A Florida teen in St. Johnson County allegedly burglarized multiple vehicles, pointed a gun at a police officer, and was in possession of drugs, according to First Coast News. Another accomplice, who is still at large, drove a truck towards a police officer in an effort to get away, forcing the officer to dive out of the way. In a separate incident, a man was charged with more than a dozen felonies when he fled police in Cocoa, eventually bailing from his vehicle and fleeing on foot, according to Florida Today. Using a vehicle as a deadly weapon against a police officer or fleeing in a motor vehicle from law enforcement are both serious crimes, and need to be handled by only the most experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys available. If you have been charged with any such crime, it is wise to talk to a lawyer soon.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer
It is unlawful to flee from law enforcement. If you have knowledge that you have been ordered to stop your vehicle, and you fail to do so, you may be charged with a third degree felony under Florida statute 316.1935. Third degree felonies are punishable with up to five years in prison. If a driver willfully flees or eludes a law enforcement patrol vehicle or marked vehicle with sirens and lights activated, and in the course of fleeing commits the following, the felony will be upgraded to the second degree:
- Drives at high speed; or
- Driver in a manner which demonstrates a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Second degree felonies carry a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison. If the defendant flees and causes serious bodily injury or death to another person, including a police officer, they will be charged with a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison with a mandatory minimum of three years in prison.
Fleeing From a Crash Scene
A person who unlawfully leaves or flees the scene of a crash where bodily injury or property damage has occurred that they were responsible for causing, and they have been ordered to stop by a law enforcement officer, commits a second degree felony. Or, they may be charged with a first degree felony for fleeing if serious bodily injury or death occurs.
Contact a Lawyer Today
Fleeing from an officer is a serious crime, and fleeing from the scene of a crash is as well; multiple charges are often pressed against defendants who allegedly fled from law enforcement, making it hard to take the case to trial. However, if you have been charged with such a crime, the West Palm Beach attorneys of the Skier Law Firm are willing to do what it takes to protect your freedom and your rights. We will provide professional defense both in and out of court. Please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as you are able to.