Were you recently arrested and charged with evading police? Are you feeling worried about what your future might bring? It is critical that you take steps to protect your freedom and rights when you are facing criminal charges.
An experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer could help you avoid the consequences of a conviction for evading police under California Vehicle Code 2800.1. Start working on your defense strategy as soon as today when you contact our office for a free consultation.
When Can You Be Charged with Evading Police Under CA Vehicle Code 2800.1?
Under California Vehicle Code 2800.1, you can be charged with evading police if the prosecutor can prove that you met the following elements of the crime:
- Police must have been in uniform
- Police must have been operating a distinctively marked vehicle
- There must have been a minimum of one red-lighted lamp attached to the police officer’s vehicle
- Police must have sounded their alarm and using their lighted red lamp
- You saw or should have seen the police officer’s red-lighted lamp
- Police were pursuing you
- You willfully attempted to flee or fled police
Proving intent is necessary in cases of evading police. For this reason, if the prosecuting attorney is unable to prove you willfully committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, you should not be convicted of evading police under California Vehicle Code 2800.1.
Charges Related to Evading Police in California
If you are being accused of evading police, you can also expect to be accused of other similar crimes. Some examples of criminal offenses that may be related to evading police under California law include:
- Disturbing the peace under California Penal Code 415 – Disturbing the peace involves intentionally disturbing others with unreasonably loud noises. Although this does not involve evading police, if you are found guilty, you could spend up to 90 days in jail and the order to pay fines as high as $400.
- Felony reckless of evading under California Vehicle Code 2800.2 – Felony reckless evading involves fleeing police through the use of a motor vehicle. Here, If you are found guilty of felony reckless evading, you could spend up to three years in a California state prison and be ordered to pay fines as high as $10,000.
- Evading police causing serious bodily injury or death under California Vehicle Code 2800.3 – Evading police causing serious injury or death involves fleeing police officers via motor vehicle and the evasion being the cause of the police officers injury or death. If convicted, you could spend life in prison depending on whether you are charged at the misdemeanor or felony level.
Consequences of an Evading Police Conviction
Evading police is generally considered a misdemeanor offense. If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor in the state of California, you could be fined $1000 and be ordered to spend up to one year of your life in county jail. However, these are not the only consequences of an evading police conviction.
Some of the other penalties you might expect to face include:
- Citizenship or immigration issues, including deportation
- Child custody or dispute issues
- Difficulty finding or maintaining gainful employment
- Trouble finding safe or affordable housing
- Disqualification from federal student aid eligibility
- Reputational damage
- Loss of firearm rights
- Completion of court-ordered drug alcohol treatment
- Completion of court-ordered anger management courses
- Completion of court-ordered community service hours
- Completion of court-ordered mental health counseling or therapy
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Suspension or revocation of your professional licenses
- Difficulty maintaining your personal relationships
- Restitution and fines
- Random drug or alcohol testing
How to Challenge Evading Police Charges
There are several ways in which you may be able to avoid the consequences of a connection for evading police. First, if the offense did not produce any serious bodily injury or death, and you are a first-time offender, the state’s prosecuting attorney may be willing to allow you to enter into a pretrial diversion program.
Here, you will need to meet specific requirements, including abstaining from drug or alcohol use, court-ordered program requirements, fines and fees, and other specific criteria based on the details of your case. Once you have met the terms of your pretrial diversion program, your charges could be reduced or dismissed altogether.
However, it is important to remember that pretrial diversion and play agreements may only be available to non-violent, first-time offenders. Although a plea agreement may be possible, you need to prepare a compelling defense strategy if the prosecuting attorney is unwilling to drop your case. Some potential defenses you could utilize include:
- Lack of intent to flee police
- Lack of intent to act
- Lack of a police uniform, distinctively marked vehicle, or lights
You can explore your defensive options further when you contact your evading police lawyer for help.
Expunging Convictions for Evading Police
You may have the opportunity to get your conviction expunged if you are found guilty of evading police, as evading police is typically considered a misdemeanor offense. By petitioning the court, you may be able to get your conviction removed from your criminal record if you have completed the terms of your probation and are not currently in jail, on probation, or facing criminal charges.
This means your conviction will no longer be reflected on your background report, and if you must fill out a question that asks you if you have been convicted of a crime, if your record has been expunged, you will be able to truthfully answer “no.”
Meet with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Today
If you are interested in discussing your potential defense strategies further but do not know where to turn for help, reach out to a seasoned Los Angeles DUI lawyer to discuss the specific details of your case.
Our firm offers confidential consultations to those accused of DUI-related offenses across Los Angeles and surrounding cities. Take advantage of this opportunity by completing our contact form or calling our office to get started on your defense.