The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Fleeing police is a felony offense

Escaping trouble is human nature. It is a form of self- preservation to avoid something that may cause us harm. However, when that escape involves fleeing from police, many drivers end up with even more trouble than they bargained for.

When a driver fails to stop for police, it can lead to a pursuit, which places many lives in jeopardy, potentially including innocent bystanders. That is why Florida laws against fleeing and eluding police are quite strict with penalties that can be severe. If you are facing such charges, you have every right to feel concerned and every reason to seek dependable legal counsel.

The elements of the crime

The activation of police lights or siren is the issuance of an order to stop and pull over. If you failed to do so as soon as it was safe, the officer may have assumed you intended to flee or were evading arrest. There may be numerous reasons why you did not stop after police issue an order. Perhaps you had been drinking, and you already had previous DUI convictions on your record. Maybe when the lights began to flash, you panicked and hit the gas without thinking.

No matter the reason, you may now be facing felony charges that could derail your future. These charges may be added to the original offense, for example driving while impaired. However, the prosecution will first have to prove the following in court:

  • That you were the driver of the vehicle that fled
  • That you intentionally fled in your vehicle to evade Florida police officers who were pursuing you
  • That police made obvious attempts to pull you over by flashing at least one red light
  • That you saw or should have seen the light from the front of the police vehicle
  • That officers utilized a siren to alert you of their presence behind you
  • That the vehicle pursuing you was clearly marked as a law enforcement vehicle
  • That the person driving the vehicle was wearing a police uniform

A conviction for felony evading police can lead to harsh penalties, including years in prison, thousands in fines and a lifetime of struggle to recover from the consequences. However, with a skilled attorney, you may be able to fight the charges by presenting a solid defense, which may include an explanation of extenuating circumstances or evidence that the above-listed elements of the crimes are not present.

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