Evading a Peace Officer in California

california evading peace officerCalifornia Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC defines an offense of misdemeanor police evading which should deferred from Reckless Evading and California Resisting Arrest offense. Nonetheless, these offenses are close and the most important thing is separate their constitutive elements.

According to California Law, the crime of evading police takes place when a person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle or bicycle.

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.

Even if apparently there are all elements of the crime, do not desperate. Your attorney can present different kind of legal defenses on your behalf in order to obtain the best possible outcome. The most common defenses for this charge are the following:

  • You had not intent to evade a police officer
  • The uniform of the officer did not be distinctive
  • The officer’s vehicle did not be distinctively marked
  • Etc.

Under California Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC the offense of evading a law officer is considered to be a misdemeanor. The convicted can face up to one year in a county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

Unfortunately, the prosecution can try to find you guilty under Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC (reckless driving) and Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC (causing serious bodily injury or death to another person). In this case, the court will apply penalty enhancement for the offender and it can result in up to ten (10) years sentence in California state prison. Moreover, your acts can trigger vehicular manslaughter or DUI murder.

However, it is always possible to attempt to negotiate a plea bargain and get the minimum penalties for the defendant.
If you have faced accusations of evading police in California, it is essential to contact an experienced California defense attorney who is will provide legal assistance. Each defense will be developed upon the facts of your individual case.

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

Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC

2800.1. (a) Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if all of the following conditions exist:
(1) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and the person either sees or reasonably should have seen the lamp.
(2) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is sounding a siren as may be reasonably necessary.
(3) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is distinctively marked.
(4) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform.
(b) Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s bicycle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if the following conditions exist:
(1) The peace officer’s bicycle is distinctively marked.
(2) The peace officer’s bicycle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform.
(3) The peace officer gives a verbal command to stop.
(4) The peace officer sounds a horn that produces a sound of at least 115 decibels.
(5) The peace officer gives a hand signal commanding the person to stop.
(6) The person is aware or reasonably should have been aware of the verbal command, horn, and hand signal, but refuses to comply with the command to stop.

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