California defines Exhibition of Speed as follows:

Vehicle Code (VC) 23109   

(a) A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device. For purposes of this section, an event in which the time to cover a prescribed route of more than 20 miles is measured, but where the vehicle does not exceed the speed limits, is not a speed contest.

(b) A person shall not aid or abet in any motor vehicle speed contest on any highway.

(c) A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on a highway, and a person shall not aid or abet in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on any highway.

(d) A person shall not, for the purpose of facilitating or aiding or as an incident to any motor vehicle speed contest or exhibition upon a highway, in any manner obstruct or place a barricade or obstruction or assist or participate in placing a barricade or obstruction upon any highway. ”

Can I be charged with exhibition of speed (VC 23109) if I wasn’t driving? 

Yes! Vehicle Code 23109 says anyone who facilitates, aids or abets an exhibition of speed is also guilty of the same crime.

This means anyone who blocks the police, acts as a lookout, acts as a judge, monitors finish line, monitors speed or timing, or works on the vehicles to prepare them for the race.

These examples are not exhaustive.  There are other acts which could also fall under “aiding and abetting” or “facilitating” a speed contest, Vehicle Code 23109 Exhibition of Speed.

Can I be charged with VC 23109 or exhibition of speed if I wasn’t racing another car? 

Yes!  You don’t have to be the driver to be charged with Vehicle Code 23109, Exhibition of Speed. If you facilitated, aided or abetted a speed contest, you are just as guilty under California Vehicle Code 23109.  See the response to question above.

Are there any defenses to Vehicle Code 23109, Exhibition of Speed?

The defenses for Exhibition of Speed, Vehicle Code 23109, are:

      • You did not aid or abet a speed contest in any way
      • You did not participate in the contest
      • You did not facilitate the speed contest in any way
      • You did not willfully participate in or facilitate or aid and abet a speed contest

What are the penalties for Vehicle Code 23109, Speed Contest?

The penalties for a Speed Contest charge in California or Vehicle Code 23109 depend on if it’s charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

It also matters if the charge is a first-time offense or if priors exist. The list below is primarily for first-time offenders.  Please contact my office for exact penalties in your particular case and history.    (714) 321-9999

Misdemeanor Vehicle Code 23109 no injuries:

      • 0-90 days in County Jail
      • $145-1,000 in fines
      • License Suspension

Misdemeanor Vehicle Code 23109 with injuries or priors:

      • 30-180 days in County Jail
      • $220-1,000 fine
      • License Suspension

Felony Vehicle Code 23109, injuries with great bodily harm:

      • 1 year 4 months, 2 years, 3 years
      • $220-1,000 fine
      • License Suspension

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