Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement in Orlando
In the state of Florida, fleeing a law enforcement officer or attempting to elude is a serious felony charge. In most situations, individuals are charged with a third-degree felony. Unfortunately, those convicted of fleeing and eluding will never be able to have the charge expunged or sealed in the future, which means it will always remain on your criminal record. At Adams & Luka, we understand the seriousness of being charged with this crime, and how critical it is that you select a capable and aggressive Orlando traffic attorney for legal guidance and representation.
What is fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement? Under Florida Statute §316.1935, this offense has been committed when an individual:
- Drives a vehicle on a Florida highway or street;
- After the driver was ordered by a duly authorized law enforcement officer to remain stopped; and
- The driver, aware that the duly authorized law enforcement officer had ordered him/her to stop either
- Intentionally or purposely failed or refused to stop the vehicle and comply with the officer's order; or
- Having stopped the vehicle, fled intentionally in a vehicle in an effort to elude or escape the officer.
While this is the basic definition of fleeing and eluding, there are aggravating circumstances which may leave the accused facing more serious penalties. These circumstances include:
- The occurrence of serious bodily injury or death
- Activation of officer's sirens and lights
- Reckless or high speed driving
Fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement can create an extremely dangerous situation with catastrophic results in some cases. Regardless of how minor or serious your case may be, it is important to consult with a skilled defense attorney.Defenses to Charges of Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement in Florida
A conviction for fleeing and eluding could affect your life forever. Essentially, whether you are found guilty could be determined by the prosecutor's ability (or inability) to prove beyond a doubt that you were aware (had knowledge) that a law enforcement officer had ordered you to stop, and that you intentionally did not. Running from a police officer who has a clearly marked patrol car with lights activated is considering fleeing as well.
The defense your attorney will develop will depend on the facts of your case, the availability (or lack of) evidence, and other factors. It is also important to note that the state must prove every element of a crime in order for the defendant to be found guilty.Penalties for Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement in Orlando & Central Florida
As mentioned earlier, this is a crime classified as a third-degree felony. Felony offenses are always punished more harshly than those classified as misdemeanors. The criminal penalties for fleeing and attempting to elude law enforce without any aggravating factors include:
- A maximum of five (5) years in prison
- A maximum of five (5) years probation
- Maximum of $5,000 in fines
- Driver's license suspension of between one (1) and five (5) years
If you are convicted and the circumstances involve high speeds/reckless driving or result in serious bodily injury or death, the penalties increase substantially in terms of number of years in prison/probation and fine amounts.Contact Adams & Luka Today
While it may not seem a serious crime, fleeing and eluding should absolutely be taken seriously, as a conviction could cost you not only your freedom, but reputation and career as well. At Adams & Luka, we believe in an aggressive approach and defend the rights of our clients relentlessly, working toward the best possible outcome. Contact us now for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.