that are quite serious but is seldom mentioned is great bodily harm. This is a charge that will usually be paired with an assault charge.Great bodily harm in California is a sentence enhancement charge. It is attached to other charges to give the judge the option of extending the maximum sentence of the other charges. The way this works is that the judge sets a maximum sentence for the first conviction and then adds additional time for the great bodily harm charge. These two sentences cannot be carried out consecutively. The time the defendant must serve for the great bodily harm charge will not start until the sentence for the other charge has been completed.Great bodily harm in California is outlined in California Penal Code 12022.7 PC.For a great bodily harm charge to be added as a sentence enhancement, the victim must have sustained substantial injuries. These must be far more serious than a few scrapes and bruises. The types of injuries that can lead to a great bodily harm charge include:
  • Broken bones
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Severe burns
  • Internal injuries