If you have been charged with fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer in Sarasota, especially if the case can be considered aggravated fleeing or eluding, you could be facing serious consequences. Florida law enforcement does not take kindly when someone fails to stop, evades their pursuit, or makes attempts at fleeing the scene of an accident, especially when the way you drive could put others at risk of serious bodily injury or death.
Many Americans have been conditioned by television and newsreels to believe that fleeing and eluding a police officer can only be considered aggravated when it results in a high-speed car chase or some other movie-worthy pursuit. This is not true. As soon as you show wanton disregard for the safety of others or their property in Florida, a police officer can arrest you for aggravated fleeing and eluding. These aggravated cases carry even more penalties than when someone simply fails to stop when ordered to.
There are also additional complications. Sarasota courts will be unable to withhold any adjudication for aggravated fleeing or eluding. This also means that the accused will not receive the opportunity to be granted a suspended sentence. In simple terms, this means that the one being charged will become a convicted felon as soon as they enter a plea. These convictions are serious enough that they will never be considered for a criminal record sealing or expungement, no matter how skilled and knowledgeable your particular Sarasota criminal defense attorney may be. This means that you will forever have the charge on your criminal record, which can lead to huge increases in insurance premiums and permanent difficulty in gaining employment.
For this reason, securing representation by a criminal defense attorney who is highly experienced in traffic crime as soon as possible is so important. The best possible chance to avoid the lifelong branding of a felon is for them to work to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely.
Luckily, The Law Place in Florida can offer you a team of traffic crime lawyers who have amassed over 75 years of combined experience over their careers. Unlike your average law firm, we also operate each case by utilizing every member of our team. This gives you the best possible pool of knowledge, skills, and resources to draw from for your defense. If this sounds appealing, call us as soon as possible for a free consultation at no-obligation and fully protected by the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship. Our lines are always open.
Call our Florida office today at (888) 323-1253.
Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Laws in Sarasota, Florida
The terms used to define the severity and scope of Flordia’s aggravated fleeing and eluding laws are laid out in Florida Statute 316.1935.
This states that the parameters of proving a charge of aggravated fleeing to elude are as follows. It must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The accused was driving the car or other motor vehicle that was involved in the accident in question.
- The accused was driving the vehicle in the accident, which also resulted in damage to property, serious bodily injury, or death.
- The accused was aware of the part they played in the accident, or at least they should have been aware.
- The accused was also aware that said accident resulted in damage to property, serious bodily injury, or death.
- The accused deliberately and willfully did not fulfill their legal obligation to remain at the scene of the accident.
- The accused deliberately and willfully failed in their legal obligation to stop to help someone who had suffered from serious bodily injury or death in the accident.
- The accused was ordered to stop by a police officer and failed to stop their vehicle.
- The accused was fully aware that they were ordered to stop by a police officer and yet proceeded to deliberately and willfully flee the scene.
- The accused undertook maneuvers while fleeing to elude a police officer that resulted in serious bodily injury or the death of another person.
In a case where the prosecution cannot prove all the applicable aspects of the above, it becomes likely that the accused’s criminal defense attorney will be able to get the charge reduced or dismissed.
If the criminal defense attorney is successful, aggravated fleeing charges could be dropped to reckless driving charges or possibly just regular charges of fleeing to elude. These lower-level charges, while still impacting your record, will result in much less severe consequences than if you get charged with a first or second-degree felony.
For a free legal consultation with a aggravated fleeing to elude lawyer serving Sarasota, call 941-444-4444
The Consequences of Aggravated Fleeing to Elude in Florida
If you are convicted for an aggravated charge of fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer but did not inflict any bodily injuries, the likely result is a second-degree felony charge.
The penalties for this may include:
- Up to 15 years imprisonment.
- A maximum fine of $10,000.
- Vehicle forfeiture.
- Having your driver’s license revoked for 1-5 years.
- A permanent stain on your criminal record.
This charge of a second-degree felony still does not represent the worst possible penalty. If you have shown a wanton degree of disregard for others and the property of others, or if you incurred serious bodily injury or death, the punishment increases to a first-degree felony.
As well as the other elements listed above, the maximum prison sentence increases to 30 years. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence of three years attached to this first-degree felony.
Of course, it may be possible for your traffic attorney to get the charge lowered to a regular case of fleeing to elude. This is a third-degree felony and, as such, carries reduced penalties. These include:
- Up to 5 years in prison.
- Up to 5 years of probation.
- A maximum fine of $5,000.
- The same driver’s license suspension and permeant mark on your record.
Obviously, these third-degree felony consequences can still be very disruptive to your life. But they are preferable to the consequences of a first-degree or second-degree felony.
However, it is also possible that your traffic lawyer could get the charges held against you dropped entirely. The lawyer team at The Law Place has achieved this result for people in your exact position in the past. Become a part of our success story today and gain the best chance of living the rest of your life without the possibility of fines, jail time, and a permanent stain on your record.
Sarasota Aggravated Fleeing to Elude Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
What Are Some Possible Defenses Your Florida Traffic Crime Lawyer Could Use?
To defend against the charges you received for fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer, there are several pre-established defenses that may be available for you.
These include the following:
- The accused did not intend to flee or elude a law enforcement officer.
- The accused was not, in fact, aware of the property damage, any injury, or death that occurred.
- The accused did not see the police officer pulling them over.
- There was a reason that the accused was afraid of pulling over. This could be that it was at night, or they were in a dark area and were looking for an opportunity to stop the vehicle safely.
With a fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer case in Florida, there are also additional protocols that must be followed by the police officers to ensure they have the legal right to stop your car. While it may seem unlikely that the police officers in your case slipped up in such a way, you would be surprised by both the sloppiness of Florida’s law enforcement and the keenness of our attorneys’ eyes.
These additional requirements in Florida include:
- The police officer must be driving the official police patrol vehicle, and this vehicle must be displaying all the correct jurisdictional marks clearly. This includes their agency insignia.
- The police officer driving must have utilized their vehicle’s sirens.
- The police officer or police officers involved must have been in full, official police uniform.
If the police failed to uphold these parameters, your arrest could be deemed unlawful, and thus your case could be dismissed.
The Importance of a Personalized Defense
While we have just demonstrated some common defenses for fleeing to elude a Florida police officer, these are only examples that are commonly applied to this kind of traffic offense case. While many of our defenses will incorporate elements of these common defenses, we will ensure that your defense is tailored to you.
Here at The Law Place, we thoroughly believe that the best defense possible for each individual person is different from the last. For this reason, The Law Place personalize each of their client’s defense to suit their unique situation.
This process will begin during your first free telephone consultation. If you are happy to work with our firm, then we will have a meeting where we conduct a thorough case evaluation and listen to every minute detail of your story in an atmosphere of non-judgment and trust. We thoroughly believe that trust is the most important attribute for an attorney, and the more you are willing to disclose, the more effectively we can fight your corner.
All of this information will be bound by the attorney-client confidentiality agreement, so there is no way that any private information you choose to share will endanger you.
Your case will be thoroughly investigated and personalized to your individual needs. Additionally, complicating factors will be considered, such as crafting the defense to the audience of the specific judge and jury.
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When Is the Best Time to Seek Out Legal Representation?
Here at The Law Place, we understand that the costs involved in high-quality legal defense can often be intimidating. In fact, this often puts people off seeking an effective attorney, and instead, they are lumped with a public defender. If this is the case, your chances of minimizing the consequences of your charges drop dramatically.
If you did not already have the legal representation of an attorney before your arrest, it would be incredibly wise to seek it out as soon after the incident as possible. Fleeing to elude is a charge taken seriously, and you will want to stand the greatest chance at being able to avoid a third-degree, second-degree, or first-degree felony if possible.
The more time you give your attorney to prepare for your case and to conduct the necessary investigations, the higher your chances of successful defense and more drastic mitigation become.
It is also an unavoidable fact that, due to the complexities of Florida traffic and criminal law, someone without an attorney to guide them is much more likely to slip up and implicate themselves. If this happens, you could be inadvertently supplying damning evidence that could be held against you later in court. If you are ever arrested and lack legal representation, the most important thing to remember is that you have the constitutional right to remain silent.
Police officers will try to extract damning information from you in any manner possible under the law. Unfortunately, this includes lying and other deceptive behavior. Every year many Florida residents are tricked into admitted guilt to charges that could have been dropped with the right representation. Never feel like you don’t have any other option but to give up.
If you do not have legal representation at the moment and are facing charges like these, the best thing you could do for yourself is to contact The Law Place as soon as possible. Our lawyers are well-versed in the criminal and traffic laws specific to the State of Florida, and we will wield that experience to afford you the best chance of a bright future.
How Much Will a Traffic Attorney From The Law Place in Florida Cost You?
As mentioned above, the financial burden of seeking representation following being charged with fleeing to elude is often off-putting to the accused. This is due to the increased financial stress associated with burdensome fines and the possibility of being unable to travel freely to and from work in your personal vehicle.
However, it is often the case that a guilty verdict would cost you a lot more than the representation necessary to mitigate the penalties. Driving license revocation could wreak havoc on your ability to commute, and a criminal record, even for a reduced charge like reckless driving, could seriously impact your maximum wage in the future. This is without even mentioning the possibility of financially crippling fines.
Due to the complexities of each individual criminal case, it is impossible to state here how much your individual Florida attorney will cost you. However, our law firm values trust and transparency over all else.
For this reason, we will be able to explain the complete cost of your representation before you commit to anything, with no hidden or surprise fees. If you should require it, we will also be able to work out a personalized payment plan tailored to your requirements.
Contact The Law Place in Florida Today
If you are facing any level of fleeing to elude a police officer charges in Florida, be sure to seek knowledgeable and skilled legal counsel as soon as you can. The consequences of failing to do so can have a debilitating impact on the rest of your life.
The team of lawyers working for The Law Place has over 75 years of combined experience dealing with traffic crimes under their belts. In addition to this, while you will be assigned a primary attorney, we operate every case using our entire team. This means you will receive the entirety of the wisdom, resources, and skill of everyone employed by us to pursue all your possible avenues of defense.
The fees which you are quoted following your case evaluation will be the ones you are presented with, with no alterations or increases of any kind. Our commitment to trust encompasses the entire process of your defense, from the pricing to the environment in which you tell your story.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us over the phone to get the process of your defense started. We ensure that our phones are manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every week. Not only this, the confidentiality stated in the attorney-client relationship begins the second you pick up the phone, and the entire telephone consultation process is at no-obligation whatsoever.
If you have been charged with fleeing to elude in Florida, call us at (888) 323-1253 today!