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Can I go to jail for squealing my tires?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

Amazingly enough, the answer is yes. Under California law, you could theoretically receive a county jail sentence for squealing your tires.

Vehicle Code 23109(c) sets out the crime of "exhibition of speed." This "crime" consists of nothing more than accelerating or driving at an unsafe speed in order to show off or impress other people.

You can be convicted of exhibition of speed even if you weren't driving fast enough to get a ticket--if you accelerate at what some officer deems an "unsafe speed."

Exhibition of speed is most often used as a plea bargain from DUI charges. But it is also sometimes charged as a stand-alone offense.

Fortunately, California prosecutors have the discretion to charge exhibition of speed as an infraction, in which case it carries only a $250 fine.

But in theory it can be charged as a misdemeanor, with a potential jail sentence of up to 90 days.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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