"Drag Racing and Unauthorized Speed Contests" in Nevada Law
(NRS 484B.653)
Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyers

Not only is "unauthorized street racing" a crime in Nevada . . . merely organizing an "unauthorized street race" can get you arrested as well. Penalties include fines, community service, and maybe jail time. And if someone gets hurt or worse, the judge will order prison.

In this article our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys give an overview of Nevada street racing laws, penalties, and possible defenses. If you've been arrested for drag racing in or around Clark County, call us now at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation on how we may be able to keep your criminal record clean.

The Legal definition of Street Racing in Las Vegas, Nevada

Unauthorized street racing is a form of reckless driving in Nevada. It doesn't matter if all the racers are driving safely or if there's no one else on the road or if the race never ends up happening . . . it's illegal to participate in any kind of speed contest on a public highway that wasn't cleared by the proper authorities.

In Nevada, simply organizing an unauthorized drag race is as illegal as driving in it. Organizing means to "assist in the planning, scheduling or promotion of an unauthorized speed contest on a public highway, regardless of whether a fee is charged for attending the unauthorized speed contest."

Defenses

Which particular defenses would prove most effective in fighting a Nevada drag racing charge turn on the specific facts of the your case. But if your attorney can raise just a reasonable doubt that you participated in or planned a drag race, then the whole matter should be dismissed. Typical evidence that comes into play in Las Vegas street racing cases include:

  • surveillance video of the alleged race
  • eyewitnesses to the alleged race
  • communications records between the alleged organizers
Penalties

Participating in an unauthorized street race is only a misdemeanor in Nevada as long as no one gets hurt. But if someone died or sustained substantial bodily harm, it's charged as a category B felony.

Misdemeanor speed racing

Misdemeanor speed racing charges are brought when no death or substantial bodily harm resulted. The standard sentence is the following:

For a first offense:

  • $250 – $1,000, and
  • 50 – 99 hours of community service, and
  • any cars belonging to the suspect and that were allegedly used in the race may be impounded for 15 days, and
  • 6 months – 2 years of driver's license suspension, and
  • maybe up to 6 months in jail

For a second offense:

  • $1,000 – $1,500, and
  • 100 – 199 hours of community service, and
  • any cars belonging to the suspect and that were allegedly used in the race must be impounded for 30 days, and
  • 6 months – 2 years of driver's license suspension, and
  • maybe up to 6 months in jail

For a third or subsequent offense:

  • $1,500 – $2,000, and
  • 200 hours of community service, and
  • any cars belonging to the suspect and that were allegedly used in the race must be impounded for 30 days, and
  • 6 months – 2 years of driver's license suspension, and
  • maybe up to 6 months in jail

Felony speed racing

Felony speed racing charges apply when an unauthorized speed race "proximately caused" someone's death or substantial bodily harm in Nevada. The punishment includes:

  • 1 – 6 years in prison, and
  • $2,000 – $5,000

Plea Bargain

If the prosecutors in a drag racing case refuse to dismiss the charge, it's possible they may be willing to reduce it to breaching the peace in Nevada as long as no one got hurt from the incident. It's also a misdemeanor carrying:

  • up to 6 months jail, and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines

And best of all, it doesn't require that your driver's license be suspended or your cars be impounded.

Call us for help . . . .

No matter what crime you've been arrested for, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys may be able to help get the charges dismissed or reduced. Call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation today.

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