When police signal for you to pull over, it’s in your best interests to do so promptly. Although officers want motorists to wait until they can pull over safely—you should not stop in the middle of a bridge, for example—they expect suspects to heed to their lights relatively soon after flashing them. Just how much time do you have to stop, though, and what happens under criminal law if you don’t?
What Is Considered Evading the Police?
Evading the police is a violation that depends on the circumstances and can vary immensely from case to case. In general, though, it refers to disobeying an officer’s command to pull over. You might be accused of fleeing if you speed up in an attempt to get away or if you pull over but then drive off immediately. In some cases, you may even be charged if you travel farther than the officer deems reasonable before stopping.
What Are the Penalties for Evading the Police?
Fleeing from police is a criminal violation, which means you could face serious penalties if convicted of doing so. In the state of Missouri, evading the police can be a misdemeanor or felony. Those who lead officers on a high-speed chase, thereby creating a significant risk of injury or death to others in the vicinity, can face charges for a class D felony. Penalties for a conviction include up to $10,000 in fines and up to seven years in prison. Otherwise, fleeing the police is a class A misdemeanor, for which penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
If you’ve been accused of evading the police, turn to the criminal law team at The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh. Located in Ava and Ozark, MO, this firm is led by a strategic criminal attorney who has more than 20 years of experience practicing law. Before he started fighting charges and negotiating plea deals, Christopher Swatosh served as the full-time prosecutor for Douglas County. To discuss the charges you’re facing with this criminal law attorney, schedule a consultation by visiting his website or calling (417) 683-2987.