Fleeing a police officer is never a good idea and in Florida, if you are charged with eluding arrest or fleeing, you could be facing felony charges that could result in a loss of your driving privileges, voting rights and mandatory jail time. Fleeing and eluding is covered under Florida Statute 316.1935 and involves failing to stop for police when you are requested to do so in a motor vehicle.
What is fleeing or eluding?
When a police officer attempts a stop on a roadway, motorists are required to pull over. When you fail to stop for law enforcement, you could be facing charges of eluding. If you have been stopped and then leave the area of the stop, you are considered to be fleeing.
What is aggravated fleeing or eluding?
In the event a law enforcement officer attempts to pull you over and you fail to stop, that is considered eluding. However, the penalties for eluding can be enhanced if any of these situations occur:
- When lights and sirens are visible and the driver continues at a high rate of speed or drives recklessly.
- When someone suffers bodily injury or death due to someone fleeing a law enforcement officer.
Florida drivers are required to pull over upon a signal from a law enforcement officer even when they believe they have done nothing wrong. Fleeing or eluding charges can be proven when the police officer can prove:
- You were driving on Florida streets or highway.
- You were ordered to stop and remain stopped.
- You willfully refuse to stop.
- You stopped and then fled in an attempt to elude police.
If you are approached by law enforcement officers it is always a good idea to follow any instructions they give you. While you may not feel you have done anything wrong, the potential criminal charges you could face for fleeing or eluding could be far more serious than you think. If you are convicted of fleeing a police officer, you could face some of the following penalties:
- Five years in prison
- Probation of five years
- Fines of up to $5,000
- Up to 5 years loss of driving rights
These charges are very serious; if you are stopped and one of the charges you are facing is fleeing or eluding, contact Attorney James Davis, a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney. I’m prepared to listen to your side and help you mount a successful defense.