Fleeing and Eluding
Of all the potential offenses concerning driving with which an individual in the state of Georgia can be charged, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer is one of the most serious. Individuals who are arrested on this charge are often involved in a situation where law enforcement believes that the individual was trying to flee after being ordered to stop the individual’s vehicle.
In many circumstances, individuals flee from law enforcement because the individual has a suspended license, a warrant exist for the individual’s arrest, or the individual has drugs or alcohol in the motor vehicle. Individuals who are charged with fleeing and eluding offense often find it essential to follow two recommended actions: it is a wise idea to quickly retain the services of skilled legal counsel after being charged with fleeing and eluding as well as to understand some of the key details about how these types of charges are made.
Applicable Georgia Law
There are several applicable Georgia laws concerning fleeing and eluding. Law in the state of Georgia makes it illegal for a motor vehicle driver to fail or refuse to bring the individual’s vehicle to a stop in response to law enforcement vehicle or law enforcement officer when auditory or visual signals are provided indicating the law enforcement desires for the individual to stop.
Some of the examples of fleeing and eluding charges include the following offenses:
- Intentionally attempting to flee pursuit by law enforcement by ignoring visual or audible signals, hand gestures or vocal command, or flashing emergency lights or siren.
- Intentionally refusing to stop for a motor vehicle.
- Willful refusal to stop a motor vehicle.
Motor vehicle drivers have an obligation to stop their vehicle when law enforcement provides a signal.to pull over the side of the road to bring a motor vehicle to a complete stop. Motorists can be charged with attempting to evade arrest provided the individual performs one of the following actions:
- Colliding with another vehicle,
- Driving twenty miles per hour above the speed limit,
- Flee in traffic conditions that place the general public at risk of injury,
- Hit another vehicle or pedestrian in such a manner as to cause a motor vehicle accident,
- Motor vehicle drivers who speed, cause a motor vehicle collision or endanger others on the road, or
- Operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Additional charges will result in an individual being charged with a felony of up to five years in state prison can be raised if a motor vehicle operator while fleeing or attempting to escape a law enforcement vehicle performs one of several activities including: operating the individual’s vehicle in excess of twenty miles an hour above the posted speed limit, striking or colliding with another vehicle or a pedestrian, fleeing in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk for receiving serious injuries or fatalities occur, the individual has a blood alcohol content level over .08 grams, or the individual leaves the state of Georgia.
A similar but unique charge is that an individual in the state of Georgia is prohibited from impersonating a law enforcement officer if that individual is not a law enforcement officer in order to avoid arrest. The resulting charges from this type of offense are particularly severe.
Potential Defenses to a Fleeing and Eluding Charge
While fleeing and eluding is treated as a particularly serious offense in the state of Georgia, there are several potential defenses that can often be raised in response to such a charge. A law enforcement officer must have unambiguously requested for a motor vehicle driver to stop, which means individuals can respond that it was uncertain whether the law enforcement officer desired for the individual to stop. Other times, an individual is simply not guilty of a fleeing and eluding charge or an individual has a reasonable explanation for why the event happened. In order to raise the strongest defense possible, the assistance of a skilled attorney is often essential.
The Consequences of Being Charged with Fleeing and Eluding
Being charged with fleeing law enforcement often results in individual facing a high and aggravated misdemeanor. An individual convicted of such an offense can expect between five hundred to five thousand dollars. Individuals can also face between ten days to twelve months in prison due to such a charge.
A second charge of eluding law enforcement can result in fines between one thousand to five thousand dollars and between thirty days to one year in jail.
A third offense of eluding law enforcement can cause an individual to face fines between two thousand five hundred to five thousand dollars in fines and between ninety days to one year in jail.
In many cases, fleeing and eluding charges arise in addition to charges of reckless driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A significant number of driving under the influence cases in Georgia each occur include motorists who attempt to escape the scene of the accident in an effort to avoid fleeing and eluding charges and are subsequently charged with driving under the influence.
How A Talented Traffic Ticket Attorney Can Help
Motor vehicle operators who are charged with fleeing and eluding must remember that in order to be charged with such an offense, law enforcement must demonstrate that the individual both knows that the individual has been told to stop by law enforcement and proven to have failed to stop after knowing that law enforcement tried to stop the individual
If you are charged with fleeing and eluding in the state of Georgia, it is often an extremely wise idea to retain the services of a skilled attorney who can help defend against such a charge. A skilled attorney like the legal counsel at Yeargan, Barber & Kert is often able to help individuals reach a significantly reduced charge or to even avoid being charged at all. Our law firm understands the strong legal representation that these types of cases require and are willing to begin providing you with assistance in your fleeing and eluding case today.