If police wish to speak with you, stop you, or detain you, it is essential to cooperate. One of the worst things you can do is run. Running makes the police angry, and it makes you look guilty. Instead, stay, find out why the police are interested in talking to you, and seek legal help if your rights are violated. Remember, with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you can increase your chances of overturning the charges against you.
Evading the police as defined in California
Every state has its own set of laws regarding what constitutes criminal behavior. California follows a strict criminal code and penalizes evading the police harshly. According to Vehicle code 2800.1, evading the police is the act of operating a motor vehicle with the intent to evade, willfully flee or otherwise attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle.
Some real-world examples include:
- After drinking too much at a party, you intentionally drive faster when you see flashing red lights from a police car behind you.
- A police officer pulls you over. You wait until after he is out of his car before slamming your transmission into drive and flooring it.
- You spot a hidden police car in your rear view mirror right after you blow past a stop sign. You hit the pedal when you see the car pull behind you.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where it is normal to be nervous around police. However, instead of fleeing, remain calm and cooperate. Then, if things go awry, hire a Monterey criminal defense lawyer.
Elements of evading the police in California
To prosecute you for evading the police, the state must establish the following elements:
- Police were pursuing you in a motor vehicle.
- You wrongfully fled from police in your own motor vehicle.
- The following were found to be true:
- At least one red light on the police officer’s car was visible from the front.
- You saw or should have observed the red light.
- The police officer used the siren.
- It was clear, due to distinct markings, that the vehicle was a police car.
- The police officer was wearing a uniform.
Make no mistake – evading the police is a serious offense. If convicted of evading the police in California, you face misdemeanor charges, up to a year in jail, and up to a $1,000 fine. Depending on the circumstances, you could even face felony charges.
Contact an experienced defense lawyer in CA
Giuliano Law Firm fights aggressively to defend the rights of California clients accused of evading the police and other criminal offenses. To schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney today, call (831) 293-1385 or contact us online.