Causing Injury or Death while Evading a Police Officer

Causing Injury or Death while Evading a Police Officer in california

Pursuant to California Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC, the crime of eluding an officer causing serious bodily injury or death is committed when the police are pursuing the offender and during the course of that pursuit, the actions of the offender directly cause the injury or death of another person.

A serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of physical condition. Such an injury may include (but is not limited to):

  • loss of consciousness
  • concussion
  • bone fracture
  • protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ
  • a wound requiring extensive suturing
  • serious disfigurement.

For example, if the police are pursuing you but you decide to escape by passing red-light crashing and it results in bringing down a pedestrian who dies. Thus, you will be convicted of California Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC (causing injury or death while eluding a law enforcement agent). It is essential that an act causes death or serious bodily injury if:

  • it is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act
  • the death or injury would not have happened without the act.

There may be more than one cause of death or serious bodily injury. An act is considered to cause death or injury only if it is a substantial factor in it. A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor. However, it is not required to be only the one factor.

In order to prove the guilt of the offender, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of the crime:

1. A peace officer in a vehicle was pursuing the defendant, who was also driving a vehicle

2. The defendant intended to evade the peace officer

3. While driving, the defendant willfully fled from, or tried to elude, the pursuing peace office

4. The defendant’s attempt to flee from, or elude, the pursuing peace officer caused the death of/ or serious bodily injury to someone else

5. All of the following were true:

(a) There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the peace officer’s vehicle

(b) The defendant either saw or reasonably should have seen the lamp

(c) The peace officer’s vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably necessary

(d) The peace officer’s vehicle was distinctively marked

(e) The peace officer was wearing a distinctive uniform.

The crime of causing injury or death while eluding a peace officer is considered to be a “wobbler”. It means that depending on the circumstances of the crime as well as a criminal history of the offender, it can be whether a misdemeanor or a felony.

In the below table you can find the list of punishments for the breaking California for Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC depending on the incrimination.

Misdemeanor Felony
  • imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year

or

  • by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000)

or

  • by both that fine and imprisonment
  • in case of conviction without death of a person the accused risks to face imprisonment in the state prison for three (3), five (5), or seven (7) years
  • the convicted of evading an officer and killing another person can face imprisonment between four (4) to ten (10) years in a state prison

 

It should be taken into consideration 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 a 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 2800.3 VC

2800.3.  (a) Whenever willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 proximately causes serious bodily injury to any person, the person driving the pursued vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.(b) Whenever willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 proximately causes death to a person, the person driving the pursued vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 4, 6, or 10 years.(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude the imposition of a greater sentence pursuant to Section 190 of the Penal Code or any other provisions of law applicable to punishment for an unlawful death.(d) For the purposes of this section, “serious bodily injury” has the same meaning as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 243 of the Penal Code.

It should be taken into consideration 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 a 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.

California Vehicular Code 2800.3 VC

2800.3. (a) Whenever willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 proximately causes serious bodily injury to any person, the person driving the pursued vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(b) Whenever willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 proximately causes death to a person, the person driving the pursued vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 4, 6, or 10 years.

(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude the imposition of a greater sentence pursuant to Section 190 of the Penal Code or any other provisions of law applicable to punishment for an unlawful death.

(d) For the purposes of this section, “serious bodily injury” has the same meaning as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 243 of the Penal Code.

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