The California crime of Exhibition of Speed in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23109(c) is a serious driving offense. It carries as a maximum punishment up to 90 days in the county jail and a five hundred dollar ($500) fine, or both. Additionally, if you are convicted of an exhibit of speed, you will receive two points against your driving record.
For a prosecutor to obtain a conviction for exhibition of speed, the District Attorney must prove the following facts (referred to as “elements of the crime”) beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Drove your vehicle on a roadway; and
- While driving, willfully engaged in an exhibition of speed.
In order for the District Attorney to prove that you engaged in an exhibition of speed, the prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove at a rate of speed that is dangerous and unsafe in order to show off or make an impression on someone else.
It is important to note that you need not actually violate the speed limit to be cited for exhibition of speed. Peeling out, burning out, or accelerating much faster than is common on the road can be sufficient to establish the offense even if you are not violating the posted speed limit. Additionally, even though the District Attorney is required to prove that you engaged in the conduct to show off, the prosecutor is not required to prove that you intended to impress any particular person. However, you may have a defense to this crime if you did not intentionally engage in an exhibition of speed; for example, if you are a new driver just learning to drive on a stick shift and accidentally drove faster than you should have.
If you are charged with an exhibition of speed, our experienced Redwood City criminal defense attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, may be able to help. It may be possible to persuade the District Attorney to reduce the Exhibition of Speed charge to an infraction so that you avoid imprisonment, probation, heavy fines and two points on your license. Alternatively, we may be able to convince to the District Attorney to dismiss the charges against you because they cannot prove that you were attempting to show off to anyone else. Or, we could go to trial and potentially convince a judge or jury that you are not guilty of the offense. Contact Ahmed and Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, today to set up a consultation to discuss your options and rights.