We see it all the time on television, where there is a high-speed chase and multiple police cars are racing after a driver who is driving his or her car above the speed limit and at a very high speed. This is a serious and dangerous action that only puts your life at risk, but the lives of other innocent bystanders as well.
Normally, a traffic stop should be simple with the police turning on their siren and lighting lights to prompt the driver to pull over and stop his or her vehicle hopefully so that the driver will be on his or her way no more than thirty minutes later. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as not every driver pulls over for a traffic stop, sometimes intentionally and other times unintentionally. Whether it is because the driver fails to notice the police or the road conditions sometimes make it difficult to stop immediately. The police officer may not care either way and try to charge you for evading arrest.
What Is Detention?
Detention is the temporary holding of an individual that is being accused of a crime or is awaiting sentencing or deportation. You can be detained if there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is armed, engaged in, or about to be engaged in criminal conduct. While being detained, the police officer may ask questions to the person being detained to see if the police officer should let the individual go or not.
Detention is temporary and legally a police officer can only hold you for up to 72 hours without filing charges. This is an intimidation tactic, and it is best to remain silent, as they may have only detained you in hopes of getting you to confess or give them a lead to the crime committed.
When you are arrested, the charges are still put on your records and if the charges are dropped, you will still have to petition for an expunction. An expunction gives you the possibility of wiping the slate clean on your record and starting fresh. Filing for an expunction is beneficial to you or any person who just wants to have a clean record and to get a fresh start. There are many examples of how having a criminal background can affect you, your lifestyle, and your future, such as, you could have trouble obtaining a personal loan, a home loan to purchase a home, getting accepted to a college of your choice, obtaining employment or even obtaining credit to buy a car or an appliance.
Defenses To Evading Arrest
There are elements in an evading arrest that must be proven by the prosecutor. These elements are that the defendant was acting intentionally, he or she fled the scene, or they knew that they were fleeing from an officer and that the officer was attempting a lawful detain or arrest of the individual. In order to defend yourself, the prosecutor must prove that you intentionally did not stop; however, there are plenty of justified reasons to not stop immediately. For example, a person who is deaf or hard of hearing can not hear the sirens. I personally experienced my mother not being able to hear sirens without her hearing aids unless they were right next to her, and she was paying attention. This occurs with ambulances, police, or firefighters rushing through traffic to get to a scene that might be up ahead.
Also, stopping on the freeway when there is no shoulder lane for the driver to stop safely may make a driver hesitant to pull over immediately. Instead, the driver may wait for an exit to find a place to pull over safely. This is not only safe for the driver but also for the officer that will pull up behind the driver. Although this does show intention, the intention that is not malicious or obtained any ill will.
Another lack of intent is the speed that you are driving, whether it is to lead to a safe place or just in general. If a person were to flee from a police officer, they would be speeding and moving dangerously in their vehicle to get away from the police officer. If a person were to flee on foot, they may be rushing through crowds, hopping over fences, running across the streets, and even attempting to hide or find hiding spots in a store or a commercial building. There would be an obvious distinction between a person fleeing to someone that is not paying attention or not being able to hear.
There is also a lack of knowledge that someone was an officer, if an off-duty officer was at the bar and saw you, then proceeded to try to scuffle you outside. A sane person may run or fight due to the fact that they had no idea the person was a police officer.
The Proof Of Evading
Police officers are constantly recording with body cameras and police dash cameras. It is easy to prove that someone is not evading by watching police videos. If the videos and audio records magically disappeared or appeared to have been turned off, it can look suspicious if the arrest made was justified or not. Police dash cameras are also a good indicator if the car being pulled over started to drive erratically to avoid an arrest or if the car maintained speed and still obeyed traffic laws.
Since an evading arrest is more than likely to be charged as a felony, it will have to be presented to a grand jury. This is a panel consisting of 12 people who are summoned by the Court to act as jurors in a case, and that will hear the evidence of the felony charge and determine if probable cause existed for the arrest to be made. If the grand jury finds that there is no probable cause, then it is a no-bill, and the charges made against the defendant will be dropped.
Evading Arrest Or Detention Penal Code 38.04
This offense is defined as a person that intentionally flees from a person that they know is a peace officer or federal special investigator attempting lawfully to arrest or detain them. This offense alone is only considered a class A misdemeanor, except that of the offense. It is punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of up to $4,000.
If a person has previously been convicted of the offense, or if they have not been convicted of an offense previously but used a vehicle or watercraft vehicle in the flight to evade police. This will be considered a state jail felony if they are caught and are punishable by up to two years in prison, with fines up to $10,000.
If the person had been previously convicted and used a vehicle or watercraft while fleeing from the police. Also, if they cause another person to suffer serious bodily injury as a direct result of an attempt by the officer or investigator from whom the defendant is fleeing while they are in flight. Or if the defendant uses a tire deflation device against an officer while they are fleeing. This is a third-degree offense. This is punishable by up to 10 years in prison with fines up to $10,000.
If the defendant causes the death of a person as a direct result of fleeing from the officer or investigator or if the defendant causes serious bodily injury to someone as a direct result of using a tire inflation device while they are in flight. This is a second-degree felony which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, with fines up to $10,000.
What Is A Tire Deflation Device?
This device is used by police officers and its purpose is to stop or impede the wheel movement of the vehicle by puncturing the tires when they are driven over. You might know these devices as spike strips or caltrops and when watching a high-speed chase on the news channel while watching television you know the damages that can come from high-speed pursuit involving a vehicle trying to run through these types of devices.
Need Help? Call Us Now!
Do not forget that when you or anyone you know is facing a criminal charge, you have us, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, by your side to help you build the best defense case for you. We will work and be in your best interest for you and we will obtain the best possible outcome that can benefit you. We can explain everything you need to know about your trial and how to defend your case best. We can help you step by step through the criminal process.
Therefore, do not hesitate to call us if you find yourself or someone you know that is facing criminal charges unsure about the court system. We will work with you to give you the best type of defense that can help you solve your case. It is vital to have someone explain the result of the charge to you and guide you in the best possible way.
Here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we have professional and knowledgeable criminal law attorneys who are experienced in building a defense case for you that suits your needs for the best possible outcome that can benefit you. Also, here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, you are given a consultation at your convenience. You can choose to have your appointment via Zoom, on the phone or in-person and we will provide you with as much advice and information as possible so you can have the best possible result in your case.
Call us now at 281-810-9760.
Other Related Articles
Should you go to your CPS hearing even if you have warrants out for your arrest?
What is the Statute of Limitations?
What is a Mistrial?
The Different Types of Criminal Trials
The Reality of the Criminal Justice System in Today’s Time
Are You to Blame?