Fleeing and Attempting to Elude
When a driver does not comply with law enforcement when asked to pull over, the driver faces serious consequences.
Eluding arrest, also sometimes called fleeing the police, is a serious crime in Georgia. Most of the time, drivers elude police because they are fearful. They fear facing serious charges and potentially even jail time. Unfortunately, when a driver eludes police, he or she faces even more serious charges than if the driver had stopped for law enforcement. These charges are extremely difficult to beat on your own, but you do not have to. A Georgia criminal defense lawyer can help you protect your freedom.
Eluding Arrest or Fleeing Police Defined in Georgia
Under the Georgia statute, it is illegal for any motorist to willfully refuse to stop their vehicle in an attempt to flee law enforcement upon an audible or visual signal from the police.
According to the law, law enforcement may use hand signals or signal by voice, siren, or an emergency light. The officer must be in uniform at the time, and if they are in a vehicle, it must clearly depict that it is a law enforcement vehicle.
Penalties for Eluding Arrest or Fleeing Police
Individuals charged with attempting to flee the police will face misdemeanor charges. If convicted, a person will face a fine of $500 to $5,000, as well as a jail term between 10 days and one year. Subsequent convictions come with much harsher penalties. A second conviction for fleeing the police results in a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, as well as a jail sentence of 30 days to one year.
Under certain circumstances, a person may face felony charges if they attempt to flee or elude police. These situations include:
- When the driver operates their vehicle in a manner that is 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit
- When the driver hits another vehicle or pedestrian
- When the driver attempts to flee in a traffic situation that poses a clear risk to the public
- When the driver leaves the state
- When the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If convicted of attempting to flee or elude a police officer under any of these scenarios, the associated penalties are very harsh. A driver may face a prison sentence between one and five years, and a maximum fine of $5,000, if convicted. While it is always difficult to have any criminal charge on your permanent record, a felony will make it much more challenging to secure employment, credit, housing, and academic opportunities.
Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Beat the Charges
It is sometimes a natural instinct to flee when an officer tries to pull you over. However, not everyone charged with this crime is guilty, either. If you have been charged, call our Atlanta criminal defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam. We will create a strong defense to give you the best chance of getting the charges reduced or beating them altogether. Call us today at (404) 561-0202 or contact us online to meet with one of our attorneys.