Fleeing a Pursuing Police Vehicle

In some states, fleeing from police pursuit or attempting to elude the pursuing officer is grounds for a license suspension. Additionally, fleeing or eluding the officer is typically a serious misdemeanor offense that may provide for the imposition of fines and a short stay in jail if a conviction is obtained.

TIP: A driver is not "fleeing" unless the police officer is in uniform and the vehicle is designated and marked as a law enforcement vehicle. For example, you cannot be convicted of fleeing from an off-duty officer in an unmarked car.

If the fleeing driver engaged in reckless conduct and put others in imminent danger of bodily harm during his flight, the level of offense increases (a lesser category misdemeanor to a greater category), as does the possible punishment. The driver will also be cited for reckless driving.

Sidebar: If the driver is intoxicated, reckless conduct that endangers others is presumed.

TIP: In many states, trying to elude or flee the officer attempting to stop you can result in a charge of evading arrest. The offense of evading arrest typically provides for a harsher punishment than the fleeing and eluding statute (i.e., 6 months jail time in some states).

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