Miami prosecutors may seek harsh punishments for convictions for fleeing and eluding. The harshest punishments are for fleeing and eluding that causes serious bodily injury. In a recent appellate case, a man appealed his convictions and 10-year sentence for fleeing or trying to elude causing serious bodily injury, abandoning the crash site involving serious bodily injury, leaving a crash site where property damage occurred, nonviolent resisting of an officer, and driving on a suspended license. He specifically challenged a jury instruction (3.6(k)(6)).
The case arose when a police officer reportedly observed the defendant’s car hadn’t come to a total stop. An officer followed and turned on her siren and lights. Although the defendant pulled over, he didn’t stop and went back to driving. The officer chased. The defendant reportedly went 70 mph in a 25-mph zone. The defendant drove through five stop signs until he T-boned another car in an intersection and veered off-road, crashing into a restaurant.
After crashing, he ran away across the street and ran into a police car. He continued to run after being told to stop. He didn’t stop until he was tased. The driver of the car he’d struck fell into a coma, suffered traumatic brain injury and became disabled as a result of the crash.