23109 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.
“Exhibition of Speed” is a little known California law. It was originally designed to criminalize drag races and other racing behavior on public roads. The idea is that you cannot race or test out the maximum speed of your vehicle on a roadway, and that if you do, you are guilty of a crime that’s more serious than just speeding. (The law goes on to outlaw helping someone else, such as by timing them or closing off roadways). The activity is seen as reckless and aggressive, and therefore dangerous.
But it’s much less serious than DUI, which is why it makes an excellent plea bargain in a California DUI case. Consider the difference in penalties between the two crimes:
- Jail time of 2 days to 6 months
- Fines and fees totaling $1,800 minimum
- Mandatory DUI school
- Mandatory driver’s license suspension
Exhibition of Speed
- Jail time of 1 day to 3 months, or no jail time at all
- Fines of $355 to $1,000
- No mandatory DUI school
- No mandatory driver’s license suspension (possible suspension up to 6 months)
Most importantly, an exhibition of speed conviction does not count as a prior DUI on your record. That means if you get another DUI in the future, it will be treated as a first time DUI without any extra penalties. This can save you tens of thousands of dollars and years of headaches.
Not every DUI can be downgraded to VC 23109. One of the biggest factors is how good your legal representation is. If you have an experienced DUI lawyer, they will know what to say and what evidence to present to push the prosecutor into a corner. At that point the prosecutor is more likely to offer you a way out. Taking an exhibition of speed charge instead of DUI could be that way out.
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.