Criminal Offense of Attempting to Elude
It is against the law to attempt to elude a police officer by willfully failing to stop a vehicle if the officer gives you an audible or visual signal to stop and the police officer is in uniform, prominently displaying a badge or other insignia. If a police officer is in an appropriately marked official police vehicle when he or she gives the signal stop, whether or not the officer is in uniform, the vehicle driver may not attempt to elude the officer by willfully failing to stop the vehicle.
The penalties for attempting to elude a police officer vary by state. For example, in Georgia, for a first offense an individual is subject to fines of anywhere between $500 to $5,000 and jail time no less that 10 days and no more than 12 months. For a second offense, the fines increase and the jail time increases to at least 30 days and no more than 12 months. However, in Michigan fleeing and eluding is a fourth-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $500, or both. In addition to fines and incarceration, many states revoke or suspend the driver’s license of a person found guilty of fleeing and eluding.
The offense of fleeing or eluding an officer is justified on the basis that a motorist seeking to escape the scrutiny of an approaching police officer poses a threat to the public. If you have been charged with fleeing or eluding a police officer you should immediately contact an experienced criminal attorney. An attorney will be able to advise you on how to proceed in order to best protect your legal rights.
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