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Refusing a traffic stop and fleeing police is illegal in California. You will be charged with Vehicle Code Section 2800.1, which states that evading a police officer while operating a vehicle is a crime.
Evading a police officer can bring the attachment of other charges, as well. It is unlawful to delay or obstruct a police officer from performing designated duties. If you leave your car and run away on foot, you will be charged with resisting arrest – PC 148(a)(1). This crime is a misdemeanor in California. A year in jail and a fine of $1000 or both is the penalty for conviction.
Charges of recklessly evading a police officer, VC2800.2, may result from fleeing a police officer and disregarding the safety of other drivers, pedestrians or property. This crime can be considered a misdemeanor resulting in six months to a year in jail, $1000 fine or both. If the crime is raised to a felony charge, an individual faces a maximum fine of $10,000, up to three years in a California state prison or both.
If fleeing a police officer in a vehicle causes injury or death to another person, misdemeanor charges or felony charges may be brought to bear. A year in county jail, $2000 in fines or both is the misdemeanor penalty. If the charges are those of a felony, up to seven years in state prison will be maximum, and a $10.000 fine.
These facts must be presented to convict you of evading a police officer.
1. The officer was in pursuit in a motor vehicle.
2. You were operating a motor vehicle and fled a police officer when required to stop.
3. The police car had a red light visible to all.
4. You deliberately failed to recognize the clearly visible red light.
5. The police car siren was sounded.
6. The officer’s vehicle was clearly marked as a law enforcement vehicle and the police officer wore the uniform of law enforcement.
If you are accused of the crime of evading a peace officer, you must avail yourself of the services of a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. The best possible defense for you will be to prove:
No willful intent.
You did not respond to the officer and pull your car over immediately because it was unsafe in traffic to do so. Evading a peace officer is prosecuted through intent to evade.
The police officer did not use proper procedure.
If the officer made a motion to you suggesting that you pull over, and you did not understand what the officer meant, that is improper procedure. A gesture cannot be a reasonable demand for you to pull over on the highway. The officer must employ a siren on a car with distinct law enforcement markings and be dressed in a police uniform.
You were involved in an emergency.
A valid defense to evading a police officer might be a medical emergency demanding that you continue your course and reach a hospital as quickly as possible, without stopping at the request of a police officer.
It is important to understand that evading a police officer is a serious charge that often incurs additional charges. A Los Angeles criminal attorney can assist you in preparing your defense if you are charged with Vehicle Code Section 2800.1, evading a peace officer.