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Evading a Police Officer

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In California, it is illegal to flee from a pursuing police officer. There are a variety of circumstances in which this may occur. Understanding the laws surrounding this type of case can help you know how to handle your situation. 

What is Evading a Police Officer?

According to California state law, evading a police officer is any act in which a person knowingly eluded an officer after they have given you a command to stop. You can be accused of evading a police officer on foot or in a vehicle. The pursuing officer can either be in a marked vehicle, an official police vehicle, or on a bicycle. A common example is if an officer turns on their sirens/lights to pull you over and you deliberately drive faster and away from them. 

Common Defenses 

In this type of case, the intent is a key factor. In your case, you might try to prove that you had no intent to flee from the officer. Examples of this would be if you were not able to safely pull over or if you honestly did not know you were being asked to pull over. Another common defense is if you are in an emergency situation, such as rushing to a hospital, and you do not pull over. Further defenses include a lack of evidence or if the officer was not following correct police procedure. Talking with an attorney can help you determine the best course of action for your case. 

Consequences of Conviction 

If you have been convicted of evading a police officer, you face several potential penalties. In California, you will typically face a misdemeanor charge. You may be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail. You can also be fined up to $1000. There is also a possibility of receiving both. It is also typical for any vehicles involved to be impounded for up to 30 days. Keep in mind that passengers in a vehicle may also be charged with evading an officer if they encourage the driver to elude the police.  As with many crimes, there are plenty of nuances surrounding evading an officer. Working with an attorney can help you understand the specific circumstances related to your situation and they can help you build your case.  Were you recently convicted of evading a police officer? Click here to learn more and get in contact with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.   

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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