When a driver is accused of eluding the police, it often seems like all hope is lost. After all, it’s his word against the officer’s. Eluding the police is also a serious charge with severe penalties. If convicted, motorists can face license suspension, hefty fines, and even time behind bars.
Those who elude police while driving can be charged with a class two misdemeanor or a class four or six felony, depending on the circumstances of the incident. However, the prosecution has to prove that the driver was in fact eluding the police, and must present certain evidence in order to get a conviction.
The Proof Needed for an Eluding the Police Conviction
Your attorney may be able to offer a defense for your charge if he is able to show that the prosecution doesn’t have evidence against you. The prosecution will need show that:
- You willfully fled or attempted to elude the police officer.
- You had a specific intent to evade the officer.
- The police car exhibited at least one red light visible from the front and sounded the siren when in pursuit of you.
- You saw the police officer or should have seen the officer.
- The officer was in uniform.
Possible Defenses Against an Eluding the Police Charge
You may be found not guilty of the offense if your attorney can prove that:
- The patrol car lacked a red lamp, siren, logos, insignia, or other characteristics that distinguish it from a civilian vehicle. Having just a red light and siren is not sufficient.
- You were not intentionally trying to evade the officer. If you were distracted by talking on your phone or to a passenger, or if you were extremely intoxicated, your attorney may be able to prove you lacked the specific intent required to make a conviction.
- You were too afraid to pull over. If you were in an unsafe area, you may have felt it was too dangerous to stop, especially if the police car was unmarked and you weren’t sure if it actually was an officer attempting to pull you over.
Let Us Help You
The Easley Law Firm has helped many motorists in the Fairfax area with their cases and wants to do the same for you. Contact us today to learn more.