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Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Presented By Dana Crosby County Attorneys Office February 5, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Presented By Dana Crosby County Attorneys Office February 5, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Presented By Dana Crosby County Attorneys Office February 5, 2008

2 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Background Enforcement options Requested action

3 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law

4 Background – On November 27, 2007 in a Commissioners report, Comm. Stewart requested the BCC enact an ordinance to cite spectators at illegal drag races. The BCC asked the County Attorneys office to research the request and return to the BCC with options.

5 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Background – Under existing law it is a criminal traffic offense to participate in illegal drag racing. Violations of the law may include engaging in a race, coordinating, facilitating or riding in such a race, or causing traffic to stop for such a race – but does not extend to regulation of spectators. s (2)(a), FS

6 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Background – In a recent Florida Appellate Case the court found the term racing to be unconstitutionally vague. Notably, the term drag race was not considered nor was it ruled upon by the court. State v. Wells, 965 So.2d 834 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007)

7 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Background – Rep. Soto (Orange, Osceola counties) is expected to file a bill this session to clarify vagueness in the law, add spectator activity to the existing law, and to enhance penalties. Senator Constantine is expected to file a companion bill. Bills not yet filed.

8 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Background – Orange County Sheriffs office has requested the BCC enact a spectator ordinance so that deputies may cite spectators at illegal drag races. Approximately a dozen cities and at least one county in California have such an ordinance. (The County Attorneys office made inquiry but received no response from these localities on their experience in enacting and enforcing these ordinances.)

9 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Background – Is the unlawful assembly provision in law an enforcement option? Sheriffs counsel has opined that unlawful assembly is not a viable option to enforce spectator activity because spectators congregating at an illegal drag race is not an unlawful act.

10 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law

11 Enforcement Options – There is no provision in Florida law at this time for spectators. The County is not preempted from enacting a spectator ordinance. The County can create an ordinance to make it a violation to be knowingly present at a drag race.

12 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Enforcement Options -- Enforcement could be by one of two options: 1. Criminal Penalty (1-9, Code) or 2. Civil Infraction (article III, chapter 11 of the Code)

13 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Enforcement Options -- Criminal penalty Process:Notice to Appear or arrest made by Sheriffs deputies at time of offense. Penalty:Determined in court. Can be up to 60 days in jail, fine of up to $500. Section 1-9, County Code, and Section , FS

14 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Enforcement Options -- Criminal penalty Enforced by Sheriffs deputies. Penalty determined by the court. Fine is paid to the court. Per revisions to Article V of the Florida Constitution County pays for prosecution by the state attorney and defense by public defender or conflict counsel if necessary.

15 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Enforcement Options - Civil infraction Process:Civil citation is issued by County Code Enforcement Officers. Penalty:As provided in the code but fine cannot exceed $500. Article III, Chapter 11, County Code, and Part II, Chapter 162, FS

16 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Enforcement Options -- Civil infraction County could designate Sheriffs deputies as code enforcement officers for this purpose. Fines go to the County. Citation may be contested in court in an administrative process. State attorney/public defender do not handle the case.

17 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law

18 Requested Action – Direction is requested from the Mayor and BCC on how to proceed 1.Await Legislative action on this matter in the 2008 session. 2.Prepare an ordinance regulating spectators at illegal drag races in unincorporated Orange County a.Providing for enforcement as a civil infraction or b.Providing for enforcement as a criminal offense.

19 Illegal Street Racing & Drag Racing in Florida Law Presented By Dana Crosby County Attorneys Office February 5, 2008

20 Background –Background – Violation of the illegal drag racing law --Violation of the illegal drag racing law -- First offense –First offense – Fine not less than $500 or more than $1000.Fine not less than $500 or more than $1000. Defendant can face up to 1 year in jail.Defendant can face up to 1 year in jail. Drivers license revoked for one year.Drivers license revoked for one year. Second offense within five years –Second offense within five years – Fine not less than $500 or more than $1000.Fine not less than $500 or more than $1000. Defendant can face up to 1 year in jail.Defendant can face up to 1 year in jail. Drivers license revoked for two years.Drivers license revoked for two years. s (2)(a) & (b), FS s (2)(a) & (b), FS


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