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Engaging Speed Contest Laws (VC 23109) in California

California Vehicle Code 23109(a): Speed Contest

Legal Definition: A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway.

For a person to be convicted of a violation of VC 23109, the prosecution must prove the following:

1. You drove a motor vehicle on a highway;


2. While so driving, you willfully engaged in an exhibition of speed.

What does this mean?

In other words, street racing, Fast & Furious style. Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage. A person engages in an exhibition of speed when he or she accelerates or drives at a rate of speed that is dangerous and unsafe in order to show off or make an impression on someone else.

A motor vehicle can include a commercial truck, a car, a bus, a motorcycle, or a tractor. The term highway describes any area publicly maintained and open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel, including streets, roads, dirt roads, and parking lots.

If you engage in a speed contest that leads to the injury of another person, not you, you may face more serious consequences. In some cases, the injury may be severe or serious.

A serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of physical condition, such as broken bones, wounds requiring extensive suturing, or disfigurement.


Engaging in a Speed Contest without any injury is a misdemeanor only, and you could be sentenced to County Jail for up to 90 days. If there is an injury in the speed contest, the charge is also a misdemeanor, where you could be sentenced to up to 180 days in County Jail. If there is a serious or severe injury, you could be sentenced to up to one year in County Jail as a misdemeanor, or up to 16 months, two or three years if convicted of this charge as a felony. You would be required to serve 50% of that time.

This is not a Strike Offense under California’s Three Strike Laws. You could also be forced to pay stiff fines and fees, for any car accident you cause, or injury someone suffers. The DMV will also likely suspend your license for a time period as well.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Insufficient Evidence
  3. Violation of your Rights
  4. Necessity

Many times this charge can be confused by police with standard speeding. Most people speed on highways, but simply because you’re speeding, does not make you guilty of essentially street racing. This can happen if you’re in a rush to get to the police and therefore speeding. But, in the process of speeding, another car sees you and tries to either catch up to you or might even just be in a rush as well. They follow you because you’re moving around the slower traffic. This is simply a speeding offense, but police can mistakenly assume both cars must be racing, simply because both cars are going fast.

Also, if for example, your friend were to receive a mortal wound, and you are driving them to the hospital, you very likely are speeding. Again, you are not engaging in a speed contest. You are instead, acting under the defense of necessity, where if you were not able to reach the hospital in time, your friend could pass away.

Call Today

Facing charges for violating VC 23109, commonly known as exhibiting in a speed contest, can dramatically impact your life and future. Beyond the immediate threat of a criminal conviction, the financial strain from fines and fees can be overwhelming. Additionally, the potential suspension of your driver’s license by the DMV could significantly hinder your ability to commute to work, further complicating your ability to settle any financial obligations arising from the case.

Why Choose Inland Empire Defense for VC 23109 Charges?

  • Specialized Legal Insight: Our Exhibiting Speed Contest Ontario attorney is adept at handling cases involving VC 23109 violations. This specialized knowledge is crucial for navigating the legal intricacies of speed contest charges and advocating effectively on your behalf.
  • Proven Track Record: We pride ourselves on our history of successfully defending clients against charges of exhibiting in a speed contest. Our approach is geared towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case, whether that means reduction of charges or complete dismissal.
  • Comprehensive Support: At Inland Empire Defense, we understand the broad impact of VC 23109 charges on your life. Our goal is to not only defend you legally but also to minimize the potential repercussions on your driving privileges and financial stability.

Embark on Your Defense Journey

The consequences of a VC 23109 charge do not have to dictate your future. With the right legal representation, you can navigate this challenging time with confidence. Inland Empire Defense is committed to providing you with the expert legal guidance and support needed to address both the immediate and long-term effects of your case.

Begin with a Free Initial Consultation

Take the first step towards protecting your future by reaching out to Inland Empire Defense today at 909-939-7126. Our initial consultation is complimentary, and we’re available to answer your questions and address your concerns 24/7. Located in Ontario, CA, our office is strategically positioned to offer you the dedicated and specialized legal representation you need when facing charges of exhibiting in a speed contest under VC 23109. Contact us now to start building a robust defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Does the attorney offer confidential consultations?

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Does the attorney offer payment plans?

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Is the consultation free?

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Are the consultations in person or only over the phone?

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Is the office open on weekends?

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Does the attorney serve all of California?

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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