Evading Arrest Lawyer in Los Angeles, CA

Were you charged with evading arrest?

Evading arrest is a serious and punishable crime that violates California Vehicle Code 2800.1. The state of California defines evading arrest as the act of attempting or actively running away from a police officer that has made clear his or her intentions to arrest you. Whether the individual is fleeing by foot or by car, it is unlawful to evade a police officer's right to arrest. Although law enforcement officers may believe that an individual is evading arrest, it may not be the intention of the individual in question.

Many factors can influence the outcome of such a charge. Was the police officer in full uniform at the time of the arrest? Were there language barriers that made the arrest attempt unclear? In the case of a car chase, was the individual not aware that police vehicles were trying to pull the individual over? Were the visual or audible signals coming from the police vehicles not understood by the person being pursued? Let an experienced criminal attorney from our firm analyze every factor of your arrest.

How Evading Arrest is Defined Under California Law

The gravity of the evading arrest charge can also depend on other aspects. If the individual is driving recklessly while fleeing a police officer, and while doing so, shows disregard for the safety of others and property, the individual can be charged with a violation of California Vehicle Code 2800.2. It could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how dangerous the actions of the driver were.

To secure a conviction, the prosecutor will need to prove that:

  • You had intent to purposely evade a police officer
  • The officer was flashing at least one red light from the front
  • You saw or should have seen the officer's flashing lights
  • The officer's vehicle was sounding a siren as necessary
  • The vehicle was distinctively marked as a police vehicle
  • The officer was wearing a distinctive police uniform

Evading arrest is a misdemeanor in California unless aggravating factors exist—in which case, you could be charged with "felony reckless evading." Penalties for misdemeanor evading arrest may include up to one year in county jail and $1,000 in fines. In some cases, the state could also have your vehicle impounded for up to 30 days.

Felony Reckless Evading – Vehicle Code 2800.2

While the crime of evading arrest is usually prosecuted as a misdemeanor, you could face felony charges if aggravating factors are present in your case. According to California Vehicle Code 2800.2, you could be charged with "felony reckless evading" if you evade a police officer in a motor vehicle and, in doing so, drive with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. This could include actions like running through several red lights or stop signs in an attempt to flee from the police.

The penalties for felony reckless evading can include:

  • Up to three years in state prison
  • Up to $10,000 in various fines
  • Impounded vehicle for 30 days

Put 70+ Years of Experience to Work for You

A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners will be able to give you legal support and in depth understanding of the charges you are facing. We have helped numerous clients fight arrest evasion charges in the past, and we are ready to do the same for you. Our firm has several decades of experience exclusively dealing with criminal defense, and our reputation for top negotiation skills can help to protect your rights. Call now to set up your free initial consultation with our firm.

Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners if you were charged with evading arrest.