Fairfax Attempting to Elude An Officer Lawyer

If you have been charged or accused with attempting to elude an officer you can expect the judge to require you to explain yourself in court. Law enforcement officers are officers of the court and they demand respect from the court and it doesn’t look good for anybody who doesn’t respect their authority without very good reason for it.

If you are then convicted on these charges you will face serious punishments that can have far reaching consequences on your driving privileges. Read on to learn more about eluding an officer charges, before calling and scheduling a consultation with a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer to discuss your case.

Definition of Attempting to Elude An Officer

In Virginia, you are required to listen to law enforcement officers’ signals to stop your vehicle. If you continue driving despite being ordered to stop, or if you attempt to escape or elude the officer whether you’re on foot or in your car or by any other means, then you can be charged with attempt to elude an officer, which is a class 2 misdemeanor. If in addition the driver’s operation of a car interferes with or endangers another person or the police vehicle, defense can be charged as a class 6 felony.

It can also be charged as a class 4 felony if the police officer is killed in the line of duty in trying to pursuing someone who is attempting to elude them.

Can You Be Charged With Eluding An Officer If You Exit The Highway After Seeing An Officer?

In certain cases this could be considered to be attempting to elude an officer unless the driver can show that they were exiting the highway in order to find a safe place to pull over and were then waiting for the officer once they exited. In contrast, someone who purposely exits the highway as soon as they see an officer track their speed can absolutely be charged with attempting to elude the police officer.

Can You Be Charged With Eluding If You Were Just Looking For Somewhere to Pull Over?

It’s going to depend on the specific actions you take. If you do not acknowledge the police officer at all, then it can easily be misconstrued as an attempt to elude the officer. If you need to drive for a bit to find a safe place to pull over, the best thing to do is put your hazards on first to show the officer that you see him and are attempting to comply with the signal.

Elements of Attempting to Elude An Officer

First the driver must have received a visible or audible signal to stop the vehicle. Second, the driver must operate the vehicle in a willful and wanting disregard of the officer’s signal or the driver must attempt to escape or elude the officer whether on foot in the vehicle or by other means.

Criminal Penalties

Attempting to elude an officer in Virginia maybe charged as class 2 misdemeanor or as a class 6 felony. The Virginia code provides for mandatory license suspension as well upon someone’s conviction which lasts for 30 days to a year for the misdemeanor unless the speed of the driver was more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit at the time of the offense.

If there is excessive speed and it can be proven then the suspension must be for a minimum of 90 days.

How a Virginia Attempting To Elude An Officer Lawyer Can Help

A Virginia attempting to elude an officer lawyer can help you explain your actions to the judge ideally in a way that will not point towards using guilty. An attorney can also help you have the charge reduced to hopefully a less harsh result or could possibly even have it dismissed if you do have valid reason for your behavior. There are few defenses possible for attempting to elude an officer such as being pursued by someone that you believe is not a police officer and being able to prove this in court. Outside of the courtroom, an attempting to elude an officer attorney in Virginia can also provide someone with a better idea of what’s going to happen when you get to court and what charges mean and what penalties they’re facing.

Sometimes having this knowledge of the circumstances can help you better understand what you’re going through and a lawyer can also help you navigate the rules and customs of the court and explain what everything means to reassure you and help ease your anxiety.