Bigger & Harman - June 2022

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Sideshows have gained popularity since the pandemic, leading to an increase in arrests for reckless driving and speeding. This activity is dangerous and illegal for participants and bystanders. It also earns a misdemeanor that will scar your record for life. Let’s look at the history of sideshows and how they helped create AB-3, which allows the court to suspend the licenses of drivers caught participating in these activities. WHAT ARE SIDESHOWS? At first, these shows were for car owners to show off their cars and their modifications — it was simply a car show. However, it led to drivers doing burnouts and doughnuts in mall parking lots. Other illegal activities soon evolved with this event. The sideshows went from being conducted in empty parking lots to highways across California. The promoters would block off entire streets so participants could race one another. In 2002, a woman named U’Kendra K. Johnson died when Eric Crawford, driver of a car fleeing a sideshow (to avoid the police), hit the car she was riding in. This incident shows how dangerous these events are; thus, the U’Kendra K. Johnson Memorial Act was created. This allows law enforcement to impound vehicles used in reckless driving and racing activities. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES? If you’re caught participating in or watching a sideshow, the misdemeanor charge could lead to 90 days in jail, a base fine of $500, and additional fees from the state and county. HOW DID THEY LEAD TO AB-3? Because this activity is dangerous and life-threatening, lawmakers wanted to make the penalties harsher to deter individuals from watching and participating in sideshows. The assembly bill makes it easier for the courts to suspend a driver’s license for between 90 days and six months. They could also restrict the driver to only driving to and from work. Numerous tragedies have occurred because of sideshows, and lawmakers want to prevent future tragedies. If you found yourself in a reckless driving situation or speed contest, contact Bigger & Harman before making a statement to law enforcement. This charge can ruin your record, and we want to help guide you through this process. We’ve many years of experience defending the rights of drivers like you. We can discuss your circumstances and the likely outcomes. As always, our consultations are free. What Are Sideshows? AND HOW DID THEY LEAD TO AB-3?

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