Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorney
Being pulled over by a police officer is a nerve-wracking experience. For many, seeing those red and blue lights in their rearview mirror is enough to make them panic. In Florida, when a police officer turns on their vehicle's lights and siren, indicating they're performing a routine traffic stop, drivers should try to keep a cool head, slow down, pull as far to the right as possible, and park their vehicle. Under no circumstance is a driver to attempt to elude or flee from a law enforcement officer in their motor vehicle. Per Florida law, trying to elude or flee from law enforcement is a felony offense that carries serious legal repercussions and penalties.
If you or a loved one has been charged with attempting to elude or flee from a police officer, it is imperative that you reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney for legal guidance and representation.
Contact Stout Defense, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced criminal defense lawyer in Gainesville!
Florida Laws On Attempting To Elude Or Flee
In Florida, it is illegal to flee or attempt to elude a law enforcement officer. Per Florida Statute § 316.1935(2), "Any person who willfully flees or attempts to elude a law enforcement officer in an authorized law enforcement patrol vehicle, with agency insignia and other jurisdictional markings prominently displayed on the vehicle, with siren and lights activated commits a felony of the third degree…" This section also applies to drivers who stop in compliance with an officer's order and then willfully attempt to flee or elude the officer. Additionally, speeding, committing traffic violations, or causing an auto accident while attempting to flee can cause an offender's charge to be upgraded beyond a felony of the third degree.
Penalties For Attempting To Elude Or Flee
Felonies carry severe legal consequences and a criminal record for the rest of your life. The specific penalties for a conviction of attempting to elude or flee are outlined below.
- Third-Degree Felony — When a person attempts to elude a law enforcement vehicle with prominently displayed insignia and lights and siren activated, they commit a third-degree felony. Penalties include up to five years in prison, or five years of probation and up to $5,000 in fines.
- Second-Degree Felony — When a person attempts to elude a law enforcement vehicle while speeding or showing wanton disregard for the safety of others, they commit a second-degree felony. Penalties include up to 15 years in prison, or 15 years of probation and up to $10,000 in fines.
- First-Degree Felony — When a person attempts to elude a law enforcement vehicle while speeding or showing wanton disregard for the safety of others and cause bodily injury or death to another party, they commit a first-degree felony. Penalties include up to 30 years in prison, or 30 years of probation and up to $15,000 in fines.
How Our Gainesville Attorney Can Help
Under Florida law, if a person pleads guilty to attempting to elude a police officer, judges must adjudicate that person as being guilty of a felony. Being convicted of a felony can cause a person to lose certain rights and find it difficult to find future jobs or housing. Don't settle for a guilty verdict if you're facing charges of attempting to elude or flee. Our skilled lawyer, Adam Stout, has the experience and dedication required to mount a vigorous defense for your criminal case. With a wide range of legal knowledge, Adam is ready and willing to fight for you in court, ensure your rights are protected, and help contest your criminal charges. Don't wait — contact Stout Defense, P.A. today to schedule a free, confidential consultation!