Fleeing police is any attempt to evade authority or prosecution under the law. Georgia law requires a person to obey orders by any law enforcement officer. If you have been accused of fleeing police in any way, Georgia criminal defense attorney David Schnipper is the one to call. He can help you fight the charges and avoid the long-term consequences of living with a criminal record.
What Constitutes Fleeing Police?
Most people are familiar with car chases that take place every day in Georgia and across the United States. But people can also flee police on bikes, by foot, or failing to obey any signal from law enforcement to halt their present action. Under Georgia law, fleeing police is primarily a traffic offense, but may also include the following crimes:
- Willful refusal to stop a motor vehicle
- Impersonating a law enforcement officer
- Intentional attempt to flee pursuit by ignoring a:
- Visual or audible signal
- Hand gesture or vocal command
- Flashing emergency light or siren
Drivers are required to stop their vehicles as soon as police give a signal. This means pulling over at the sight of flashing lights and bringing the vehicle to a complete halt. Motorists who willfully fail to stop and instead continue to drive while being pursued by police may be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor, even if they are driving within the speed limit.
Motorists attempting to evade arrest have committed a felony offense if they:
- Drive 20 mph above the posted speed limit
- Hit another vehicle or pedestrian, causing an accident
- Flee in traffic conditions that place the general public at risk of injury
- Operate a moving vehicle while intoxicated (.08% blood alcohol content for most drivers; .04% for commercial drivers; and .02% for drivers under 2)
Drivers who speed, cause a collision, endanger others, or continue to drive drunk face criminal fines of $5,000 or more and imprisonment for up to five years. They also face personal injury liability to any victims harmed by their negligent conduct while fleeing police.
It is unlawful to impersonate any law enforcement officer, including:
- State troopers
- Sheriffs, deputies
- Federal Bureau of Investigation agent
- Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent
- Police or other law enforcement officer
Impersonation may be accomplished through the unauthorized use of any designated motor vehicle, including motorcycles, marked, equipped, or designed to resemble those of federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies.
Any attempt to evade arrest for an offense, by any means, constitutes fleeing police. This includes hiding evidence, lying to investigators, or fleeing the state to avoid prosecution or jail time. Those who intentionally help fugitives by lying, sheltering, smuggling, or otherwise aiding in this crime also face prosecution.
Criminal Defense Attorney David Schnipper Comes to Your Rescue
Fleeing police may result in imprisonment, enhanced sentencing, and criminal fines. An arrest can be followed by the loss of your license, multiple convictions, and hours of community service. It is therefore imperative to have experienced Georgia criminal defense lawyer David Schnipper on your side. He is dedicated to protecting your rights and defending your freedom. Remember that the prosecution will do its best to obtain multiple convictions, achieve the maximum penalty, and permanently stain your criminal record. As a former District Attorney, David Schnipper has an insider’s knowledge of the prosecution’s strategy and uses it to mount an aggressive defense. Call us at (404) 983-6051 or contact David Schnipper immediately to fight for your rights.