Fleeing & Eluding
Miami & Fort Lauderdale Lawyer for Traffic Offenses
Fleeing and eluding a policeman or other law enforcement officer is a crime in Florida. If you’re facing fleeing and eluding charges, a seasoned attorney can help you understand your legal rights and develop a defense strategy. These charges can result in harsh penalties if the prosecution obtains a conviction.
What Is Fleeing & Eluding?
Under Florida Statutes section 316.1935, prosecution can secure your conviction for fleeing or trying to elude a police officer if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) you were driving, (2) you knew you’d been told to stop your car or other vehicle by the officer, (3) yet willfully failed to stop and follow the order. Alternatively, a conviction may be obtained when a prosecutor can show beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) followed an order by an officer and stopped with knowledge of the order, and yet (2), willfully, (3) fled in trying to elude that officer.
You can also be convicted if the prosecutor shows beyond a reasonable doubt that you willfully fled or attempted to elude an officer who was in an authorized police car or other patrol car that had its siren and lights on and had prominent marks of jurisdiction.
This type of violation of section 316.1935 is treated as a third degree felony. Felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors and can result in prison time. Third degree felonies are the least serious type of felony but can be punished with a $5,000 fine and a maximum of 5 years of imprisonment or probation.
Second Degree Fleeing & Eluding
Fleeing and eluding can also be charged as a second degree felony. With second degree charges, the prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) you willfully fled or tried to elude an officer, (2) when the officer was in an authorized police car or other vehicle bearing marks of jurisdiction and agency insignia, and (3) you sped recklessly or drove in any way that displayed a wanton indifference for others’ safety or the safety of their property. For a second degree felony fleeing and eluding conviction involving reckless driving, you may face a $10,000 fine and a maximum of 15 years in prison or on probation. You will also have your driver’s license suspended for one to five years.
First Degree Fleeing & Eluding
What if the prosecutor is able to show that you fled and eluded the police at high speeds or with reckless driving, and someone suffered serious bodily injury or death as a result of your behavior? In that case, you could be charged with a first degree felony. For example, if you saw the police were pulling you over on the freeway and you began driving at 110 mph, rear-ended a car at this speed and killed the passengers in the back, you could face first degree felony fleeing and eluding charges, which are very serious.
The mandatory minimum sentence for fleeing and eluding that causes death or serious bodily is three years in prison. Additionally, the judge is supposed to use a combination of harsh penalties: one to five years of driver’s license suspension, a maximum of $10,000 in fines, a maximum of 30 years in prison, and a maximum of 30 years of probation.
Traffic Defense in Miami & Fort Lauderdale
In society, there is often a bias in favor of police officers. Juries may be biased against those charged with fleeing and eluding. If you are facing a possible conviction for this kind of offense in Miami, it is advisable to hire a knowledgeable defense lawyer.
If you are in Miami call (305) 928-1669 now for more information. If you are in Broward County call 954-737-3004.
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