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Fleeing or Evading Police

October 26th, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Illinois defense lawyerOne of the most serious traffic crimes is fleeing or evading the police. Bureau of Justice Statistics data reveals that one person dies every day during police chases. The penalties for fleeing law enforcement are founded on the sheer danger that fleeing or evading police has on other road users as well as the fact that if a harsh penalty did not exist, police would have a very difficult time arresting anyone. As such, fleeing the police results in a Class A misdemeanor and license suspension of up to six months for a first-time offense, up to 12 months for a second offense, and a Class 4 felony for third and subsequent offenses. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail, while a Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in state prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Definition of Fleeing or Evading Law Enforcement

According to Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-204, fleeing or evading must have the following elements:

  • A police officer gave a visual or audible signal directing the driver to bring their vehicle to a stop; and
  • The driver of motor vehicle willfully fails or refuses to obey the officer’s direction and:
    • Increases speed;
    • Extinguishes the vehicle’s lights; or
    • Otherwise flees or attempts to elude the officer.

What Does a “Signal” Entail?

A large part of fleeing or eluding is the signal made by the peace officer. If no signal was noticed by the driver, how can they be held accountable for not pulling over? After all, the driver must have “willfully failed or refused” to obey the officer. By definition, a signal:

  • Can be made by hand, voice, siren, or red or blue light;
  • If the officer is in a police uniform and police vehicle, the light must be displayed with “illuminated oscillating, rotating or flashing red or blue lights.” When used with a siren or horn, a driver should know to pull over. Amber or white oscillating or rotating flashing lights may also be sued in addition with red or blue lights.

Defenses that May Apply to You

  • Not knowing that the police officer was a law enforcement agent (they were not in a police car, they did not use lights or sirens, they were in plain clothes and did not show a badge upon pulling you over, etc);
  • You were involved in a collision and were disoriented or confused as a result;
  • You were rushing to the hospital or fleeing out of some other necessity; and
  • You are suffering from dementia or old age.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

Fleeing and eluding will result in a criminal record, suspend license, serious fines, and potentially jail or prison time. For experienced legal defense, call passionate Rolling Meadows traffic offense attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.



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Written by Staff Writer

October 26th, 2018 at 12:57 pm

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