Legal Dictionary

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Exhibition Of Speed

Exhibition of Speed (also known as “Speed Ex”) in California refers to those drivers who engage in an “exhibition of speed” or “speed contests” on California streets or highways. California law defines an exhibition of speed as a driver who accelerates or drives at a rate of speed that is dangerous and unsafe in order to show off or make an impression on someone else. Exhibition of Speed is covered under Vehicle Code Section 23109(c). It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in county jail.

Occasionally, Exhibition of Speed or Speed Ex is the charge offered by prosecutors when they have a weak or flawed DUI (Driving Under the Influence) case against the defendant. Weaknesses in a DUI case include lack of credibility of the arresting officer, mistakes in the police report, and low blood or breath samples. The penalties associated with a reduction to an Exhibition of Speed include less jail, a reduced fine, and a shorter probationary time. In addition, there are no license suspensions or SR-22 filing requirements. An Exhibition of Speed is not considered a priorable offense and will not be counted as a prior drunk driving offense if a driver gets charged with DUI in the future.

An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to successfully negotiate for an Exhibition of Speed charge when there are weaknesses in the prosecutor's case.