TACDL
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Tennessee Bar Association
National College of DUI Defense
iapp
DUI Defense Lawyers Association

Drag Racing

Recently, MNPD arrested 19-year-old Orlando Stuart and charged him with felony evading, drag racing and reckless driving. Stuart was allegedly racing a motorcycle on I-40 in a black Dodge Charger, reaching speeds over 100 mph. Officers did not chase Stuart, instead the MNPD helicopter followed his vehicle all the way back to his home in Hendersonville. Click here to view the News Channel 5 article.

If you are arrested for drag racing, you may face similar charges. Below is a breakdown of Stuart’s charges.  

Felony Evading is governed by T.C.A. § 39-16-603. Under this statute it is unlawful to intentionally conceal yourself or flee from a police officer when the officer is attempting to arrest you or has already done so. Evading arrest is typically a Class A misdemeanor; however, you may be charged with a Class E felony if you use a motor vehicle to evade arrest. A Class E felony carries a sentence of 1 to 6 years and conviction under this section requires that you serve a minimum of 30 days in jail. If the attempt to elude police creates a risk of death or serious bodily injury to bystanders, police officers, or other 3 rd parties the violation is a Class D felony. A Class D felony carries a range of 2 to 12 years in jail and a conviction under this section requires the person to serve a minimum of 60 days in jail.

Drag Racing is defined by T.C.A. § 55-10-501 as (A) driving a motor vehicle to reach the maximum speed obtainable by the vehicle; (B) driving a motor vehicle to reach the maximum speed obtainable by the vehicle within a certain distance or time limit; (C) using 1 or more vehicles to compare the speeds of each vehicle or for comparing the speeds of the vehicles for a certain distance or time limit; (D) using 1 or more vehicle to outgain, outdistance, or arrive at a given destination simultaneous with or prior to any other motor vehicle; or (E) using a vehicle to accept a challenge regarding the performance abilities of 1 or more vehicles. A conviction under this statute is a Class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of 11 month and 29 days. If the drag racing results in the serious bodily injury of a participant, bystander, or other person then you may be charged with vehicular assault.

T.C.A. § 55-10-205 defines reckless driving as driving a vehicle in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property. A conviction under this section is a Class B misdemeanor which carries a maximum 6-month sentence.

To address drag racing in Nashville, MNPD created the Street Racer Initiative. This crack down will likely lead to a multitude of arrests. If arrested, it is important to hire an attorney immediately because in addition to facing jail time and fines, you could be required to forfeit the vehicle involved in the charged offense.