If you have been stopped and accused of reckless evading under California Vehicle Code 2800.2, you could be facing harsh penalties. It is of that most important that you take action to clear your name of the charges against you.
Felony reckless evading could have a significant impact on your life for years to come if you are convicted. An experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer could help you obtain the outcome union to pick up the pieces of your life.
What Is CA Vehicle Code 2800.2?
Under California Vehicle Code 2800.2, you can be charged with felony reckless evading if you evade a police officer while operating a car, truck, or any other type of motor vehicle. You must also have been driving recklessly or without regard for the physical safety of others or their property. To obtain a conviction, the prosecuting attorney will need to show that:
- The peace officer’s vehicle was sounding its alarm as needed.
- The peace officer’s vehicle contained a minimum of one lighted red lamp that was or should have been visible to you.
- The peace officer was in uniform.
- The peace officer’s vehicle was marked as such.
- You were being pursued by a peace officer in a vehicle.
- You willingly attempted to flee or fled the vehicle in the hopes of evading the peace officer.
When Is Reckless Evading a Felony?
Reckless evading is not always a felony. Simple evading a police officer is a misdemeanor that does not involve reckless driving. Reckless evading is a felony when you are operating a motor vehicle and attempting to evade police.
Acting without regard for the safety of yourself, others, or someone else’s property means that you knew what you were doing was an unjustifiable threat to your safety or others. Anyone with three or more violation points on their California driving record will immediately be considered to have been driving without regard for the safety of themselves or others.
This is true whether any property damage occurred. It should be noted that if your felony reckless evading charges involve driving under the influence, that does not necessarily mean that you were operating your vehicle in a way that could be considered wanton disregard. The state prosecuting attorney will need to show that the driving itself was reckless for your felony reckless evading charges to stick.
Charges Related to Felony Reckless Evading
There are several different criminal offenses related to felony reckless evading that you could be facing. Some of the more common crimes you need to be aware of include:
- Evading an officer causing injury or death – This is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in state prison if charged with a felony level.
- Reckless driving – A reckless driving conviction carries penalties of up to three years in state prison and fines as high as $10,000 if convicted of felony reckless driving.
- Misdemeanor of aiding a peace officer – This is punishable by fines of up to $1000 and a maximum of one year and county jail.
- Disturbing the peace – Disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to $400 in fines and up to 90 days in county jail.
These are just a few of the more common types of charges related to felony reckless evading. If you were charged with another type of criminal offense related to DUIs or felony reckless evading, do not hesitate to contact your DUI lawyer in Los Angeles for legal support.
Penalties if You Are Convicted of Felony Reckless Evading Under VC §2800.2
The consequences you will face if you are found guilty of felony reckless evading can vary wildly based on the specific details of your case. Although reckless evading is typically considered a felony, it is possible that your attorney may be able to work with the state prosecutor to get your charges dismissed or reduced down to the misdemeanor level. If convicted of misdemeanor reckless evading, you could spend up to one year in county jail and pay fines as high as $1000.
However, if you are found guilty of felony reckless evading, the consequences are far more severe. Fines can increase up to $10,000, and you can spend as much as three years in state prison.
Other consequences you need to be prepared for include:
- Mandatory suspension of your driver’s license
- Vehicle impound van
- Court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment
- Court-ordered mental health counseling
- Completion of a court-ordered driver retraining program
When the stakes are this high, it is essential that you obtain a powerful legal advocate who can help you defend yourself.
How to Challenge the Charges Against You
Working with your attorney to obtain a plea agreement with the state’s prosecuting attorney may be the best way to avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction. Plea agreements and pretrial diversion programs are often available to first-time, non-violent offenders. If this is your first time being accused of a criminal offense, and no one suffered serious bodily injury due to the accusations in question, the prosecutor may be more willing to enter into a plea agreement.
However, if a plea agreement is not possible, your attorney will work with you to determine how to challenge the felony reckless evading charges against you. Some of the more common defenses used in cases of this nature include:
- Lack of evidence that you were driving recklessly
- Lack of evidence that you were evading police
- Lack of intent
- Mistake of fact
- Voluntary intoxication
- You were arrested in an unlawful stop
Contact a Felony Reckless Evading Lawyer for Help Today
When you have been charged with felony reckless evading and you are unsure where to turn for help, reach out to a dedicated Los Angeles DUI lawyer for advice and support. Schedule a confidential consultation by filling out our secured contact form or call our office to get started on your case as soon as today.