Vista Fleeing a DUI Defense Attorney
What Happens When You Try to Run From the Police
You see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. Your heart pounds as you wonder what you did wrong. You know the proper response is to pull over immediately, present your license and registration when asked, and speak calmly to the officer about why you were stopped. If you attempt to speed up or drive down another road, it can result in a charge of evading a police officer. But if the officer suspects you of being intoxicated, it can also lead to a DUI charge.
If you have been charged with evading the police and DUI, you need to protect your freedom. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, our Vista legal team has spent more than 30 years defending clients against serious DUI charges. We can look over your case, determine what evidence the prosecution has against you, and fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed prior to trial. If your case does go to court, our Vista fleeing a DUI defense attorney is fully prepared to defend you before a jury. Call us today at (760) 630-2000 to learn how in a free consultation.
California Laws on Traffic Stops
If a police officer suspects a driver has committed a traffic violation, such as by swerving, speeding, or making dangerous turns, then the officer has the right to pull that driver over and request his license and registration. When a police officer turns on the siren, all drivers are required to pull over and remain in their vehicles until the officer has passed or stopped to speak to them. If a driver tries to flee the scene, speed up, or otherwise evade the officer, he or she can be charged under California Vehicle Code 2800.1.
VC 2800.1 makes it illegal for a driver who is operating a motor vehicle and has the intent to evade to willfully attempt to flee or elude the police.
However, police officers also must follow proper procedures when pulling a driver over. A driver can only be charged with evading if:
- The officer’s vehicle had at least one red lamp lighted and visible where the driver could reasonably see it.
- The vehicle’s siren was on.
- The vehicle was distinctively marked as a police vehicle.
- The vehicle was operated by a police officer and the officer was in uniform.
If an officer does pull you over for evading a legal traffic stop, she may also request a field sobriety, breathalyzer, or chemical test to confirm you are above the legal limit, meaning you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. This can lead to a charge of DUI in addition to evading the police.
The Impact of Fleeing a DUI
While these are two separate charges, they can be compounded in a criminal trial. Evading the police is a misdemeanor on its own. However, DUIs are priorable, so having multiple DUIs on your record can enhance future charges.
Being convicted of evading the police can lead to:
- Up to one year in county jail;
- Up to $1,000 in fines; and/or
- Misdemeanor probation.
If this is your first DUI, then you could also face:
- Between 48 hours to six months in county jail;
- Up to $1,000 in fines;
- License suspension for up to six months;
- DUI school;
- Vehicle impoundment for up to 30 days; and/or
- Misdemeanor probation.
Defenses for Evading the Police
Evading the police and DUI charges are predicated on the fact that the police officer had a legal right to pull you over, that you attempted to flee the officer, and that you were intoxicated while driving. Based on this, there are several defenses jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys can employ to prevent a conviction, including:
- The officer performed an illegal traffic stop.
- The officer did not properly identify him/herself under the law.
- You only demonstrated the objective signs of intoxication.
- The officer did not perform a breathalyzer or field sobriety test correctly.
- The officer committed some other type of misconduct during the stop.
Let jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys Protect Your Future Today
No one should have their future taken away from them due to a simple mistake. DUIs have serious personal ramifications beyond criminal and administrative penalties. You may lose your job, be unable to take care of your family, and find it hard to get around North County. No matter what, you should not let the prosecution bully you into accepting an unfair plea deal without speaking to an attorney first.
If you were arrested for fleeing a DUI, contact a Vista criminal defense lawyer at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately. Our legal team can begin working on your case and use more than 30 years of experience to fight for your freedom. Our lead attorney is a board-certified Criminal Law Specialist who is well-versed in beating DUI charges. Let us fight for you. Call us at (760) 630-2000 to get a free case evaluation.
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