Fleeing or Evading a Police Officer
You saw the flashing lights of the police in your rearview window, and you panicked. You acted on impulse. Instead of pulling over, you drove away as fast as you could. Whether the police caught you or not, you can be charged with fleeing or failing to comply with an order of law enforcement.
In Columbus, attempting to elude a police officer carries penalties that can include costly fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and even jail time.
As a former Prosecutor, I know both sides of the courtroom. I can help you.
What you need to know about Fleeing or Failure to Comply
You can be charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer in Columbus if you intentionally don’t pull over for the police.
In order to alert you to pull over, the police need to give you a signal you can see and/or hear. That signal can be any of the following:
- Emergency lights
- Police Siren
- Hand Gestures
- Voice/Loud Speaker
Fleeing or failing to comply is a misdemeanor of the first degree. The offense can be charged as a felony under certain circumstances, such as when the pursuit or evasion causes or poses a threat to persons or property.
What is my best defense?
There are a number of viable defenses to this charge. For example, it may be possible to show by a preponderance of evidence that you didn’t stop immediately due to a good faith concern for your personal safety. To prove this, the court will consider:
- The time and location the event took place
- The type of police car used (Was it unmarked? If so, was the officer in uniform?)
- The way you behaved when you were being followed by the police
- Whether you stopped at the first available reasonably lighted or populated area
When you are charged with a serious traffic violation you need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way. At Akamine Law, we will work with you to determine the best course of action. This may be to discredit evidence against you in order to prevail at trial. Or, if evidence is overwhelming, we may seek to negotiate a resolution that avoids jail and the license suspension.
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