What Are the Consequences for Eluding Police and Resisting Arrest?
It’s fair to say that no one wants to face criminal charges. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have life-altering consequences. For this reason, some people believe that eluding the police is their best option. If they can just get away, they can avoid dealing with an arrest and the subsequent charges.
This is never a good idea.
When a person chooses to elude the police and/or resist arrest, they will be charged with additional crimes that carry penalties of their own. In some cases, fleeing and eluding is charged in combination with a driving under the influence arrest. The same can be said of resisting arrest. In the state of Georgia, both actions are illegal.
What Constitutes “Eluding”?
When a police officer activates their lights and sirens behind a person suspected of driving under the influence or any other traffic violation, that person is expected to slow their vehicle and stop when it is safe to do so. When a person fails to perform as they are expected to and, instead, hits the accelerator in an attempt to flee the police, they may be charged with an additional crime when they are apprehended.
It’s important to note that a person may be charged with a felony when they attempt to elude the police. If, during the process of fleeing, the person:
- Travels at speeds higher than 20 mph over the posted speed limit;
- Hits another vehicle or a pedestrian;
- Puts the general public at risk of injury;
- Ultimately has a blood concentration of over 0.08 grams; and/or
- Leaves the state,
they can be charged with a felony.
When a person is charged with felony fleeing or eluding and convicted, they face a prison sentence of up to five years. This is in addition to any punishments handed down for the original charge of driving under the influence.
Different than Resisting Arrest
Resisting arrest is under the umbrella of eluding a police officer, but it can also stand alone. When a person tries to escape after they have already been placed in custody or when they attempt to interfere with the arrest of another person, they may be charged with resisting arrest. Even when the resisting arrest is a misdemeanor charge, a conviction carries a maximum jail sentence of 12 months and fines not to exceed $1,000.
Being arrested and charged with a crime is a frightening experience that can cause people to behave in ways they would not otherwise. If a police officer attempts to arrest you, one of the worst decisions you can typically make is to flee the scene or resist that arrest. Your time to defend yourself is in court, not on the scene.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Atlanta, reach out to our experienced team of criminal defense attorneys. We will review the details of your case and advise you of your legal options. We understand that each arrest is unique, and we know the anxiety you are experiencing. Let us offer you our expert assistance today during a free consultation.