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Can you serve time for street racing in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Street racing draws many thrill seekers but carries significant legal consequences, including a possible jail sentence.

Those caught engaging in such activities face harsher penalties than expected under statutes NJSA 39:4-52 and NJSA 39:5C-1. Before you decide to satisfy your urge for a thrill behind the wheel, learn what could happen if arrested for street racing. 

What is prohibited?

The statutes clearly identify unlawful street racing-related behaviors. They apply to all levels of involvement, from race organizers to drivers to other participants. 

They prohibit specific activities, such as: 

  • Operating a vehicle in a race
  • Attempting to race another vehicle
  • Agreeing to participate in a street race

Trying to set a speed record on a public roadway is also unlawful under these statutes.

The penalty spectrum

A first offense for street racing is considered a disorderly person’s offense. That means it is not as severe as a felony but carries harsh consequences nevertheless, including:

  • Fines ranging from several hundred dollars to over a thousand
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Increased insurance premiums

However, things get much more dire for subsequent offenses and convictions. You could face:

  • Increased fines
  • Longer license suspensions
  • Up to 90 days in jail

The likelihood of jail time depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Factors like excessive speed, reckless driving and related car accidents can increase the chances of jail time.

If facing a street racing charge, a legal consultation can be essential to your future. They can help by protecting your rights and negotiating for reduced charges and penalties, potentially helping to prevent jail time altogether.