Evading a Peace Officer

Are you being accused of evading a peace officer and live in the greater San Diego area? You could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the situation. Trying to find the right San Diego criminal attorney can help you successfully defend against such serious charges. Below are some examples and explanations for criminal charges concerning California Vehicle Codes 2800.1 and 2800.2.

Under California Vehicle Code 2800.1, evading a peace officer means that while driving in your car, you willfully make attempts to flee from police officers who are pursuing you in a car or on a bicycle. The legal definition of this misdemeanor crime is willfully evading a uniformed peace officer or an officer’s car and with a specific intent to evade or flee from them. If you are being charged with this misdemeanor crime, finding the right San Diego criminal attorney is paramount.

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Instances of Misdemeanor Evading a Peace Officer

An example where a misdemeanor charge can be filed for evading a peace officer is when a person who is on probation does not pull over when being pursued by a police car. The driver is anxious and stressed about being pulled over by the police.  He is concerned that they will search his car due to his Fourth Amendment waiver status while on probation.  So, instead of pulling over, he pretends not to notice the flashing lights of the peace officers vehicle and continues on his way.

A misdemeanor charge for evading a peace officer may not be filed in other situations, for example, an elderly man is driving well over the speed limit and is being pursued by a peace officer. He is going 45 miles per hour in a school zone. However, the elderly man suffers from Alzheimers and his hearing is impaired, so he does not understand that the flashing lights and sirens are for him.

The differences between the probationer’s case and the elderly man’s case are the purpose or intent. The probationer willfully ignored the peace officer because he wanted to avoid a potential search of his vehicle. The elderly man, however, did not willfully or with intent evade the peace officer because e could not comprehend that he was actually speeding or that the police car was specifically trying to pull him over.

Penalties for California Vehicle Code 2800.1

Finding the right San Diego criminal attorney is imperative when facing misdemeanor California Vehicle Code 2800.1 charges, especially if you want to avoid any convictions and the penalties associated with them. If convicted the penalties include, but are not limited to:

Impounding the vehicle used to evade a peace officer for up to 30 days, which means you will have to pay the necessary fees in order to get it released. If you cannot, the vehicle remains impounded until you are able to pay the necessary fees.
You may face fines up to one-thousand dollars ($1,000) on top of your vehicle already being impounded.
You could face a harsher consequence as well, such as spending up to one (1) year in county jail.

What the Prosecution Does:

When facing these misdemeanor charges, the prosecution needs to prove that you evaded the peace officer both willfully and with specific intent to do so. This means it is their job to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you purposefully evaded the pursuing officer with the intent of getting away.

Other facts must be provided about the incident as well, for instance, whether the officer used a distinctly marked vehicle, their siren was sounding, the red light was visible and flashing, and the officer(s) were wearing the proper uniform.

Legal Defense

If you are searching for a San Diego criminal attorney, an experienced criminal defense lawyer is what you need. At the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum, you can expect a top-notch legal defense. As previously mentioned, you are only guilty of California Vehicle Code 2800.1 if you specifically intended to evade a peace officer.

Here, at the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum, we will help to ascertain whether there is sufficient evidence because there are specific criteria that must be met before a misdemeanor charge can be filed and proven in a court of law.

Examples Criteria for the Defense

The following questions are issues that are considered by the Prosecution in deciding whether to file evading a peace officer criminal charges.  These questions also serve the defense because they must verify that sufficient evidence is being presented in the first place.

  • Did you purposefully and with specific intent evade the peace officer?
  • Was the law enforcement vehicle properly marked?
  • Were they using their front red light on the car?
  • Was the siren sounding?

An experienced and excellent San Diego criminal attorney will be sure to find every possible defense in order to protect your rights and your freedom. Not only will they flesh out all the details necessary to build your defense, they will thoroughly investigate all avenues of a legal defense.

A very similar offense related to VC 2800.1 is California VC 2800.2, felony reckless evading an officer. The legal definition is evading a peace officer and doing so with a purposeful and complete disregard for the safety of other people and public or private property. This means that you willfully and with specific intent evaded a peace officer in a law enforcement vehicle or on a bike (VC 2800.1) by driving erratically and in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other persons or property.

Example of Felony Reckless Evasion of an Officer

An example of this situation is when a young man is being pursued by a peace officer for speeding, but does not want to pull over because he has a bag of cocaine in his glove compartment. If he were to get pulled over he would have to reach over and open his glove compartment to get his registration/insurance information, thus exposing the drugs. For fear of getting caught and facing illegal drug charges as well, he speeds away.

Desperately swerving in and out of traffic to put distance between him and the law enforcement vehicle, he ignores the police sirens and honks at other drivers. While dangerously driving to make his getaway, he has caused vehicle collisions that resulted in property damage with a wanton disregard for the safety of other people.

Although no physical injury was caused to anyone, he did intentionally evade the police while ignoring the safety of others. He also caused major property damage and may face further charges for drug possession because of the cocaine in his glove compartment.

If you are facing extreme criminal charges like California VC 2800.2, then finding an excellent San Diego criminal attorney will improve your chances of avoiding extremely harsh consequences. When it comes to your freedom, you want to ensure you have the opportunity to a proper legal defense and outstanding representation. At the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum, you can expect aggressive, experienced, and outstanding representation by a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for you.

Penalties of California Vehicle Code 2800.2

To get an idea of the harsh penalties associated with being charged with VC 2800.2, it is dependent on the details of each case. Was it actually reckless evasion of a peace officer? Was anyone injured or otherwise negatively impacted by your evasion tactics? Did you cause property damage?

If felony charges are filed against you for reckless evading of an officer (VC 2800.2) you could end up facing potential prison time. Potential sentences vary depending on the severity of the whole situation, especially if other charges are filed, like the aforementioned young man who would have to face drug possession charges as well.

Some of the potential state prison sentences and other penalties for felony evading of an officer include, but are not limited to:

Spending up to 16 months, 2 years, or even 3 years in a state penitentiary. The length of the sentence is heavily dependent upon variable factors such as your criminal history, and the facts of the current case (i.e. how reckless your evasion of a peace officer was.)  You could also face fines as high as ten-thousand dollars($10,000), which may or may not include any other fees associated with any property damage that you caused.

Contact Your Criminal Defense Team

Whether you are located in Imperial Beach, National City, Chula Vista, or other parts of San Diego County and you are arrested for or being prosecuted for evading a peace officer, contact an aggressive, experienced, and highly respected attorney, Anna R. Yum, by calling (619) 233-4433 or click here.