FLEEING AND ELUDING
It goes without saying, when you see those flashing lights in your rearview mirror the most immediate feeling is your heart sinking to your stomach! No one wants to be stopped by the police and no one wants to deal with a traffic citation!
But what if you didn’t notice those flashing lights in your rearview mirror soon enough? Maybe you did not notice the flashing lights because you are in deep thought or in the middle of a phone call. Once pulled over, the officer starts explaining to you that he has been following you with his overhead lights on for some time and wants to know why you did not stop! The next thing you know, that officer cites you for fleeing and eluding!
Fleeing and eluding stems from a motorist’s failure to comply with a police officer’s lawful order or signal. In other words, a person failed to stop their motor vehicle after the police officer made a visible and/or audible signal ordering the motorist to do so. The visible or audible signal can be the police cruiser’s overhead lights and/or siren.
Depending on the facts surrounding your fleeing and eluding charge, you may be facing a 1st degree misdemeanor or a felony of the 4th or 3rd degree.
Potential Penalties for Fleeing and Eluding
In general, fleeing and eluding is a 1st degree misdemeanor. To be convicted of a Fleeing and Eluding charge, the prosecutor must show that you:
A conviction for a 1st degree misdemeanor Fleeing and Eluding charge is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
If your Fleeing and Eluding charge involves you fleeing from a police officer immediately after committing a felony, you are now facing a 4th degree felony. A 4th degree felony is punishable by 6 to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
A Fleeing and Eluding charge can become a 3rd degree felony if the following applies:
A 3rd degree felony is punishable by 9 to 36 months in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Driver’s License Suspension
Outside of either jail or prison time and hefty fines, a person with a Fleeing and Eluding charge will also face having their driver’s license suspended!
Misdemeanor Fleeing and Eluding – A conviction for a misdemeanor Fleeing and Eluding charge, the court will suspend your driver’s license for a period of 6 months to 3 years. Depending on your court, you may be able to obtain limited driving privileges during the suspension period.
Felony Fleeing and Eluding – A conviction for a felony Fleeing and Eluding charge, the court will suspend your driver’s license for a period of 3 years to life. Under Ohio law, the court is not permitted to issue you limited driving privileges during your license suspension period.
Prior Fleeing and Eluding Conviction – A prior conviction of Fleeing and Eluding charge will bring about lifetime driver’s license suspension. The lifetime suspension is mandatory and the court may not issue you limited driving privileges.
How Attorney Tom Kopacz Can Help You
Attorney Tom Kopacz will go over your Fleeing and Eluding charge with you, listen to your side of the story, answer any and all questions you may have, and will provide you with a case assessment and discuss possible defenses against your Fleeing and Eluding charge.
DO NOT LET A TRAFFIC/CRIMINAL CONVICTION RUIN YOUR LIFE!
Do not take on these serious charges alone. Attorney Tom Kopacz, of Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, will assess all the evidence that will be used against you, spot the weakness of the police officer’s and prosecutor’s case, formulate defenses in your favor, utilize the weakness in the prosecutor’s case and your defenses to negotiate a favorable outcome, and works to Minimize The Negative Consequences