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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30149
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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I received a ticket on the ghway and a ticket. Officer said

Customer Question

I received a ticket for racing on the highway and a ticket for speeding. Officer said I was doing 75 in a 45 but cut it down to 51. How can I defend myself when I appear in court. What's the possibility of getting jail time and how can I avoid the 1 year license suspension?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Racing is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which means that jail time is possible, however, it's not likely if you have no prior criminal record. You may be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor where you serve a suspended sentence (meaning no jail time if you do the things you're supposed to do on probation) or where you serve community service instead. If the district attorney has any intention whatsoever of asking the judge to impose jail time, or even wants to leave the option open, then you have a constitutional right to have an attorney represent you. If you cannot afford a lawyer a judge will appoint one at no charge when you go to the arraignment.

The best defense to racing is that you weren't doing it. You have the ability to testify if you were not racing another car. You're not required to take the stand. However, a one-year driver's license suspension is mandatory when a person is convicted of drag racing, so if your main goal is to avoid the suspension, you may want to see if your lawyer can try to negotiate to have the drag racing ticket reduced to a lower charge that won't carry a suspension. See Fl. Stat., Section 316.191.

There's a good chance you'll be able to get the speeding ticket dismissed if you plead to the racing ticket. If you decide to go to court to challenge one, you have to challenge both at once. You should know that if you go to trial on the speeding ticket, the officer will testify that you were going 75, and fines will be assessed accordingly. This is allowed. So be aware of that when deciding whether to negotiate or take your chances at trial.

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