In every county in Florida, much like across the whole of America, a charge of aggravated fleeing or eluding is an incredibly serious thing. If your methods of attempting to elude a law enforcement officer after being ordered to stop the vehicle put another person at risk of serious bodily injury or death, you could be looking at a third-degree felony, second-degree felony, or even first-degree felony charge.
Not only are the prison sentences and fines attached to these levels of felony very severe, but there are also other specific complications to be considered with a felony charge. Once a felony is on your criminal record, it cannot be legally expunged or sealed through any process. This means all prospective employers can view your felony charge, and this will hamper your chances of achieving a competitive salary. Complications can also spill over into other parts of your life, which would require a criminal record check, such as any credit check, license application, custody battle, or if you should seek to further your education or apply for an educational grant or college scholarship.
Luckily, The Law Place in Florida has an extensive history of fighting for those accused of aggravated fleeing or eluding. We have successfully defended clients in almost every Florida county. Clients who have found themselves in hopeless dismay at their charges have had their consequences diminished greatly or, in some circumstances, even dropped entirely.
If you would like to benefit from the 75 years of combined legal experience that our team has to offer, get in touch with The Law Place in Florida today for a free consultation over the telephone. Not only are these consultations offered at no-obligation and completely protected by the attorney-client relationship, but our phone lines are also always open.
To take the first step in the legal process to minimize the consequences of your aggravated fleeing charge, telephone our law firm today at (941) 444-4444.
How Is Aggravated Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer Handled in Florida?
Aggravated fleeing or eluding in each county of Florida is governed by Florida Statute 316.1935.
This statute lays out exactly how the crime of aggravated fleeing or eluding law enforcement operates and is punished.
The statute states that in order to be successfully convicted for the crime of fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer, the prosecution must prove beyond a level of reasonable doubt that the following things transpired:
- The defendant drove a motor vehicle that was involved in a road traffic accident.
- Said motor vehicle driven by the defendant caused serious bodily injury or death to another person.
- The defendant was fully aware of the accident that took place.
- Furthermore, the defendant was fully aware of the property damage or serious bodily injury or death.
- The defendant failed in their legally obligated duty to stop the vehicle and remain at the point that the accident occurred.
- The defendant did not stop to assist the person who suffered serious bodily injury or death.
- The defendant was ordered by a law enforcement officer to stop their vehicle.
- The defendant heard the order to stop their vehicle and instead chose to willfully and deliberately flee the scene.
- While fleeing, the defendant drove their vehicle in such a way that it inflicted bodily injury or death to another person.
If the prosecution cannot prove all of the above, in any county in Florida, there is a good chance that a criminal defense lawyer will be able to get the charge of aggravated attempting to elude a law enforcement officer either dropped or dismissed.
In cases of downgraded charges, the accused may be charged with a regular fleeing and eluding charge or be charged with reckless driving.
A regular case of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer may be charged as a third-degree felony. Reckless driving will usually be a misdemeanor offense but also may be charged as a third-degree felony.
What Are the Consequences of Being Charged and Convicted for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding?
In any county in Florida, the way that the severity of your aggravated fleeing and eluding charges are calculated will depend on whether someone was injured while you were attempting to elude.
If the way you were driving your vehicle after being ordered to stop was considered dangerous enough to show wanton disregard for human life, but you did not inflict any actual injury, you can expect a second-degree felony charge.
The consequences for a second-degree felony of this kind may include:
- Imprisonment for a period of up to 15 years.
- A fine that could reach an upper limit of $10,000.
- Your vehicle may be forfeited.
- Your driving license may be revoked for between 1 and 5 years.
- As this is a felony charge, you will also suffer from a permanent criminal record. This cannot be removed in any way. This will make employment, education, being eligible for credit, and many other things permanently more difficult for you.
However, if you inflict actual harm while fleeing or eluding after failing to stop, you will likely be receiving a first-degree felony charge.
A first-degree felony of this kind may result in up to 30 years in jail. As such, using a law firm like The Law Place to avoid a first-degree felony charge should be your first priority.
What Are Some Examples of Defenses for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding?
There are plenty of established legal precedents when it comes to fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer after being ordered to stop. Many common defenses for fleeing or eluding can incorporate elements of each of these.
Common defenses in a case of aggravated fleeing or eluding may feature the following elements:
- There was no intention of fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer.
- There was no awareness on the part of the defendant of any damage or injury inflicted.
- The defendant was unaware they were being pulled over by a law enforcement officer.
- The defendant feared pulling over their vehicle as they were in a situation where they felt unsafe, such as being in a dark or environmentally dangerous area.
Furthermore, there are rules and standards that the law enforcement officers involved in the arrest must abide by for a fleeing or eluding case to be successfully convicted.
- The police vehicle used to pull over the defendant must have been an official patrol vehicle. The vehicle must also have been clearly displaying all of its jurisdictional markings and agency insignia.
- The sirens and police lights must have been utilized in an attempt to stop the defendant from fleeing or eluding.
- The arresting officers must have been wearing their full law enforcement uniforms.
If the officers involved in your attempted stop order did not adhere to these guidelines, the attorney from your law firm could use this to contest the legality of the arrest in court.
Personalizing Your Defense
While there exist several useful precedents for defending those accused of fleeing or eluding, there is no replacement for a personally tailored defensive strategy.
With a lawyer from The Law Place, you can rest assured that your defense will be designed specifically to suit the circumstances of your situation. Following your case evaluation, everything you share with us, as well as information collected through investigation, will be used to design you the best defense possible.
All information you share will be protected by the confines of attorney-client confidentiality.
What Is the Price of Representation by The Law Place?
Unfortunately, since each case varies greatly due to varying levels of severity and the possibility of previous criminal convictions, it is impossible for our law firm to give you a direct quote here.
However, following a free consultation, we offer guaranteed full transparency in terms of fees. You will be given a full quote without any possibility of additional surprise charges and the option to work out an affordable payment plan with us.
The best quality representation isn’t free, but the price of a felony charge on your record will give you a great deal of economic damage over time. This is before the fines associated with felony-level crimes are even considered.
Make the smart choice and secure representation by a talented and experienced attorney to ensure that you do have the best chances of ceasing to pay for your charges for the rest of your life.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you would like to secure the best chances of having your charges downgraded or dropped, contact The Law Place today.
We offer free no-obligation telephone consultations around the clock to help you begin the process of building the most solid defense possible.
Our criminal defense lawyers have over 75 years of combined experience fighting for people just like you. Don’t get tripped up by the complexities of Florida’s criminal and traffic laws. Benefit from the combined knowledge, wisdom, and skillsets of our entire team today by getting in touch with our North Port office on (941) 444-4444.