The Issues and Penalties of Eluding Law Enforcement

Eluding Law Enforcement

We have all seen car chases on TV - we watch in suspense as we wonder if the driver will get away or if the cops will catch up and arrest the elusive driver. Even though it seems exciting to watch on TV, eluding a law enforcement officer is a serious crime that comes with severe penalties; including prison or having your driver’s license revoked.

The Issues With Eluding an Officer

While the precise definition of eluding an officer can vary from state to state, the basic definition of eluding an officer is when a driver disobeys an officer’s command to stop whether you are in a vehicle or on foot.

In Florida, it is against the law (FL. Stat. 316.1935) to flee or attempt to elude a law enforcement officer.

  • If the driver of a vehicle has knowledge that they have been ordered to stop; but refuses or fails to stop the vehicle.
  • Any person willfully fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement.
  • Any person who drives at high speed and demonstrates a disregard for the safety of people or property.
  • Any person causing serious injury or death to any person, including law enforcement caused by them eluding a law enforcement officer.
  • Any person unlawfully leaving the scene of a crash.

Penalties for Fleeing and Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer

Penalties for fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer are severe. Even first-time offenders have a significant possibility of receiving jail time.

  • Fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer with no aggravating circumstances is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a $5,000 fine and revocation of the driver’s license.
  • Fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer when police sirens and lights are activated is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a $5,000 fine and revocation of the driver’s license.
  • Fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer when police sirens and lights are activated with reckless or high-speed driving causing serious injury or death is a first-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 3 and up to 30 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and revocation of the driver’s license.

Common Defenses to Fleeing and Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer

You may be found not guilty if your attorney can prove:

  • You were too afraid to pull over because you were in an unsafe area or since the police car was unmarked and were not convinced it was an actual law enforcement officer asking you to pull over.
  • If you were distracted by your phone, another passenger, or under the influence of alcohol and can prove you did not intentionally disobey the officer’s command.
  • The patrol car did not have markings making it distinguishable from a civilian vehicle. An official patrol car must have sirens, logos, and insignia.

Ron Chapman, Palm Beach County’s Premier Criminal Defense Attorney

In cases of resisting arrest, the prosecutor always has to prove that the law enforcement officers were engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty and that the defendant’s actions amounted to obstruction or resistance of that lawful duty.

A police officer will sometimes call out to someone on the street, and that person will intentionally ignore the officer and walk away. The officer, upset by the fact that the individual has ignored his call, then commands the person to stop whereupon he arrests that individual for resisting arrest without violence.

Such an arrest is unlawful because the officer had no legal right to command the person to stop simply because he walked away from the officer. The officer was not engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty. If you are accused of fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer, call Ronald Chapman to assist.

Defense Attorney West Palm Beach

Ronald Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help.

Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website.

Visit us at https://www.justiceflorida.com/ You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ronald Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.

 

Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis Street, Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
561-832-4348

 

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