Evading a Police Officer
As experienced San Diego criminal defense attorneys, we understand how people, especially those inexperienced in dealing with law enforcement, can panic and make the split decision to avoid police investigation and/or arrest. However, in California, evading a police officer is a crime and as such, is prosecuted heavily. Specifically, a person can be charged with evading a police officer, also referred to as “misdemeanor evasion,” or “felony evasion” if they flee from a police officer who is pursuing you in a marked vehicle (this includes official motorcycles, bikes, and police cars). If convicted, a defendant can face serious legal consequences such as imprisonment, monetary fines, probation, a permanent criminal record, and damage to your personal and professional reputations. Whether you were falsely accused of evading arrest (evasion), or made a mistake and committed this offense, it is crucial to contact a qualified San Diego evading a police officer criminal lawyer to help you. Legal defenses to evading a police officer may be available, but depend upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged evasion offense. Yet, regardless of what happened in your case, securing competent legal counsel will ensure that your constitutional rights and legal interests are protected from day one.
In the event that you are facing misdemeanor or felony evasion charges, or you were arrested or are under investigation for this offense, do not discuss your case with anyone. Consider the fact that anything you say and do can be used against you in a court of law, so assert your right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present before any questioning can resume. It is also essential that you do not allow the prosecution to coerce you into pleading guilty. Sometimes, prosecuting attorneys can make you believe that no other legal options are available, which most of the time is completely false. With this in mind, consult with a San Diego evading a police officer defense lawyer as you can, as it may make the difference between jail time and your freedom. The sooner you call an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the better your chances are to either have your charges reduced or, dismissed.
At The Law Offices of David M. Boertje, our seasoned criminal defense attorneys will take all measures necessary to fight for your legal rights and win. This involves conducting a thorough background of the evidence in your case, meeting you in jail if you were arrested, securing credible witnesses, and aggressively representing you in court. Our legal professionals do anything and everything to win your case, and ensure that your constitutional rights are fully protected from day one. To schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation, you can call our San Diego downtown office at (619) 229 1870, or reach us at our North County location in Carlsbad at (760) 476 0901.California Evading Arrest Laws & Associated Penalties
Under California Vehicle Code § 2800.1 VC, a prosecutor must prove the following in order for you to convicted for evading a police officer:
- You were driving and willfully fled or attempted to evade an officer;
- You acted with the specific intent to evade the officer;
- The police officer’s vehicle showed a minimum of one red flashing light visible from the front;
- You saw or should have seen the light;
- The police offer engaged his or her siren when it became reasonably necessary;
- The officer’s vehicle was clearly marked, making it obvious that he or she was law enforcement personnel; and
- The officer was wearing a distinctive uniform consistent with law enforcement.
If convicted of misdemeanor evading, a defendant can face a year or less in county jail and no more than $1,000 in monetary fines. If convicted of felony evasion, a defendant can face up to 3 years in prison, or more depending on the defendant’s prior record and other factors such as additional charges charged with the evasion (DUI, manslaughter, etc.). Moreover, the court has the discretion to suspend your driver’s license and impound your vehicle for 30 days; however, this depends upon the nature of the alleged crime. Lastly, more strict penalties may be imposed if the evading of a police officer is charged as a felony, if resulted in injury or death, involved alcohol or drug impairment, or if you drove with a “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.”Legal Defenses to Evading a Police Officer are Available
As noted above, a misdemeanor or felony evading conviction and the associated penalties imposed in California can be serious. However, there are potential defenses available that a qualified San Diego evading a police officer defense attorney can raise on your behalf. The most common defenses are as follows:
- Mistaken identity;
- Lack of intent to evade an officer;
- Lack of willfulness to evade an officer;
- False accusation;
- Insufficient evidence; and
- Falsified police reports;
If you or someone you know is facing misdemeanor evading, felony evading or other criminal charges in San Diego or the North County area (Carlsbad, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos, Escondido), it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you. Contact The Law Offices of David M. Boertje today to learn more about how we will fight for your rights and protect your legal interests. Our team of legal professionals will provide you with the best chance to either have your charges reduced or, completely dismissed. To schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation with one of our seasoned evading an officer defense lawyers, feel free to call our San Diego office at (619) 229 1870. You can also reach us at our North County location at (760) 476 0901, or online. We look forward to providing you with superior criminal defense representation.