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California Evading Arrest Attorney — Vehicle Code 2800.1, 2800.2, 2800.3 VC

If You Were Charged With Evading Arrest, My Rights Law’s Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help

If you have been accused of evading arrest in California, then it is best to reach out to a criminal defense attorney at My Rights Law right away. By hiring My Rights Law’s crime against justice lawyer, you get a firm with extensive experience in winning. We will clarify your legal options and work tirelessly to defend you. To best protect your rights, call My Rights Law at (888) 702-8882 or contact us through our secure web form for a free consultation.

What Is Evading Arrest In California? VC 2800.1

When a police officer turns on the lights to pull you over, the last thing anyone should do is hit the gas pedal. Unfortunately, countless people try to evade an officer. This is the crime of evading arrest, which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.

Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC is the relevant law. It states that you have committed a misdemeanor if you willfully flee a pursuing peace officer while operating a motor vehicle.[1]

Here are some familiar examples:

  • A motorist hits the gas when he sees a police cruiser’s lights flashing in his rearview mirror.
  • A drug dealer hops in a car and speeds away from the scene, not slowing down when he sees police officers in hot pursuit.
  • A motorist who ran a red light pulls into a side street to try to evade an officer with his siren on and lights flashing.

In these examples, a suspect is using a motor vehicle to evade an officer who is also in a motor vehicle.

What Must The State Prove To Get A Conviction?

There are several elements to this offense:

  • An officer was in a police vehicle pursuing the defendant.
  • The defendant willfully fled from the officer with the intent to evade capture.
  • The officer was in a distinctively marked vehicle and wearing a distinctively marked police uniform.
  • The police cruiser sounded a siren and had at least one red lamp visible, which the defendant saw or should have seen.[2]

A suspect who continued to drive away would not violate this law if the officer were driving an unmarked car or was not in uniform. A defendant can’t be convicted if the officer never sounded the siren or turned on the lights.

What Are The Penalties For VC 2800.1 Evading Arrest?

A violation of 2800.1 VC is a misdemeanor. A conviction can net you up to a year in county jail, a maximum $1,000 fine, or both.

What Is Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC Felony Evading Arrest?

This is a more serious offense, called reckless evading. Under 2800.2 VC, you can be convicted if the state proves all the elements of 2800.1 VC and proves you were driving with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others.[3]

In practice, this means you could have been driving very fast, run a red light, or pulled into a crowd in your attempt to get away.

Despite the name, felony evading arrest can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Many prosecutors choose to pursue felony charges, which can result in up to three years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor reckless evading faces vehicle impoundment and a license suspension.

What If Someone Was Injured Or Killed When I Evaded Arrest? 2800.3 VC

In this nightmare scenario, a defendant is facing even more serious charges. Under Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC, you can be charged with Evading an Officer Causing Injury or Death if your actions to attempt to escape arrest kill or cause serious injuries to someone.[4]

An accident resulting in serious injury can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. A felony conviction can bring up to seven years in prison.

If someone dies, you can face felony charges and up to 10 years in California state prison.

Can I Raise Any Defenses?

Yes, but we need to know more about your case. Some common defenses include:

Lack Of Willful Intent To Evade

This crime has a specific intent requirement.[5] If you didn’t intend to evade arrest, you can’t be convicted. For example, you might have been trying to find a spot to pull over safely, which is why you didn’t immediately stop when you saw the lights flashing.

No Red Lights Flashing

Evading arrest requires that there be at least one flashing red light during the pursuit. You can’t be convicted if the officer neglected to turn on the lights.

Mistaken Identity

Officers sometimes pursue the wrong vehicles. If they lost sight of the fleeing suspect, they might end up arresting someone driving a similar car.

Call My Rights Law’s Evading The Police Lawyers Today

There are many reasons why people don’t immediately stop when a law enforcement officer turns on the sirens. Unfortunately, you can’t expect judges or juries to give you the benefit of the doubt.

This is why contacting an experienced California criminal defense attorney is so important. My Rights Law California criminal defense attorneys can defend you against resisting arrest charges, evading arrest charges, and other related offenses. Contact us today so we can get started on your case as soon as possible. Get started by calling (888) 702-8882 or filling out our secure web form to set up a free consultation.

Other crimes against justice we defend include: Warrant

FOOTNOTES
[1] California Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC.
[2] See, e.g., People v. Hudson, 38 Cal.4th 1002 (2006).
[3] California Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC.
[4] California Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC.
[5] 2800.1 VC (“any person who…willfully flees…”).

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