• Coastal South Law

Is Street Racing Legal in North Carolina?

On TV and in the movies, street racing is a popular and acceptable hobby, but in North Carolina, it is against the law. Street racing can lead to severe injuries or even death, so it is essential to know that the law is strict in prohibiting it.


Penalties for Street Racing in North Carolina


The penalties for street racing in North Carolina often include the following:

License Revocation

License revocation is a common penalty in the state of North Carolina when it comes to street racing. This requirement is put in place to discourage future street racing.


While licenses are often revoked for up to three years, the state has an 18-month good behavior requirement before an applicant can apply for a new license. So, even if you have had your license revoked for three years, if you have no other new offenses on record, you can apply for a new one in as little as 18 months from the date of your first driver's license revocation.


Vehicle Seizure

Vehicle seizure is a common law enforcement tactic used to prevent or stop future street racing. If you are caught street racing in North Carolina, you can expect your vehicle to be seized. This means that the police can take your car away and may not give it back to you unless you have a valid court order that acquits you of all street racing charges.

If you are not the owner of the vehicle, the sheriff's office may decide to return the vehicle to the owner, provided the vehicle owner pays a bond that is double the value of the car's total worth. The sheriff may also release the vehicle to the owner in specific circumstances where the owner can prove that they did not know about (or did not consent to) the use of their vehicle in the street racing competition.


In whichever case, if the automobile has been modified to drive faster, the court will order the removal and destruction of any performance-enhancing additions or modifications to a vehicle if they can be used to violate lawfully established speed limits.

Criminal Prosecution

Depending on the circumstances of the case, street racing in North Carolina could be classified as a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor. If street racing is prosecuted as a class 1 misdemeanor, the maximum punishment that a person can receive is 120 days in jail. However, there is no maximum fine amount. The fine you will be asked to pay depends on the court. If street racing is prosecuted as a class 2 misdemeanor, the maximum punishment a person can receive is 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.


It is important to note that the following people may be prosecuted:

  • Drivers who participate in a staged race

  • A willful vehicle owner who made their vehicle available for the race

  • People who bet on the street races

What Can You Do if You Have Been Caught Participating in a Street Race in North Carolina?


If you have been caught participating in a street race, it is important that you contact a lawyer at our firm as soon as possible. Our attorneys can help you get the charges reduced or dropped. Our lawyers are experienced in this aspect of the law and will be able to help you understand your legal options and defend your case.

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