In the county of Fort Myers, Florida, and across the entirety of the United States, a charge of aggravated fleeing or eluding is taken incredibly seriously. If you are in this position, and your actions of attempting to elude an officer after being ordered to stop your vehicle put another person at risk of serious bodily injury, or even death, this is defined as a felony charge. This will remain permanently on your criminal record and is not something you want to be associated with your name.
Felony charges come with complications, which is why it is important that you understand the severity behind them. They come with lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. Also, once a felony charge is on your criminal record, it is impossible for it to be legally removed. This means that any aspect of your life that involves a criminal record check will be affected. For example, future employers will be able to see your felony charge, and this could damage your chances of employment. Equally, in situations such as license applications, custody battles, or if you wish to enroll in higher education and receive an educational grant or scholarship will all be difficult, if not impossible, once your charge is on your record.
Here at The Law Place in Fort Myers, we have years of experience in fighting for those who have been accused of aggravated fleeing or eluding, like you. If you would like to work with a team who has 75 years of combined legal experience, you need not look any further than The Law Place. Once you get in contact with us, we offer each client a free consultation via telephone. These consultations run on a no-obligation basis, and the information that you share will be completely protected.
Our telephone lines are open day and night, meaning there is never a bad time to get in contact with us. Call us today at (941) 444-4444 to begin the legal process together.
Defining Aggravated Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer Under Florida Law
In Florida, including Fort Myers, aggravated fleeing or eluding is governed by Florida Statute 316.1935.
This statute defines how the crime of aggravated fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer functions and also includes the punishments for those who face conviction for it.
To be convicted of the crime of aggravated fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the following occurred:
- The defendant was driving a motor vehicle at the time of the accident.
- This motor vehicle that the defendant was driving at the time of the accident was responsible for causing serious bodily injury or death to another individual.
- The defendant was aware of the accident as it took place.
- Equally, the defendant was aware of the property damage, serious bodily injury, or death that occurred as a result.
- The defendant did not stop the vehicle and remain at the scene when the accident occurred.
- The defendant failed to stop and assist the person who was suffering from serious bodily injury or death.
- The defendant was ordered by a law enforcement officer to stop their vehicle yet did not do so.
- While fleeing the scene, the defendant drove their vehicle in such a reckless way that caused bodily injury or death to another person.
If the prosecution fails to prove all that is listed above, it is incredibly likely that a skilled criminal defense attorney will be successful in being able to have these charges either dropped or dismissed. In a lot of cases, the case could be reduced to a third-degree felony rather than a first or second. Equally, you can expect reckless driving to be defined as a misdemeanor offense but could still be charged as a third-degree felony. It is highly dependent on the circumstances surrounding your case.
For a free legal consultation with a aggravated fleeing to elude lawyer serving Fort Myers, call 941-444-4444
Fleeing the Scene of an Accident in Fort Myers, Florida
If when you are fleeing the scene of a crime and cause an accident, in the county of Fort Myers and across the State of Florida, it is a legal requirement that you remain at the scene of the accident. If you fail to do this, it can be viewed as a wanton disregard for human life. Therefore, if you are caught fleeing the scene of an accident that you caused, you will be subsequently charged with a first-degree felony.
Florida Statue 316.062 clearly states what the driver of a motor vehicle should do in a situation where they have caused an accident:
- They must stop and remain as close to the accident site as possible.
- They must provide their driving license as well as personal details to the law enforcement officer at the scene.
- They should offer aid to those who are injured and take personal responsibility for calling 911.
If you believe that your aggravated fleeing to elude did not cause an accident at the scene of the incident, your criminal defense attorney will be able to offer legal assistance for the next steps in your defense.
Fort Myers Aggravated Fleeing to Elude Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Charges for an Aggravated Fleeing to Elude Felony in Fort Myers, Florida
As stated previously, in Fort Myers county or in any county in Florida, the severity of your charge depends heavily on the circumstances of your case, including if someone was injured during your attempted to flee or elude.
For example, if how you were driving when you were ordered to stop your vehicle is defined as dangerous but did not cause injury to another person’s life, you can expect it to be facing a second-degree felony charge. All of the details are important – which is why it is crucial that you are honest with your criminal defense lawyer when describing the circumstances of your case.
If you are charged with a second-degree felony, the consequences are:
- Up to 15 years imprisonment.
- A monetary fine of up to $10,000.
- Forfeiting your vehicle.
- Suspension of your driving license for 1 to 5 years.
- As stated previously, because this is considered a felony charge, you will have this on your criminal record for life.
However, if you did inflict actual serious bodily injury or harm to another person while fleeing the scene or eluding, this charge will become a first-degree felony charge. This could result in imprisonment for 30 years.
If you find yourself facing this sort of conviction, it is important that you seek legal advice immediately to help your criminal defense attorney the best chance at having these charges minimized as much as possible.
Defenses Against Aggravated Fleeing to Elude Law Enforcement in Fort Myers, Florida
There are several lines of defense that your criminal defense attorney could take in order to defend you against aggravated fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer.
Listed below are some of the common defenses in a case of aggravated fleeing or eluding:
- There was no intention of fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer.
- There was a lack of awareness from the defendant of any damage or injury that was inflicted.
- The defendant was not aware that they were being pulled over by law enforcement.
- In the situation, the defendant feared pulling over the vehicle was unsafe due to it being dark or other environmental factors.
Also, there are rules that the law enforcement officer involved in the case must abide by in order for you to be successfully convicted. These include:
- The police officer must be driving an official police patrol vehicle when they pulled the defendant over. It must have clear markings to signify who they are.
- When pulling the defendant over, the vehicle’s sirens and police lights must be used so that the defendant is aware of their presence and their attempt to stop the defendant from fleeing or eluding the scene.
- The law enforcement officer must have been wearing full uniform at the time of the arrest.
If the law enforcement officer involved in your arrest did not abide by these guidelines, your criminal defense lawyer could use them as a line of defense for your case in court.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Contact The Law Place Today
If you are a citizen of Fort Myers county and are facing charges of aggravated fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer, then you will require legal assistance and guidance as soon as possible. This is a serious charge, one you don’t want on your permanent record. It is important to have the right kind of legal counsel on your side in order to have the best possible defense and have your charges minimized or even dismissed entirely.
At The Law Place, we are here to help. Our team has 75 years’ worth of combined experience, and we take pride in the fact that as a law firm, we have helped many other individuals around Florida in situations similar to yours. We will guide you through this process as smoothly as we can, helping you to understand everything.
Our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation today at (941) 444-4444 to start your legal process!