If the police have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under influence, they will stop you for further investigation. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, they will either let you proceed with your journey or charge you with drunk driving. but what happens if you flee a police stop?
Under Virginia laws, ignoring a visible or audible sign to stop is considered a Class 2 Misdemeanor. Penalties for eluding the police can range from fines to jail time as well as suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, you will be having a criminal record, and this will have long-term consequences on your life.
But, eluding the police can also be a felony
Sometimes, evading the police can also result in a felony charge. For instance, if you destroy the officer’s vehicle or endanger another person’s life while fleeing the police, you could be charged with a Class 6 felony. Penalties for Class 6 felony can include up to five years of jail time as well as a maximum fine of $2,500. And if your actions result in the death of the police, then you will face a Class 4 felony charge. Penalties for this can include up to 10 years of jail time and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
So how can you defend yourself if you are charged with eluding the police?
If you are charged with fleeing law enforcement, you need to figure out how to defend yourself. Here are some of the defense options you can explore during your trial:
- There were no visible marks on the police car
- The officer was not wearing the official police uniform or badge
- You were fearful about your safety. To merit the court’s consideration, the following will be taken into account:
- When and where the said command to stop happened
- The type of car the officer had
- Whether you eventually stopped when you felt it was safe to do so
Facing a criminal charge can be daunting. Knowing your legal rights can help you safeguard your rights and defend yourself when charged with eluding the police.