Do screeching tires violate the law? Do you need an attorney who can defend you in a speed contest or exhibition of speed prosecution? We can help.
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To answer the hypothetical question posed above: YES, screeching tires can violate California traffic and criminal law. Specifically, California Vehicle Code section 23109 prohibits “…speed contest…” and “…speed… exhibition…”. As discussed in People v. Grier in 1964 decision of the California Court of Appeals, “…screeching…. and… peeling…tires…” can be a violation of California Vehicle Code section 23109 because it can be perceived and determined to be an exhibition of speed.
In that case, Santa Monica City prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against one Gordon Grier after he drove off from a private driveway to a public street with his tires making a screeching noise. Mr. Grier proceeded to drive in the same manner to the “boulevard” and once again drove causing his tires to screech. In court Mr. Grier waived a jury trial and proceeded to have a court trial. After the prosecution presented its case through a police officer’s testimony, Mr. Grier testified that he had no intention to drive in violation of the law but his tired could have made “slipping noise” but he did not hear anything. The court convicted Mr. Grier of violating California Vehicle Code section 23109 and he promptly appealed arguing that he was not speeding. The court of appeal affirmed the conviction finding that even a person who is not speeding could be guilty of exhibition of speed when he or she causes tires to screech. The court reasoned that such driving can make other drivers nervous and increases likelihood of an accident. The court added that such driving can also endanger safety of bystanders who can be, for example, injured by flying gravel when the tires skid on it. The screeching tires alone are not enough to find a person guilty because there could be a circumstance when a driver causes the car tires to screech without an intention to cause “exhibition of speed”. Yet, in this case, the screeching tires together with other evidence was determined to be sufficient evidence for conviction of the defendant.
Notice that not only screeching tires is a sufficient basis for a police stop (which along with other conduct is how many DUI investigations in Los Angeles start) but also, it is a basis in itself for an arrest for a crime of exhibition of speed or speed contest.
Defending cases like this requires assistance of skilled practitioners who can convince judges and prosecutors to reduce the charges or dismisses cases. If you or your loved one is charged with speed contest or exhibition of speed or other criminal or traffic offenses, please contact our office day or night. Our direct number is (323) 464-6424 and we can help you beat your case.
P.S. Convictions for California Vehicle Code section 23109 do carry consequence of probation, an exposure of up to 90 days in the county jail, and some fine. However, in Los Angeles DUI courts, a plea to exhibition of speed is often viewed as a great alternative to settle DUI cases without pleading to DUI or a “wet reckless”. A “wet reckless” is a not as favorable resolution as an “exhibition of speed” because a “wet reckless” conviction is priorable to a drunk driving prosecution, where as exhibition of speed is not. A prosecutor will often offer an exhibition of speed when there is problem of proof in their drunk driving prosecution (such as the blood alcohol level is too low or there is little evidence of driving). Many of our cases settled for exhibition of speed in violation of California Vehicle Code 23109 when defendant’s were accused of drunk driving. If you are attempting to settle your case without going to trial, please call us. Depending on facts of your offense, it is quite possible that we can settle your case for an exhibition of speed or another low level drunk driving non-priorable misdemeanor.