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Fleeing and Eluding – A Criminal Offense With Heavy Consequences
Picture this. You’re driving down the road, minding your own business. Suddenly, red and blue flashing lights and the unmistakable chirp of a siren break your concentration.
A police officer is pulling you over. For what? Who knows? But you do know that you must pull over as soon as possible.
But what if you don’t? What if your action movie reflex kicks in and you floor it away from the police officer? Florida Statute 316.1935 covers the criminal charge of “Fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.” In short, if you have knowledge that you are being ordered to stop your vehicle, by a law enforcement officer, and you fail to do so, you can be charged with this crime. Fleeing and eluding is a third-degree felony. If someone proves this in court, it could send you to prison for up to five years. To make it even better, you could also receive a fine of not more than $5,000.00.
Fleeing at speed or in a manner demonstrating a “wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” is dangerous. This elevates the charge to a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.00. If you flee and seriously injure or kill someone, the court will impose a three-year minimum mandatory sentence.
Another consideration for these cases is the forfeiture statute which allows law enforcement and municipalities to seize any vehicle used in the commission of a felony act. So not only could you go to prison but you could also have your prized car or motorcycle taken away from you.
Fleeing and Eluding: Not Worth It
As you can see this is no charge to be trifled with. Here at Koleilat and Miller we handle all manner of criminal charges and have years of experience in dealing with fleeing and eluding cases and forfeitures. Should you be arrested or facing a charge of fleeing and eluding, or any other criminal case, don’t wait: visit us today. We have the knowledge, experience, dedication, and proven track record to help see you through even the toughest cases.