Fleeing and Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer

Fleeing a law enforcement officer is a serious crime in the state of Florida, and may result in both prison time and revocation of your driver’s license. The crime occurs when the driver of a vehicle willfully refuses to stop after being ordered to by law enforcement. This crime also occurs when someone leaves the scene of a crash, having knowledge of an order to stop by a law enforcement officer. The charge is upgraded when the driver flees at a high speed, and is further upgraded if any bodily injury or death occurs while fleeing. If you or someone you know has been charged with this crime, contact an aggressive Tampa criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. today.

When is an Action Considered Fleeing a Law Enforcement Officer?

Florida Statute 316.1935 defines this crime as any person operating a vehicle, who has knowledge that they have been ordered to stop by an authorized law enforcement officer, who willfully flees or attempts to flee without stopping. This crime is specific to motor vehicles, and occurs only when a person flees by driving away. In order to be convicted of this crime, it must be proven that you knowingly and willingly fled after being given an order to stop.

Penalties for Fleeing and Eluding

The penalties for this crime can be quite severe, even for a first-time offender. Under Florida law, there are a few different categories that the crime can be classified under, each with its own set of penalties. Fleeing and eluding with no aggravating circumstances is considered a third-degree felony. This crime is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000. Any conviction for a crime relating to fleeing and eluding results in a mandatory driver’s license revocation of at least one year.

Fleeing and eluding law enforcement by driving at high speeds while sirens and lights are activated is considered a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a fine of up to $10,000. Fleeing and eluding by driving at high speeds while sirens and lights are activated, causing serious bodily injury, is a first-degree felony. This crime is punishable by 30 years in prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 3 years.

Defenses to Fleeing and Eluding

Because this crime requires knowledge, there are possible defenses that can be introduced by your skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney. It may be that you were not aware of the order to stop, or you were not aware that the person ordering you was an authorized law enforcement officer. Another possible defense may be that there were extenuating circumstances that did not allow you to stop your vehicle. Hiring an aggressive Tampa criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. will allow you to focus on your family and career while we defend your case.

Call Pallegar Law, P.A. Today

If you or someone you know has been charged with fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, call a knowledgeable Tampa criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. Call 813.444.3912 for a free consultation.

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