Fleeing a Police Officer
Fleeing the police is never the best option. What could have been a simple traffic stop or a citation will become at least an A misdemeanor but can be elevated to a class D felony. While it is important to know your rights during a traffic stop, it is also recommended that you follow the instructions of the officer who completes the traffic stop to avoid any unnecessary issues. If you have been charged with the unlawful fleeing of a police officer while in a motor vehicle, call now for a free consultation with one of our experienced New York criminal attorneys.
If a person has been directed to stop their vehicle by a police officer in uniform or a marked police vehicle by either the officer activating their lights or the lights and the siren, but does not stop and drives at an excess of 25 miles per hour about the speed limit or they drive in such a way that is considered reckless, the lowest degree of this offense will apply. The lowest degree of the offense is charges as a class A misdemeanor, meaning that the court can order time to be served at sentencing if convicted. It is noted that this offense references section 1212 of the Vehicle and Traffic law, such that reckless driving is driving that unreasonably interferes with the proper use of the public highway or endangers other users of said highway.
This offense is bumped up to the second degree if they have acted in such a way as described above, but in having done so have caused a police officer or a third person to suffer from a serious injury. The Third person mentioned in this statute does not have to be involved in the sense that they are in the car with the person fleeing, they could be a pedestrian who was struck by the driver or injured in the course of trying to get out of the way of the vehicle.
The highest degree of this offense, unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the first degree, is charged as a class D felony. Class D felonies can result in a maximum sentence of seven years if convicted as well as a felony conviction on your record which can cause further problems for you later in life when it comes to employment and other opportunities. This offense is charged when a person has acted in the same way as above by attempting to flee a police office but in the course of this conduct a police officer or third person is killed.
In a situation where a police officer or third person is injured or killed, a separate civil suit may also be brought by the individual or family of the person who was injured or killed. Our team can help you navigate the complex court proceedings with the criminal charges as well as the possible civil charges that may be brought. Call now for a free consultation with our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys to discuss your case.