Have you Been Charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia?
Fleeing or attempting to elude is a serious offense that can be classified as either or felony or misdemeanor traffic offense depending on the alleged circumstances. People may be fearful of being charged with a crime, so they try to run from a police officer. However, this puts them in more trouble with the law than if they had just submitted to the officer. If you were charged with fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia by itself or in conjunction with another crime, contact our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers today.
What is Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia?
According to O.C.G.A. §40-6-395, It shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle willfully to fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer when given a visual or an audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. The officer giving such signal shall be in uniform prominently displaying his or her badge of office, and his or her vehicle shall be appropriately marked showing it to be an official police vehicle.
In sum, the driver must pull over if an officer uses a visual or audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The officer can use his hand, voice, emergency light, or siren to signal the driver.
One thing to note is that the officer must be in uniform and the car must be appropriately marked.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Can Be a Misdemeanor or a Felony in Georgia
Misdemeanor Fleeing or Attempting to Elude
According to the statute, you can be charged with misdemeanor fleeing or attempting to elude when a uniformed officer in a marked car tells you to stop driving and you don't stop. Note that this means you cannot be charged with fleeing from an unmarked police car.
The only other part of the statute that is important is that the accused must willfully fail to stop to be convicted. If you were not aware that you were supposed to stop, then you cannot have willfully refused to stop. For example, if you did not see or hear the sirens behind you instructing you to stop, your Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Lawyer in Georgia can argue that you were were not fleeing or eluding.
The Penalty for Misdemeanor Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
A person found guilty of misdemeanor fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia will be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The accused will have a fine between $1,000 and $5,000 and a jail term between 30 days and 12 months. Jail time beyond 30 days can be probated by the judge.
A second conviction within ten years will result in a fine between $2,500 and $5,000, a jail term between 90 days and 12 months, or both. Jail terms beyond 90 days can be probated by the judge.
A person convicted for a third time within ten years will face a punishment of jail time between 180 days and 12 months, a fine between $4,000 and $5,000, or both. A jail term beyond 180 days can be probated by the judge.
For misdemeanor offenses, a plea of nolo contendere will constitute a conviction.
Felony Fleeing or Attempting to Elude
A misdemeanor charge will be elevated to a felony fleeing or attempting to elude charge if the driver while fleeing from the officer:
- Operates his or her vehicle in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit;
- Strikes or collides with another vehicle or a pedestrian;
- Flees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries;
- Leaves the state; or
- Commits a violation of
- Failing to stop when entering road from alley, driveway or building under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-144;
- Unlawfully passes a school bus under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-163;
- Laying drags under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-251;
- Reckless driving under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390. or
- Driving under the influence under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390.1
The Penalty for Felony Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
A person convicted for a fourth or subsequent time within ten years will be charged with felony fleeing or eluding and face a punishment of prison time between 12 months and 10 years, a fine between $5,000 and $10,000, or both. For felony charges, the sentence may not be probated, deferred, or withheld, and the charge may not be reduced to a lesser offense, merged with any other offense, or served concurrently with any other offense.
Due to the severity of penalties you could be facing when charged with fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia, it is vital that you contact our Georgia Fleeing or Eluding Lawyers now.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude is Often Associated with Other Charges
Many of our clients charged with fleeing are accused of additional offenses. DUI is commonly associated with attempting to elude because people refuse to stop their vehicle because they are worried about being charged with a DUI. Other common charges include driving on a suspended license, drug possession, or a warrant has already been issued for their arrest.
Georgia Defenses to Fleeing or Attempting to Elude
Despite the seriousness of the charge, multiple Georgia criminal defenses can apply to your case. We have seen people who had a justified reason as to why they did not stop the vehicle. In other situations, the driver did not see the officer signaling them over. Additionally, other factors may have been at play that hindered the driver from stopping.
No matter your situation, our Georgia Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Attorneys can help. We will craft the best possible defense for your case! Any misdemeanor or criminal case requires the expertise of our traffic ticket attorneys in Georgia. We have over 50 combined years of experience fighting traffic tickets and related offenses. We understand the hardships a conviction will produce in your life.
If you have been charged with fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia, contact us now for immediate legal attention. Your case should not have to wait until Monday or the next business day. That is why our offices are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have people ready to answer your questions on nights, weekends, and holidays. Call now for a free case evaluation.