Crashes from Street Racing: The Consequences of Collateral Property Damage

Posted by Doug Murphy | Mar 23, 2023 | 0 Comments

Drag racing is nothing new in Texas and the U.S. For decades, our movies, books, and the media have glorified street racing and the racers behind the wheel. But street racing is on the rise, and when it happens on public streets, innocent bystanders can get hurt. At a recent 2K drag race event, police arrested more than 100 people over five days for illegal street racing on highways and freeways near the event at the Baytown drag strip.

With the increase in street racing on Houston-area streets, more accidents and injuries are inevitable. As a result, the police and local officials are cracking down on drag racing. If you're caught up in a street racing arrest, you need an expert in criminal defense law, like Doug Murphy, to protect your rights. Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm at 713-229-8333.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

If you're involved in any crash in Texas that results in someone injured, property damage, or damage to another car, you must remain at the scene of the accident, provide your name and information to others involved, and help if needed. See Tex. Transp. Code § 550.022 (2005). You also have a duty to stop if you damage a home or city, or state property like a “structure, fixture, or highway landscaping.” Tex. Transp. Code § 550.025 (2017).

If you leave the scene of an accident that caused property damage or injuries, you could face a Class B or Class C misdemeanor, depending on the amount of damage. In Texas, a Class C misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to $500 in fines, while a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Responsibility for Property Damage

You can also be responsible for any property damage that results from an alleged street racing incident, including damage to other cars, nearby property like homes or yards, state or local property such as street signs and barriers, or other property. You could face charges for reckless damage or criminal mischief in addition to street racing charges.

The police can charge criminal mischief as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of your crash. In other states, this charge is often called vandalism or malicious destruction of property. Still, the statute in Texas is broad enough to cover accidents involving reckless or intentional behavior that damage property. The offense can range from a Class C misdemeanor to serious felony charges.

Reckless damage in Texas is a Class C misdemeanor, but you could face this charge on top of additional charges for street racing or criminal mischief. Under the statutes, “[a] person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, he recklessly damages or destroys property of the owner.” Tex. Pen. Code § 28.04 (1994). A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to a $500 fine.

You Need an Expert in Texas Criminal Defense

If you're facing a street racing charge or charges related to an injury or accident that happened during an alleged drag racing event, the consequences can be serious. But you are innocent until proven guilty; you need an expert in criminal defense law to protect your rights and prepare the best possible defense. Attorney Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas attorneys Board Certified in both Texas Criminal Defense Law and DWI Defense. This makes Doug an expert in these specialty areas of the law, well-versed in handling complex felony criminal cases, and with extensive litigation experience.

U.S. News and World Report's Best Lawyers in America also named Doug a “Lawyer of the Year” for Houston DWI Defense in 2023. Find out how Doug can help you too. Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm at 713-229-8333 or contact them online to schedule your consultation today.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


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