According to California Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC, it is prohibited from recklessly fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing peace officer while the pursued vehicle is driven in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
California Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC defines the offense of recklessly police evading which should deferred from “simple” Police Evading and California Resisting Arrest offense. Nonetheless, these offenses are close and the most important thing is separate their constitutive elements.
In order to convict a defendant, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of the crime:
- The defendant was driving and willfully fled or otherwise attempted to elude a peace officer
- The defendant had the specific intent to evade that officer
- The officer’s vehicle exhibited at least one lit red lamp that was visible from the front
- The defendant saw or reasonably should have seen the lit lamp
- The officer sounded siren as reasonably necessary
- The officer’s vehicle was distinctively marked
- The officer who was driving was wearing a distinctive uniform
- The defendant willfully evaded an officer
- The defendant evaded willfully or wanton disregard for the safety of others.
The term “willfully” in the frames of this norm means that the defendant was acting on purpose and had the intent to commit the act.
“Wanton disregard for safety” occurs when a person comprehends substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm but he or she intentionally disregarded it. A willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property includes (but is not limited to) driving while fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing peace officer during which time occurs three or more or damage to property.
Generally, recklessly evading a police officer is charged as a “wobbler”. It means that depending on the circumstances of the crime and the criminal history of the offender it can be incriminated whether misdemeanor or a felony.
In the below table you can find the list of punishments for the breaking California for Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC depending on the incrimination.
- 16 months, or two (2) or three (3) years in the California state prison
a $1,000 to $10,000 fine
We should mention that it does not matter how many officers pursued the defendant because it does not influence on the penalty enhancements. However, pursuant to California’s probation laws, the court may suspend or restrict the driver’s license up to thirty (30) days. But if you are the convicted is a commercial driver, he or she risks to lose the commercial driver’s license for a year after first conviction. Unfortunately, a second or subsequent conviction of breaking California reckless evading an officer law can provoke the driver’s license suspension for a lifetime.
Moreover, YOU SHOULD KNOW that the convicted of California reckless evading of a law enforcement agent risks to lose the right to bear arms. Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 29800, a person convicted of the commission of fa felony loses the right to own or obtain firearms for life. Nonetheless, a misdemeanor conviction does not suppose such results. If your conviction would not be reduced to a misdemeanor, it rests only one way to get the right back. In this case, you should obtain a certificate of rehabilitation or a Governor’s pardon.
The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. We will help you to understand the various aspects of your case. We are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning criminal charges in California for free. Do not hesitate to contact us!
You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000
California Vehicular Code Section 2800.2
2800.2. (a) If a person flees or attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 and the pursued vehicle is driven in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, the person driving the vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or by confinement in the county jail for not less than six months nor more than one year. The court may also impose a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or may impose both that imprisonment or confinement and fine.
(b) For purposes of this section, a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property includes, but is not limited to, driving while fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing peace officer during which time either three or more violations that are assigned a traffic violation point count under Section 12810 occur, or damage to property occurs.