Los Angeles Evading a Peace Officer
EVADING A POLICE OFFICER: SERIOUS CHARGES AND POSSIBLE DEFENSES
Evading a police officer is against the law in California. If you are caught doing it, you may be charged with a crime under Vehicle Code Section 2800.1. Engaging in this illegal activity may also see you facing another charge because it is unlawful to delay or obstruct a police officer from performing prescribed duties. If you try to evade a cop by running away on foot, you will be charged with resisting arrest under PC 148(a)(1), which is a misdemeanor in California. If you are found guilty of this crime, the maximum penalty you will face is a year’s jail term, a fine of $1000, or both.
Moreover, if you disregard the safety of other road users or pedestrians when fleeing, you may also be charged with recklessly evading a police officer, which can attract up to six months to a year in jail, a fine of $1000, or a combination of both, depending on whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. However, you risk even more severe charges if your action of fleeing a police officer results in an accident that causes injury or death to another person. In such cases, you may face misdemeanor or felony charges, attracting a year in county jail, a fine of up to $2000, or both or a maximum of seven years in state prison and a fine of $10,000.
The prosecutor needs to present some facts in court to prove that you violated Vehicle Code Section 2800.1. These include:
The officer was in pursuit in a motor vehicle.
You were operating a motor vehicle and fled a police officer when required to stop.
The police car had a visible red light.
You deliberately failed to stop at the visible red light.
The officer’s siren was sounded.
The officer’s vehicle was identifiable as a law enforcement vehicle, and the police officer wore the uniform of law enforcement.
To prove your innocence, you will need to provide solid evidence backed by a competent Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. One possible defense is to prove that you had no willful intent of violating the law. You might also show that you did not pull over immediately when asked because it was unsafe to do so in traffic. In most instances, evading a peace officer is prosecuted through the intent to evade, and if you can show that you had no such intention, then your case may be dismissed.
A competent criminal defense lawyer can also challenge the police officer’s actions, proving that they did not use proper protocols. For example, an officer should employ a siren on a car with distinct law enforcement markings, dressed in a police uniform, and verbally request a driver to pull over. If the officer made a gesture, assuming that you would understand that you were required to stop, and you did not, this is an improper procedure, and can work in your favor.
Another defense strategy you can use is to show that you were involved in an emergency. If you can demonstrate that you needed to get to a hospital as quickly as possible because of a medical emergency, your course of action might be excused under the law.
In conclusion, evading a police officer is an offense that attracts severe penalties in California, including additional charges for any damage or injury you may cause while fleeing. However, with the assistance of an experienced Los Angeles criminal attorney, you can prepare a robust defense and fight the charges against you.
CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS